Cheese cake selection, half a dozen popular styles
Plato mentioned cheese cake, and a town near Thebes was named for it before Christ was born, at a time when cheese cakes were widely known as "dainty food for mortal man."
Today cheese cakes come in a half dozen popular styles, of which the ones flavored with fresh pineapple are the most popular in New York. But buyers delight in every sort, including the one hundred percent American type called cheese pies.
Indeed, there seems to be no dividing line between cheese cakes and cheese pies. While most of them are sweet, some are made piquant with pimientos and olives. We offer a favorite of ours made from popcorn-style pot cheese put through a sieve:
Pineapple Cheese Cake
In a big bowl mix everything except the graham crackers and pineapple in the order given above. Butter a square Pyrex pan and put in the graham-cracker dust to make,a crust. Cover this evenly with the pineapple and pour in the cheese-custard mixture. Bake I hour in a "quiet" oven, as the English used to say for a moderate one, and when done set aside for 12 hours before eating.
Because of the time and labor involved maybe you had better buy your cheese cakes, even though some of the truly fine ones cost a dime a bite, especially the pedigreed Jewish-American ones in Manhattan. Reuben's and Lindy's are two leaders at about five dollars a cake. Some are fruited with cherries or strawberries.
4 eggs, slightly beaten
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
A dash of pepper or paprika
3 tablespoons melted butter
A few drops of onion juice, if desired
4 tablespoons grated Swiss (imported)
Mix all together, set in molds in pan of hot water, and bake until brown.
Open-faced Cheese Pie
1 cup sugar
2 pounds soft smearcase
Whip everything together and fill two pie crusts. Bake without any upper crust.
The Apple-pie Affinity
Hot apple pie was always accompanied with cheese in New England, even as every slice of apple pie in Wisconsin has cheese for a sidekick, according to law. Pioneer hot pies were baked in brick ovens and flavored with nutmeg, cinnamon and rose geranium. The cheese was Cheddar, but today all sorts of pie and cheese combinations are common, such as banana pie and Gorgonzola, mince with Danish Blue, pumpkin with cream cheese, peach pie with Hablé, and even a green dusting of Sapsago over raisin pie.
Apple pie au gratin, thickly grated over with Parmesan, Caciocavallo or Sapsago, is something special when served with black coffee. Cider, too, or applejack, is a natural accompaniment to any dessert of apple with its cheese.
Apple Pie Adorned
Apple pie is adorned with cream and cheese by pressing cream cheese through a ricer and folding in plenty of double cream beaten thick and salted a little. Put the mixture in a pastry tube and decorate top of pie in fanciful fashion.
Apple Pie á la Cheese
Lay a slice of melting cheese on top of apple (or any fruit or berry) pie, and melt under broiler 2 to 3 minutes.
Cheese-crusty Apple Pie
In making an apple pie, roll out the top crust and sprinkle with sharp Cheddar, grated, dot with butter and bake golden-brown.
Flan au Fromage
To make this Franche-Comté tart of crisp paste, simply mix coarsely grated Gruyère with beaten egg, fill the tart cases and bake.
For any cheese pastry or fruit and custard pie crusts, work in tasty shredded sharp Cheddar in the ratio of 1 to 4 parts of flour.
A traditional Christmas carol begs for:
For a festive handout cut the spice cake or fruit cake in slices and sandwich them with slices of tasty cheese between.
To maintain traditional Christmas cheer for the elders, serve apple pie with cheese and applejack.
1 ripe Camembert, imported
1 cup Anjou dry white wine
½ pound sweet butter, softened
2 tablespoons finely grated toast crumbs
Lightly scrape all crusty skin from the Camembert and when its creamy interior stands revealed put it in a small, round covered dish, pour in the wine, cover tightly so no bouquet or aroma can possibly escape, and let stand overnight.
When ready to serve drain off and discard any wine left, dry the cheese and mash with the sweet butter into an angelic paste. Reshape in original Camembert form, dust thickly with the crumbs and there you are.