Friday, September 14, 2007

Estonian Desserts: Curd Cheese and Apple Souffle (kohupiima-õunavorm)

Plums and apples seem to the cornerstone of our diet at the moment, as whenever we leave my parents place, our car is ladden with various containers full of autumn's bounty. We're not complaining, of course, as it makes for a happier and more versatile cooking. It's slowly getting darker and cooler here, so on Monday night we bot felt that an apple cake would hit the spot. It was only then that I remembered we had run out of all-purpose flour on the previous day (we bake a lot in the house - plum cakes and cheesy spinach tarts most recently - so it was not surprising), and neither one of us volunteered to pop to the nearest grocery store to replenish the stocks. Luckily, we had some curd cheese in the fridge, and some 'manna' (cream of wheat/semolina farina) in the cupboard that we use for making breakfast porridge occasionally, so I ended up making a real Estonian comfort dish for us. The dish is called kohupiimavorm alias curd cheese souffle, to which I added some apples (raisins would be often used, too), and garnished it with sliced almonds. I served it with a sweet soup made of leftover plum and damson jam - you see, I'm relying heavily on my mum's garden at the moment indeed...

That's a real nostalgia dish, and would bring back sweet memories of home cooked and canteen meals for most Estonians, I'd like to think..

Curd Cheese and Apple Souffle
Adapted from Salme Masso's book Õunaraamat (1985)
Serves 6-8

500 grams curd cheese or ricotta
4 large eggs
75 ml cream of wheat / semolina flour*
150 grams sour cream or plain yogurt
100 ml sugar
a pinch of salt
500 grams apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

sliced almonds

Wash the apples, peel (optional - I never peel non-sprayed apples from my mum's garden or other trustworthy source), core and slice thinly. Sprinkle with lemon juice to avoid them turning dark.
In a large bowl, mix your curd cheese until smooth. Add eggs, one by one, mixing thoroughly between each addition (use your KitchenAid mixer or a large bowl and a hand-held electric mixer).
NB! If you prefer a fluffier souffle, whisk the egg whites separately and fold them in gently at the end.
Add semolina farina, sour cream, sugar and salt, stir until combined. Fold in sliced apples.
Pour the mixture into a large buttered oven dish, sprinkle with sliced almonds and dot with butter.
Bake at 180Celsius for about 45 minutes, until the souffle has risen and turned into light golden.
Serve either hot or cold. A warm curd cheese souffle is best served with cold milk; a cold one goes well with Creme Anglaise or with fruit soup (as on the photo above).

* I'm talking about the non-durum semolina farina here, i.e. coarsely ground semolina farina, known in the US as Cream of Wheat


MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

No flour and cream of wheat works! That's totally resourceful! And a great cultural fit for comfort. The photo looks good enough to eat! I'd say you did very well.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Goodness, a cake with no flour -- and no chocolate! It looks absolutely delicious.

Anonymous said...

I was looking for something to make using some of the apples we were given recently. Looks really delicious!!

Andreea said...

i just really like the name - kohupiimavorm :)
and of course it sounds delicious. i am still stuck with my pears :)

Dagmar said...

It looks truly delicious!!!

Meeta K. Wolff said...

Wonderful! No flour and still a lovely moist looking cake.

Anonymous said...

It looks delicious! I love this type of cheesecake a lot!

Deborah said...

This looks delicious!

Alanna Kellogg said...

Lovely - lovely - lovely!! I've used semolina (which I call it to avoid many Americans' aversion to cream of wheat ...) in savory puddings with far less dairy. What's the texture of this?

Katie Zeller said...

The plum soup looks so good I can almost taste it. As does the curd cheese and apples!
Our plums are long through but the apples and pear are going strong... maybe an apple cake tomorrow...

Susan from Food Blogga said...

How lovely this looks! It really is apple season already, isn't it? I've got to get going on some apple recipes. Thanks for the inspiration, Pille!

lobstersquad said...

your mum is the biggest bonus! mine´s great, but it´d be very nice if she knew how to grow even a little sprig of parsley

Evelin said...

kui ma peaks elu lõpuni sööma ainult üht magustoitu, sööksin ma kohupiimavormi. ILMA VÄHIMAGI KAHTLUSETA:) see meil vist kõige tihedamini valmistatav magustoit kodus.

meil läheb ka alati mannat sisse, aga lisaks ei puudu ka pähklid - neid lihtsalt PEAB olema.

aga vastuse sai suur ja tähtis küsimus, kuidas seda rooga inglise keeles nimetada - suflee kõlab küll kuninglikult!

Anonymous said...

Made this yesterday & took to a friend's dinner party. Just poured a
little cream over it & everyone enjoyed it. Thanks a bunch, Pille.

Anonymous said...

I saw the magic words - apple and souffle - delicious!

Rachael Narins said...

Oh my goodness, I have to try this! I LOVE the way it sounds!

Pille said...

Tanna - I've used semolina farina in cakes before, as there are some cakes where the recipe prescribes semolina farina instead of plain flour to start with. This was one of them, so I didn't need to replace an ingredient, but I just needed to think wider before I started baking:)

Lydia - well, it has semolina farina, which is almost like flour, just grainier.. And yes, it was still delicious!!

Pene - apple cakes are always delicious. I hope you were given Golden Delicious ones ;-)

Andreea - do you speak Estonian?? And re: the pears - I think must give a recipe for my super-lovely pear & blue cheese tart soon then :)

Alanna - the texture is somewhat between mannapuuro and ricotta cheesecake. Not too different from the grated apple cheesecake I made last year (and will be making again this year).

Katie - the plum soup was a nice accompaniment to the souffle, though many other fruits would work, too.

Susan - it's definitely apple season already. I think it's been a season for some four weeks already :)

Ximena - give her a herb pot with compost and seeds next time - you might be surprised. I'm still eating cherry tomatoes & Alpine strawberries from my little container garden (see here
), and I'm no green finger!?!

Evelin - no küll on need maitsed erinevad. Olen suur pähklisõber, aga vot kohupiimavormis neid ette ei kujuta. Kardan, et ei haaku selle mannapudrutekstuuriga eriti hästi :)

Pene - so pleased to hear it worked for you!

Veron - it looks like apple / souffle is a good word pairing - so many lovely comments (and at least three readers have tried the dish already, successfully!)

Rachel - I'm so pleased to hear that!

Dagmar, Meeta, Linda, Deborah - thank you!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for yours great recipes! I love them! You may look at these few easy desserts recipes if you wish.

Yasmeen said...

HI pille,
i tried this delicious souffle. It turned to be very delicious. thanks so much for the recipe.