Hundred-Year-Old Cottage Cheese Pie Recipe

cottage-cheese-pie

Occasionally a recipe that I pass over when selecting what to make for this blog will somehow get stuck in my memory, and I keep getting pulled back to it.  The recipe I’m sharing today for Cottage Cheese Pie is one of those recipes.

I first saw this recipe for Cottage Cheese Pie in a hundred-year-year-old magazine almost a year ago, and made an image of it. But it sounded just different enough that I didn’t actually make it at the time. Every time I cleaned up my blog material  files, I’d see this recipe again and wonder, “What does Cottage Cheese Pie taste like?” –and I couldn’t quite bring myself to discard the recipe.

Source: Good Housekeeping (March, 1916)
Source: Good Housekeeping (March, 1916)

Well,  a few days ago I finally made Cottage Cheese Pie and I now know what it tastes like. The rich  cottage cheese custard contains dried currants and  just a hint of lemon. Even though I’ve never eaten Cottage Cheese Pie before, it immediately fell into the comfort food category for me. It is not very sweet–and could be eaten either for lunch or as a dessert.

My first reaction when I took my first bite of Cottage Cheese Pie was, “hmm . . . This is a little different.”

When I took the second bite I thought, “It tastes like cottage cheese, but it’s sort of like a cross between a quiche and a cheesecake.”

By the time, I finished the slice I was thinking, “This actually is pretty good.”

And, a half hour later I wanted to eat another slice (and had to struggle to convince myself that I really should wait until dinner to eat any more of the pie).

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Cottage Cheese Pie

  • Servings: 5 - 7
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2 cups cottage cheese

2 eggs, beaten

2 tablespoons milk

2 tablespoons sour cream

1/4 teaspoon lemon extract (or reduce the milk to 1 tablespoon and use 1 tablespoon lemon juice instead of the extract)

1/2 teaspoon flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup dried currants

1 9-inch pie shell

Preheat oven to 425° F. Put the cottage cheese, eggs, milk, sour cream,  lemon extract, flour, and salt in a mixing bowl; mix until combined. Stir in the currants, and put the mixture in the pie shell. Bake 15 minutes; then reduce heat to 350°. Continue baking (about 30-40 minutes) until a knife inserted in the center of the pie comes out clean.

Smearcase (Cottage Cheese) and Apple Butter

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Saturday, November 2, 1912:  They made apple butter this morning. I had to get the dinner and then had to be teased about it in the bargain. Went to Watsontown this afternoon and stayed longer than I meant to.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Apple butter sounds delicious—even if Grandma’s dinner wasn’t.

How did the Muffly’s eat the apple butter?. .  .on bread? . . . or with smearcase?

In Pennsylvania, cottage cheese is often called by its Pennsylvania Dutch name—smearcase.  And, the best way to eat smearcase is with a little apple butter stirred into it. It might sound (and look) odd—but it’s really, really good.  The rich, slightly sweet taste of the apple butter nicely complements the cottage cheese.