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Myzithropita: Myzithra Cheesecake

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Greek Cheesecake with Myzithra

Greek Myzithra Cheesecake

Photo © N. Gaifyllia, licensed to About.com, Inc.

In Greek: μυζηθρόπιτα, pronounced mee-zee-THROH-pee-tah

Myzithra, like many Greek cheeses, comes in two varieties: fresh and soft, and aged and sharp. This recipe calls for unsalted fresh myzithra. If you can't find this fabulous cheese, try the recipe with another dense, slightly moist, unsalted white cheese, such as ricotta or mascarpone.

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds of unsalted, fresh myzithra (or other white whey cheese)
  • 1/2 pound of butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup of golden seedless raisins
  • 1 tablespoon of brandy
  • 6 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • juice and grated peel of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 cups of crushed almonds
  • ----------
  • For the topping:
  • confectioner's sugar
  • ground cinnamon

Preparation:

First steps:

  • Mash the cheese well with a fork.
  • Soak the raisins in the brandy for 20 minutes.
  • Beat egg whites to stiff peak stage.

Preheat oven to 355°F (180°C).

In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter (or margarine) with the sugar and egg yolks. In order, beat in cheese, crushed almonds, cornstarch, salt, vanilla, lemon juice and peel, and the raisins and brandy. Fold in the stiff egg whites last.

Pour into a greased baking pan and bake at 355°F (180°C) for 50 minutes. To test for doneness, insert a knife into the cake. It should come out dry.

Allow the cake to cool for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar, then a little cinnamon.

Yield: approx. 20 pieces

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