Swedish cheesecake with strawberries (ostkaka) is not necessarily a cheesecake as you know it. It's made with cottage cheese and almonds, is less sweet than an American cheesecake, but it's equally delicious.
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I'm not quite sure where time went that it's June already. June is busy for me, as we will be in Europe part of the month, school ends and so I will be entertaining both boys all day for a couple months (not sure how that’s going to work with this blog but I will keep trying!). As an extra mark of time, it will be midsummer.
While people know of midsummer around the world, I feel like it's not so much a thing in most places as it is in Scandinavia and neighboring countries. There, most towns have some kind of festivities often involving foods, fires and music.
Part of its importance is due to location, no doubt, as there is a much larger difference between summer and winter light in those countries further North. The longer summer days are definitely something to celebrate, as I know all too well from my native Scotland as well.
I've been lucky enough to experience some of the midsummer celebrations in both Sweden and Finland (more about that here). I loved learning about the traditional activities as well as, naturally, trying some of the foods like langoustines.
Strawberries for midsummer
Strawberries are in peak season in Northern countries like Sweden in June and so they are very common as part of midsummer celebrations. We had some fantastic local strawberries when we were in Denmark last summer (as well as the smørrebrød, open sandwiches, of course) and have picked our own when visiting family in Scotland.
Ostkaka as it is known in Swedish (literally translates as cheesecake), is served at various times of the year and you can change the topping to suit the season. For this time of year, it goes without saying it needs to be topped with strawberries.
What's the difference between an American and Swedish cheesecake?
Swedish cheesecake is still made with eggs as an American one would be, but there is no crumb base and the 'cheese' is cottage cheese rather than cream cheese.
Actually traditionally you first add rennet to milk to make your own curds. However, cottage cheese is commonly used instead as a simplified, speeded up version. Using cottage cheese, this becomes a very quick dessert to mix up and then you just leave it to bake in a low oven.
As well as the differences already mentioned, a Swedish cheesecake also has almonds in it. Sometimes these are whole and broken up as part of making the cheesecake but I decided to just use ground almonds, partly for ease. But, if you like you could also sprinkle some sliced almonds on the top to decorate and for texture.
There is also usually flour as part of the recipe but I opted for rice flour to make this a gluten-free version.
How to serve this dessert
You would usually serve this at room temperature rather than cold or hot. It's common to pair it with some fruit, either fresh or in the form of preserves.
I like this topped with sweet macerated strawberries (sliced and mixed with some sugar to bring out the juices and sweetness) which pair perfectly both in flavor and colors. They feel very summery together, though this is also a popular dessert for Christmas. Then, a berry preserves would likely be better.
This Swedish cheesecake is creamy without being overly rich, gently almond flavored and just sweet enough. It's smooth, easy to enjoy and wonderful any time. Give it a try and enjoy.
Try these other summery deserts:
- Pavlova with raspberries and cream
- Eton mess (an easy British dessert of fruit, cream and meringue)
- Chocolate raspberry almond tart
- Strawberry rhubarb crisp
- Blueberry galette
- Plus get many more dessert recipes in the archives.
Swedish cheesecake with strawberries (ostkaka)
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup almond flour blanched ground almonds
- 3 tablespoon rice flour
- 1 cup half and half or half each of milk and heavy/double cream
- 1 ¼ cup cottage cheese
- 7 oz strawberries
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- a few grinds of black pepper optional
- Preheat oven to 350F/175C and lightly grease an 8 in (20cm) round cake tin (you can use a ceramic dish as well).
- Blend together the eggs and sugar either in a food processor or blender (you can also whisk by hand but try to avoid having too many lumps in final mixture). Add the almond flour/ground almonds, rice flour, half and half (or milk and cream) and cottage cheese and mix. Pour the mixture into your tin/dish and bake for around 1 hour until it rises up and is lightly browned on top.
- As the cheesecake is almost finished baking, slice the strawberries and place in a bowl with the sugar and a few grinds of black pepper (if using - it is nice in there). Toss them gently and leave to macerate.
- When the cheesecake is cooked enough, remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- Serve warm or lukewarm topped with the strawberries (you can put the strawberries on top a little before serving and some of the juice will sink in which is really tasty).
See some of my favorite cooking tools and ingredients in the Caroline's Cooking Amazon store.
Try these other midsummer-inspired desserts:
- Blueberry Slab Pie by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Chocolate Fondue with Strawberries by Making Miracles
- Egg Free Mint Gelato by Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Kladdkaka by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Nordic Walnut Cake with Coffee Icing by Food Lust People Love
- Simple Peach Crisp by Cooking with Traci