Heirloom Cottage Cheese Pie

“This is the worst pie I’ve ever tasted.”  -my Dad.

How’s that for an enticement?  Do keep in mind that my Dad said this after eating a bite of my mother’s pumpkin pie which is always sublime, and keep in mind that my Dad is a little bit set in his ways.  I’m thinking if he sees a white pie, he’s thinking cheesecake, and that’s not what he got here.

My husband, however, ate his whole piece and proclaimed it delicious.  He is the best Santa’s elf ever!  Always such a good sport, will try any crazy thing I cook up.

This pie is an heirloom Pennsylvania Dutch recipe, with German, Quaker and Mennonite roots.  It is a very simple recipe and, I think, makes for a very delicious pie.  It sort of reminds me of a ricotta cheesecake but with more texture and without the graham crust.  You have to be prepared to taste a little bit of savory/sour, along with the sweet, and I think it’s best eaten on its own and not after a bite of pumpkin pie.

I made this pie for Christmas Eve dinner, and also to bring to Fiesta Friday #100.  Stay tuned because I’ll be bringing more!  Happy Anniversary to everybody who’s been a part of Fiesta Friday and as always I send my gratitude and thanks to Angie for making this all possible.

christmas eve (3 of 5)

christmas eve (4 of 5)

christmas eve 2 (3 of 3)

christmas eve 2 (2 of 3)

christmas eve 4 (3 of 7)

christmas eve 4 (4 of 7)

christmas eve 4 (6 of 7)

christmas eve 4 (7 of 7)

Pie Filling: Adapted from Shockingly Delicious

  • 1.5 cartons cottage cheese (1 16-ounce regular size carton and half of another 16 oz carton)
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • ¾-1 cup sugar
  • 2 well beaten eggs
  • Grated rind and juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Unbaked pie crust (see recipe below)
  • pinch nutmeg, either freshly grated or prepared ground


  1. Mix together all ingredients and pour in unbaked pie crust. Sprinkle with nutmeg.
  2. Bake at 355 degrees F for 1 hour.


Crust:  Recipe courtesy KCRW Good Food, Nicole Rucker Pie Crust Dough Recipe.  

Pie Crust Dough

I always weigh my ingredients, which is essential for accuracy when following a recipe.

400 grams cold unsalted butter (I prefer Strauss European-style.)
665 grams all-purpose King Arthur flour
100 grams granulated sugar
5 grams fine sea salt
5 oz cold water
½ oz white vinegar

All of your ingredients should be cold. Mix the water, vinegar and sugar into a syrup and set aside in refrigerator to chill.

To Prepare the Dough: Pulse the flour, salt and butter in a food processor until everything turns the size of medium peas. Spread this fatty flour mixture out onto a well-floured, flat work surface and gather it into a pile. Pour half of the sugar syrup over the mixture and begin working the ingredients together gently, using your hands. This is messy work. Squeeze the dough together and lightly rub the butter peas into the flour. Use the palm of your hand, pressing against the table gently to smear/rub the dough together. Sprinkle on more of the syrup and keep squeezing and rubbing. Try to work quickly so that the butter does not melt. This is the key to a flaky pie crust.

When the dough comes together as a shaggy ball, wrap it in plastic and allow it to chill in the refrigerator for an hour. This relaxes the gluten and brings the dough together.

After an hour, portion the dough into 14-ounce balls and roll them out to roughly a 1/4” thickness. Lay the dough in your pie plate and allow to chill as you mix your filling.

43 Comments on “Heirloom Cottage Cheese Pie

  1. I like this pie, it actually reminds me of my Mom’s Italian cheesecake made with ricotta. I love recipes from the Pennsylvannia Dutch or Amish. They are always homey and comforting and simple and to me thats best.

    • I’m glad you like it Suzanne. I’ve never made a ricotta cheesecake and for some reason cheesecakes intimidate me, so come to think about it I never really make any kind of cheesecakes! Thank you for hosting this week!

  2. So glad to see you back!!! And what a beauty (sorry about your dad …). I’ll have to give this a try in the new year, once my diet has failed (think January 2nd ;-))
    Happy Fiesta Friday!!!
    Ginger x

  3. Your father is funny! Your heirloom pie not only must be delicious, it looks beautiful! I’d love it make it, and to be honest I dont remember seeing cottage cheese around Bcn. I’ll track some down when I get back to make this xxx

    • I imagine in Bcn you could substitute quark or even creme fraiche. Yikes that’s rich! Nice to hear from you Sofia! Are you still doing the other blog?

      • Hey Sue, I’ve put an under construction sign on the other blog and I think I’ll stop it. What happened was that ok I love using cosmetics, I work with cosmetics, but then that extra step of writing about them IN MY FREE TIME was getting too much. I realised I enjoy Papaya Pieces 1000 times more 🙂 Great idea, quark is easy to get. Creme fraiche not so much so. If I cant find cottage cheese, quark it will be. Ricotta not then? Too firm and tasty I guess? Or hang on, I know, the Catalan Mató cheese would be a great option! I’ll do it with that 🙂 I hope you’re well and that you’re enjoying the new job xx

      • Right, duh. Ricotta it is. I mean Mato. What is Mato? I might add some nuts to it for texture if it is runny at all. I hear you on the cosmetics bit. Much more fun to read other peoples’ posts on your FREE TIME rather than write yourself!

      • And much more fun to write about something that has nothing to do with your profession, like FOOD! Like can you imagine if you opened a blog on the topic of your profession? hehe..

      • If I did, Sofia, it would be to tell all the sordid stories of insanity and disturbedness of the human race as evidenced by what you see when a person goes through a divorce

      • Oh dear. I’m sure some people would consider it like an exciting novel, but it would be too tiresome and perhaps sentimental (? I dont know the right word) for you…

  4. I used to make a very similar pie when children were little from a Mennonite cookbook called “Less is More”. I much prefer it to the cream cheese variety, and yours looks pretty enough to compete with more calorific variety. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Thank you Hilda. Also I bet this pie would be really great with some strong syrup or infusion or creation of yours either on top or worked in. It’s pretty mild.

  5. I never heard of this pie but I sure do enjoy trying different things. Love the crust – unique to the pie. Thanks for sharing with the BIG 100 celebration and Fiesta Friday. Happy Holidays… oh – and welcome back. You always take such beautiful pictures.

    • Thank you. And thank you for hosting. I just made up the crust (not the recipe, but cut little holes out of the leftover crust) and stuck it on top.

  6. Long time Sue! Good to see you back here! 😀
    This pie sounds delicious and something I would like to eat. American cottage cheese is so similar to Paneer (Indian cottage cheese) that sometimes I substitute it in my Indian dessert recipes too. Fiesta 100 is for sure special!

  7. Haha, loved how you started the post with your dad’s quote. I probably won’t agree with him though because it sounds like special but yummy treat!

  8. I know how you feel… I am surrounded by a bunch of critics myself! 😉
    I am a huge fan of cottage cheese & I think that this pie sounds quite tasty. Gorgeous photos AS USUAL too.
    I need to do a Fiesta Friday post!! Thanks for the inspiration. ❤

  9. Welcome back Sue, it’s been a while since we’ve seen you in these parts? WEll, we have missed your posts and your company! What a wonderful pie, love those wee circles in the crust. It sounds amazing with half the calories with that cottage cheese eh? Best wishes for the New Year 🙂

  10. I just realized I have not stopped by for some time, so I’m glad I did! What a gorgeous pie and such a fun take on a crust! Happy New Year and Happy Fiesta Friday!! I’m pinning this to the FF Board just in case no one has yet!

  11. My husband is PA dUtch and we live near Lancaster yet have never heard of this pie. Looks and sounds so good. Will try it. Happy New Year! No pie for your dad next time LOL!

    • Really?????!!! I haven’t been back to OA in 6 years! I love it there, it’s where my Mom grew up. Useful to know that neither she nor you and your husband have heard of the pie!!!! Haha!

  12. How could I stop reading after that first line? What a way to open your blog post! Dad aside, the pie sounds delicious–a bit rich and creamy and with a bit of texture too, and the top crust is very pretty.

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