Like the famous line from the movie “A Princess Bride,” marrying into a farm family in a tight-knit community brought a little more togetherness than I expected. Moving into the little house overshadowed by the main farmhouse where my in-laws lived was a whole different world for me. I was fresh from college with a degree in marketing and business management and for all intents and purposes, moving into my inlaw’s home. My inlaws are the best of people but it’s still a little unnerving. In spite of my reservations, I was eager to embrace farm life and volunteered for farm chores. He didn’t say anything, but I’m pretty sure that my father-in-law looked at my manicured fingernails and was not optimistic.
I started out driving the scraper tractor and was eventually allowed to do a little field work. Up until 1989, I thought that “harrowing” was an adjective not a verb so when I was told to harrow the field, I may have giggled. Once John explained that I would not be emotionally tormenting the grass, I gave it a go. I only harrowed a couple of fields before the farmers in the family concluded that tractor work might not be the best fit for me. My neat orderly rows gradually devolved into a random zig-zag pattern. My father-in-law did not appreciate my [ahem] artistic results and my career as a tractor driver ended shortly after it started. It was probably a good thing.
I don’t know if my skills in the kitchen are any better than on a tractor, but my family appreciates my efforts exceedingly. I tend to make a recipe over and over until I get it just how I like it. It took a lot of tries and failures before I successfully learned to blind bake a pie crust for this recipe. I made a lot of frisbees before learning to keep the sides from sliding irrevocably to the bottom of the pie pan. Thankfully, there are a lot of delicious things that you can do with a pie crust frisbee!
Once I succeeded at the pie crust, thanks to helpful advice from friends and YouTube video tutorials, the rest was easy. I’ve been making cheesecakes with quark for many, many years but this recipe is a fun novel approach. I brought a couple of these pies to a church gathering and they were well very received. It’s a good sign if you come home from a church potluck with empty pie pans.
Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Pie
Mix all of the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and set aside.
Blend the quark, sugar, and salt until smooth. Add cornstarch, lemon extract, and lemon zest. Gently fold in the eggs and cream, do not whip.
Spread the raspberry sauce in the pie crust, then spoon the cheesecake over the top. Bake the pie at 325 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until barely set.
Turn off the oven and prop the door open. Let the cheesecake pie sit in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature then chill completely before serving.