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Israeli Cheesecake - Joy of Kosher

Israeli Cheesecake

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Gvina levana is an exceptionally soft and creamy cheese. Using gvina levana for cheesecake ensures a delicate cake. Tangy and slightly sweet, Israeli cheesecake is light and creamy.

For those unable to find this Israeli treasure, Quark cheese is similar in texture and is readily available in most stores.

To avoid cracks in the top of the cake it is best to cover the pan with foil and bake in a water bath, but it will taste amazing either way.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 8Servings

Ingredients

Crust

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs or cookie crumbs
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 5 tablespoons sugar

Custard

  • 1½ pounds Tnuva gvina levana (white Israeli cheese)

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 whole eggs
  • Pinch of kosher or sea salt

Preparation

Crust:

1. Mix crumbs, butter, and sugar together. Reserve half cup of mixture for topping cheesecake. Press remaining crumbs into the bottom of the springform pan. Chill the crust while making the filling.

Custard:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 

2. Either by hand or in a mixer at low speed, combine cheese, sugar, sour cream, heavy cream, lemon zest and juice, vanilla, eggs, and salt. Try not to whisk any air into the custard.

3. Pour into chilled crust. Place cheesecake into oven. Bake at 350°F for 40 to 50 minutes or until the center of cake is just a bit jiggly. Sprinkle reserved crumbs on top of cake and bake for an additional 15 minutes. 

4. Turn off the oven and crack open the door. Allow cheesecake to cool in hot oven for 30 minutes.

5. Remove cheesecake and chill for 4 hours or overnight before serving.