This is a Swedish, Scandinavian, dessert dish, traditionally served at Christmas. Not really custard and not really cheese cake, I enjoy it at any time of the year. As one can see, it is not recommended for consumption if you are watching fat and cholesterol intake. It is delicious.
The hardest part of making this is acquiring raw milk. I have used this opportunity to examine and appreciate the conditions and plight of the independent family dairy farmer. This has truly been rewarding.
When I first made this recipe, it was from an oral rendition handed down through several generations. The first stumbling block came when the recipe called for heating the milk to luke warm. I consulted a cheese making reference text and discovered the range of temperature. Be sure to use a thermometer during this step as this temperature range activates the rennet enzyme. Since then, I have not lost a batch. There is no doubt that a perfect batch of östkaka can be made every time.
One last historical note. The difference between the initial 400° and final 325° is attributable to the burning of a four log fire to a three log fire.
Recipe in memory of and attributed to Clarice Johnson Pauls and Johanna Wimberly.
Do not rush! Take your time! Have Fun! Var så god! Mark Coomes
- 1 Gallon Raw Milk
- 1/2 (half) Rennet Tablet Dissolved in 1 TBSP. tap water
- 3/4 Cup Flour
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 5 Eggs
- 1 Cup Whipping Cream
- Save out one cup cold milk to mix with flour to make a soft paste.
- Dissolve rennet in water.
- Heat milk to lukewarm, 98°-102°F.
- Remove from heat, add soft paste to warm milk and stir in dissolved rennet. Stir often until milk begins to set; cover and let stand until firm, about one hour.
- Break up the milk mixture and remove the whey. Do not make the curd too dry and treat with gentle hands.
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- Mix eggs, sugar and whipping cream. Add cream mixture to curd and bake at 400° first 30 minutes and reduce to 325° for about 30 more minutes. Use pyrex type baking dish.
Optional: Serve with Lingon Berries.