This isn't just any cottage cheese pie recipe, it's a traditional family recipe favored for generations, so you know it's good. Please read the interesting background story that includes some helpful baking hints and then treat yourself by making an amazingly satisfying old fashioned dessert.
Submitted by Bob in Florida, USA
This Cottage Cheese Pie Recipe is from my grandmother Elva Fay Grosh, born in 1900. It was always called Cheese Kugen. The spelling "Kugen" is from her written recipe, though some have wondered if it should be spelled "Kuchen."
My Mom and both my grandmothers made this pie. I used their recipe a few times to make it, but I lost the recipe and just recently found it.
The crust was like a sweet cookie mixture, thicker by twice the depth of a typical pie crust. It also extended out past the edge of the pie pan by about an inch or so. The pie was ALWAYS made in a glass pie pan.
The cheese mixture was poured into the crust. Next, the excess crust was folded over and lightly laid on top of the cheese mixture so that it covered the outer 1/3 of the cheese. A little sugar was sprinkled on the crust, and a dash or two of nutmeg sprinkled on the center of the cheese.
The pie was refrigerated for hours to make it firm after baking. However, if made exactly right, it would be firm enough to slice cleanly and eat after cooling for an hour.
My grandparents would now be 115 years old, or so, and they were second generation Americans of Dutch and German decent. They grew up as dairy farmers in Ohio and Wisconsin.
The recipe was common among many of their friends and neighbors, as well as many of my aunts. I remember eating this pie at many different gatherings when I visited either of my grandparents in Ohio.
Farm neighbors sometimes varied the pie slightly by eliminating the sprinkle of nutmeg, using cinnamon, or adding a teaspoon of their favorite preserves instead.
One thing that did not vary was the wonderful crust and the way it melted into the cheese so that there was almost no clear line that separated the two.
One great thing about this cheese pie is that it keeps well in the refrigerator and tastes just as good after five days as it did the day it was baked.
My mother always made two of them so there would always be enough. One year, both my grandmothers visited us for Thanksgiving and, of course, brought food. I opened the refrigerator to discover we had SIX Cheese Kugens! I thought I'd died and gone to Heaven!
First the Kugen Dough:
1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 stick (4 level tablespoons) butter, cream together; add 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla, mix in; on top of this sift 1-1/2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt (mix the dry stuff then blend into the creamy stuff). Sprinkle 1/2 cup flour to roll out the soft dough! Roll dough thicker than pie crust, more like the thickness of a sugar cookie!
Line a pie dish with dough, leaving nice tufts of dough over the dish sides so after you fill with cottage cheese this extra dough folds over the mixture about 1 inch or so, in a large scallop look!
Now Add the Cottage Cheese Filling:
1-1/2 large (16-ounce) tubs cottage cheese (large curd), 3 eggs, dash of nutmeg, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, mix together. Pour cheese mixture into raw dough crust and fold extra dough over cheese. Sprinkle a little sugar on the folded crust. Add another dash of nutmeg to the cheese surface, if desired. Bake at 350°F for 30 to 40 minutes.
It might even take 50 minutes for the top of the cookie crust to become a little golden. Also, insert a toothpick into the filling; if it comes out dry, it is done. It will poof up big but settles down.
Allow to cool in the refrigerator for several hours to make it firm. However, if made exactly right, your pie should be firm enough to slice cleanly and eat after cooling for an hour.
Mom's Recipe Scrapbooks (c. 1920s)
And here's an old Pennsylvania Dutch Cottage Cheese Pie Recipe that I found in hidden in my files. We haven't tried it, but it looks as though it will make a nice dessert pie.
1-1/2 cups cottage cheese
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, separated
2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon lemon rind grated
Pie crust pastry
Combine the cottage cheese, sugar, flour, salt, lemon rind, and spices. Add beaten egg yolks and mix thoroughly. Add milk gradually and stir until smooth. Fold in beaten egg whites and pour into a 9-inch, pastry-lined pan. Bake in moderate (350°F) oven 1 hour. Enjoy.