Curd Cheese Zapekanka with Pears and Honey-Flavored Crème Anglaise

Curd Cheese Zapekanka with Pears and Honey-Flavored Crème Anglaise

This is another way to enjoy fresh curd cheese. Sort of Russian cheesecake. But please, don’t confuse it with American cheesecake, the texture and flavor are completely different. I like it best warm, eaten with sour cream. But for a more elegant presentation, serve the zapekanka with honey-flavored crème anglaise, kids’ favorite, may I say.

I like to offer it for a weekend breakfast but, of course, it can be served as a dessert any time of the day.

Serves about 10


  • 3 large pears (I prefer Bartlet)
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 lb of fresh curd cheese, put through a sieve
  • ½ cup cream of wheat (semolina)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Unsalted butter, melted, for greasing a tube pan
  • Fine dry bread crumbs for dusting a pan
  • Sour cream or Crème anglaise for serving


Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 375 F. Generously butter a 10-cup tube pan and dust it with the bread crumbs.

Put the sugar into a large bowl, add the lemon zest and rub with your fingers until the sugar gets moist and aromatic. Add the yolks, and with an electric mixer, beat until the mixture is thick and light in color, about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla, then the curd cheese, and cream of wheat. Mix well to combine. Set aside.

Peel and core the pears. Cut them lengthwise into quarters and slice very thinly. Cover with wet towel or plastic wrap and put aside for a moment.

In a grease free bowl, with a clean whisk attachment, whip the whites with the salt and lemon juice until firm peaks form.

Add the baking powder and baking soda to the curd cheese mixture, mix using the same beaters as you used for beating the egg whites.

Fold the whipped egg whites into the curd mixture, then gently fold in the sliced pears.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Use the rubber spatula to smooth and even the top.

Bake for about 45 minutes until golden brown and tooth pick comes out clean.

Cool on a rack for about 15 minutes, then unmold.

Serve warm with sour cream or crème anglaise.

Curd Cheese Zapekanka with Pears and Honey-Flavored Crème Anglaise Slice

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7 Responses to “Curd Cheese Zapekanka with Pears and Honey-Flavored Crème Anglaise”

  1. Hi, I made this cake and recently and noticed that the instructions said to add baking powder and soda but the quantities aren’t listed in the ingredients! I guessed at 1 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp of soda and the cake seemed okay but i would like to know what it should have been.

  2. Sue, thank you! It was my fault, I apologize. You’ve guessed absolutely right. There are 1 tsp of baking powder and 1/2 tsp of baking soda. I’ve already corrected the recipe.
    Thanks again,

  3. Thanks for the prompt reply. I’m glad I guessed right!
    It was a delicious cake with such an unusual texture. Sort of crunchy on the outside and real moist inside.
    It was hard work seiving the curd cheese! Good for the arm muscles!

  4. I am in the middle of a move and the home made cottage cheese I made from raw cow’s milk was just sitting there waiting to be used. I had to throw half of it away, but the other half was just perfectly enough to make zapekanka. I thought it was very good. I already had the lemon zest from juicing some lemons (I zest them prior to juicing :) and it was very easy. I substituted apples for pears because it my hurry to buy cream of wheat (I wish they had farina at Walmart because that’s what my mom used in her zapekanka) I forgot the pears. But it turned out soft and delish! Even my american hubs said it was good. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe and that wonderful pic!

  5. Doing an encore this evening…I made this last week, with apples, and it was soooo good that I’ve been asked to do it again! I have really great homemade fresh cheese here in Croatia, and it works so well in cakes and cheesecakes etc….I don’t however have cream of wheat, so some extra fine cake flour has done the trick in place. Thank you for this recipe.

  6. MarthaB, I am so glad you liked it! Thank you very much for letting me know. Cream of wheat or semolina is the coarse, purified wheat middlings of durum wheat. It’s used for making sweet milk porridge in Russia. I’m sure it should be available in Croatia as well. It gives zapekanka different texture, makes it kind of spongy.

  7. good morning precise information over the recipe curd cheese zapekanka with pears honey creme anglaise where to enter honey on recipe.Very thanks Sidmar.

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