cheesecake tart

This week’s recipe, Cheesecake Tart, is our last dessert at French Fridays with Dorie:-( My husband, our resident sweet tooth, has gone into full mourning.

As I may have mentioned before, there are some general differences between American cake and German cake. Now, it’s always dangerous to generalize and any statement I make here could be easily argued by the experts on either side of the Atlantic, but I’m going to dare to make one anyway. In general, American cake is sweeter and richer than its German counterpart, and cheesecake seems to be the perfect example of that difference. American cheesecake is made with cream cheese and no small amount of sugar. German cheesecake is made with quark (the equivalent of French Fromage Blanc and I’ve yet to find a reasonable translation into english) and with much less sugar. The resulting cake is drier and, rather obviously, less sweet. My German husband prefers the German version and I prefer the American version, and I have noticed that these preferences seem to hold true across cultural lines in my social circle as well. I have in fact made American cheesecake for friends here in Germany and most declare it “too rich”, as if such a thing could possible be!

Which brings us to this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe, Cheesecake Tart, made with Fromage Blanc. It would seem that German cheesecake and French cheesecake have some similarities, so I decided to invite some German friends to judge for themselves.

I used one of Dorie’s Bonne Idees and swapped out the raisins for dried apricots and was delighted to discover that, aside from the ever dreaded pie dough, this tart was a cinch to pull together.

The end result was a huge hit with my husband and our guests. They raved! I served it with the first fresh strawberries of the season and a bowl of whipped cream. I’ll have to admit that the slice of tart in the picture is a stunt double, because I completely forgot to pull out the camera while our guests were here. Thankfully we had one lone slice leftover (but no more berries) so that I could still take one quick shot for posterity.


As for me, I liked it. The filling was thin enough that the dryness was not the dominant texture and the apricots added a hit of sweetness. So, an all around winner.

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17 Responses to cheesecake tart

  1. Absolutely a winner over here too! (and I am pretty sure we say “quark” in English. I have yet to try it but am curious now…)

  2. hawley32 says:

    It looks lovely, and I love the idea of strawberries and whipped cream. I think us Americans just like our sugar too much 😉

  3. This would be a really interesting cultural study. I prefer less sweet desserts. but I like a creamier cheese cake, NY style which is tart. I haven’t been to all the countries in Western Europe, but I like that French and German desserts don’t tend to be as sweet. I found Portuguese desserts to be unbearably sweet, kinda like what they serve in South America (which has Portuguese influence…) this is so fascinating. See you later I need to go write a thesis…

  4. I love NY style cheesecake…creamy, dense, luscious…and sweeter! I enjoyed this recipe, thought it to be delicious, but not even close to how I feel about a good NY style cheesecake! When my daughter was in HS, I hosted a French exchange student for the summer…all she wanted to eat was American cheesecake! Before she left, she had me write down my recipe! Happy Friday!

  5. So glad you enjoyed—it must have been wonderful with fresh strawberries 🙂

  6. Katie says:

    American cheesecake _is_ too rich, and that’s what makes it good! 🙂 I’m with Diane, though, that I like the creaminess more than the sweet. Anyway, glad you all liked it–it looks gorgeous! As for quark, I looked it up on my trusty translation website I used when I lived in France (–has some updated words and discussion forums for debate as well) and they say farmer’s cheese or curd cheese. Don’t know if that’s proximate enough, but there it is.

  7. Nana says:

    Perfect cheese tart for our last dessert. I didn’t think much of the ingredients when I first read
    them but I was pleasantly surprised. It was truly delicious.

  8. betsy says:

    Ugh. WordPress ate my comment, and it was long. I’ll try again.
    We have quark here (Vermont Creamery makes it, are you proud?) Vermont Creamery also makes fromage blanc, not sure of the difference. If I have to choose a preference, I like NY style better, but I do generally like my desserts less sweet. I have been enjoying many of the French desserts we’ve made for FFWD and others I’ve tried from other French cookbooks. I will have to explore some German desserts. Any recommendations to try?

  9. Teresa says:

    Good to know that I could use quark for this – it’s easier to find in my neighbourhood than fromage blanc. I used the cottage cheese/sour cream substitute and it had a lovely texture, so I don’t think the tart suffered. I actually like this tart a little better than NY cheesecake, but then, I’ve always been a little weird. 🙂

  10. thekitchenlioness says:

    Rose, ah those Germans and their Käsekuchen with Quark (which is the German equivalent to the French fromage blanc) – it is best to use the Magerquark for baking cheesecake or cheesecake tarts like this, as it is has less moisture than the regular Quark, leaving you with a much better textured cheesecake in the end – but, of ocurse, having a German husband you knew that…There is no translation for quark, it even goes by that name in Canada…whatever…Your Tart looks delightful and I am quite certain that it must have tasted wonderful with those first fresh strawberries of the season and some lightly whipped cream…come to think of it, do not get me started on those Erbeeren mit Sahne…
    Wishing you and your hubby a wonderful Sunday!
    Liebe Grüsse nach Frankfurt,

  11. Guyla says:

    I love the idea of a food stunt double:) Five years ago I wouldn’t have a clue what that meant but now all Doristas have had the same experience I am sure. When a Lithuanian friend of mine went home after living in the U.S. for many years, she was depressed about no cream cheese. It wasn’t available at all and even mascarpone wasn’t widely available. She wanted cream cheese frosting for carrot cake and the mascarpone was very expensive when she could find it at all and just wasn’t the same. She tells me that now Philadelphia Cream Cheese is available in some larger supermarkets and the price isn’t bad. Your tart looks perfect!

  12. Cakelaw says:

    Your lonely last slice looks fabulous! I enjoyed this one.

  13. Diane Zwang says:

    Getting those pictures in before it is all eaten is a challenge sometimes. I agree with your sentiments on dessert. My husband has commented at times that desserts are too rich or too sweet and I don’t know what he is talking about. We enjoyed this one and I liked better cold the second day.

  14. Susan says:

    Interesting comparison. I love American cheesecake! I’m sure I would have preferred your version over raisins, too. So hard to believe we’re so close to being done with the book!

  15. Cher says:

    As Betsy noted, we are lucky enough to have Vermont Creamery that makes all of those lovely products – although, I did make this one with cottage cheese and was happy with the results.

    Glad to hear this one was pleasing to the locals 🙂

  16. jora says:

    Very interesting. I definitely enjoyed this one but, to be completely honest, I think I would pick American cheesecake if I could only have one. I don’t think I’ve ever found a dessert to be too rich!

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