Heirloom Cottage Cheese Pie

by Dorothy Reinhold on October 26, 2011

Print This Post Print This Post Heirloom Cottage Cheese Pie for breakfast, brunch or dessert | Old-Fashioned German recipe | ShockinglyDelicious.com

A high school pal turned Facebook friend sent an heirloom recipe from her grandfather, and it is a total keeper. In fact, it is a must-make, as in right now. As in print this, go turn on the oven, and start getting out the mixing bowl.

It’s a Cottage Cheese Pie, and I have been charmed by its sweet simplicity, its nutmeggy fragrance, and its utility as breakfast, brunch or dessert. This pie puts on no airs, and masquerades as nothing other than itself, which is pretty wonderful.

Now THAT’S my kinda pie!

Cottage Cheese Pie

Amy Cook tells the tale of the pie:

“My grandfather taught my grandmother this recipe. His mother made it for him when he was a boy. We would eat it for breakfast or dessert. It’s yummy! It’s so easy to make, and, in my family, is a go-to comfort food!”

She recalls him with love, and some amusement brought by maturity.

“My mother was born in Detroit in 1929. When she was 3 years old, her father drowned in the Detroit River. My grandmother struggled to raise my mom on her own. In 1938, Grandma met and married my grandfather (the only grandfather we ever knew and adored!), Arthur Edelman.

“My grandfather was Jewish, and apparently his family disowned him for marrying not only outside his faith, but to a widow with a child! My grandparents went on to have two children together, and remained inseparable until Grandpa’s death in 1971 at the age of 63. Grandpa was a classy, kind gentleman who loved us dearly. Most of my memories are of sitting on his lap while he chain-smoked and I held his ashtray! Times have sure changed!

“The Cottage Cheese Pie is an Edelman family recipe from Europe — most likely Germany or Austria. Grandpa loved this pie, as his mother had made it for him. He remembered the ingredients, and soon my Grandma was making it for Grandpa – and for us!

“My grandmother rarely used a recipe or cookbook to cook, so when my mother wrote down the recipe, I’m sure it was just given verbally to her by Grandma.

“The recipe card isn’t that old, but I can tell my mom typed it in a typewriter we had in the late ‘60s. The typewriter caused quite the storm at our house, as we’d never owned a typewriter, let alone one that typed in cursive! My mom got this typewriter by saving up Blue Chip Stamps. I remember typing poems and stories on this typewriter in elementary school, but was told by my teachers at Pioneer Junior High School (in Upland, CA) that the cursive font was ‘unacceptable’ for school papers.”

I went to Pioneer Junior High School with Amy (back when they were called Jr. High, not middle school), and if I close my eyes, I can picture the place, smell it, and envision the clubby little chat a teacher would have had with her to guide her away from the evil loopy font. Good times!

Take a look at the recipe card. Isn’t it wonderful?

Cottage Cheese Pie original recipe cardcottage cheese pie recipe backside

Then take a look at Amy’s grandparents. Just priceless. He just looks like a good cook to me!

Arthur Edelman

On right, Amy Cook and her brother Jim with Grandpa in 1960; on the left, Amy’s grandparents celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary in 1963.

Recipe: Heirloom Cottage Cheese Pie

Summary: This heirloom recipe makes a simple, sweet dessert or breakfast pie, smelling deeply of nutmeg with the tang of fresh lemon. You’ll want two pieces.


  • Heirloom Cottage Cheese Pie1 carton cottage cheese (16-ounce regular size carton)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ¾-1 cup sugar {I used ¾ cup and found it plenty sweet}
  • 2 well beaten eggs
  • Grated rind of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup milk or cream {I used milk}
  • Pinch salt
  • Splash of vanilla {I used 1 teaspoon}
  • Unbaked pie crust


  1. Mix together and pour in unbaked pie crust. Sprinkle with nutmeg. {I used a generous amount of freshly grated nutmeg.}
  2. Although there was no temperature or bake time listed (this is an OLD recipe card!), Amy suggests 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until set. {I baked it at 350 degrees for about 60 minutes, covering the rim of the crust with foil near the end if it is turning too brown.}
  3. Tastes great served warm! {We found it lovely for breakfast, chilled from the refrigerator, as well.}

Quick notes

Note: You may notice that the original recipe has a sour cream topping variation. Amy says her mother just topped the pie with nutmeg and left it at that, so that’s what Amy does, as well. Her mom also didn’t use the bitters, although that idea intrigues me! Also, Amy notes that “you can blenderize this for a creamy texture, but I like it as is!” I agree with her. The curds are way, way great! (That’s a little play on words. Did you get it, or are you too tired?)


ShockinglyDelicious note: May I admit I inadvertently didn’t use the lemon juice the first time I made it, and simply made with the lemon rind, it was a lovely tasting pie! So don’t be afraid to try that, as well.


Arthur Edelman, via Amy Cook.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 1 hour(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8

Culinary tradition: German

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

Readers have made this

Cottage Cheese Pie with 1 wedge removed from it photo by Sarah Countiss

Reader Sarah Countiss made it and said, “This is a nice, light, lemony pie that is perfect for summer and a good way to use up cottage cheese. I didn’t make a single change to the recipe and it came out perfectly.”

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Mirka Love April 26, 2015 at 6:41 am

Mnam! It must be very goood!


Dorothy Reinhold April 29, 2015 at 2:04 pm

Oh yesssss, it truly is!


Jud March 2, 2015 at 9:31 pm

Try cinnamon and raisins with it.


Dorothy Reinhold March 3, 2015 at 5:53 am

Great idea!


Dianne Bauer July 24, 2014 at 12:35 pm

Heard about this pie for the first time from my sister and can’t wait to try it


Dorothy Reinhold July 25, 2014 at 1:40 pm

Oh I hope you make it! Come back and tell me how you like it.


Rebecca Hannem-Siemens July 22, 2014 at 10:23 pm

I want to send this recipy for my friend Rebecca,who has been looking for a cottage cheese pie recipy but the recipy is about 100 yrs old and this might not be the right one but its a try. Thank-you for posting it, Lorna Penner


Dorothy Reinhold July 23, 2014 at 5:45 am

I hope it IS the one she is looking for! Come back and let me know if she tries it!


Jeanine May 15, 2014 at 12:26 am

Almost as precious as the recipe was the history that came with it. Thanks for sharing!


Dorothy Reinhold May 15, 2014 at 6:08 am

I agree! Thanks for appreciating another family’s story.


Cyndi Gutierrez November 26, 2013 at 12:57 pm

This is the same recipe that I received from my aunt. This is a household tradition in our family. It is so good!


Dorothy Reinhold November 26, 2013 at 4:19 pm

How great is THAT! Love shared family traditions.


Rob August 10, 2013 at 8:58 am

This is almost exactly like my family’s recipe! I am very curious about the addition of aromatic bitters!!!


Dorothy Reinhold August 10, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Try it and let me know what you think!


mavis January 14, 2013 at 7:09 pm



Sandi-Dee December 26, 2014 at 12:28 pm

My grandparents were from Austria (German of course) and I had made a cottage cheese pie from memory and added some shredded apple! To die for & delicious. I had made mine from dry curd and a heavy cream, eggs, sugar, cinnamon with nutmeg with the shredded apple. Such a good combination!


Dorothy Reinhold December 26, 2014 at 4:54 pm

Love the way yours sounds!


Marlene Kiss November 18, 2012 at 4:44 am

I have made this pie many times, but without the nutmeg. My Grandmother gave me the recipe about 40 years ago. My Grandparents came over from Hungary. Thank you for reminding me of this pie. Definately making it for Thanksgiving, with nutmeg.


Marjorie Gardos Nye April 13, 2013 at 2:20 pm

Oh my, I’m going to have to try this. I love that you shared the history of this recipe.
Marlene, did your grandparents ever make cottage cheese noodles? A dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of sugar on top=pure heaven.


twitter_ff_emt September 26, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Oh, yeah! My German grandma made this all the time & I have carried on her tradition. Never had a written recipe, either. So yummy, lots of memories 🙂


Dorothy September 28, 2012 at 8:49 am

This is one of my favorite pies! So simple, so pure.


Jan August 28, 2012 at 10:12 am

I think I have used this recipe before and it was great. I make my own cottage cheese and I’m sure I made it with strawberry milk for this pie recipe. I’m going to make it again for my family reunion in a few weeks. People can’t believe that I make cottage cheese with strawberry or chocolate milk.


Dorothy August 28, 2012 at 10:17 am

How do you make cottage cheese? How intriguing!


Kim August 21, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Thank you very much for sharing this recipe with wonderful history. I’m definitely going to try this . Thanks again :-)))


Dorothy August 21, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Isn’t it a great story? You MUST try it. We fell in love with it.


facebook_mitch.toews July 10, 2012 at 11:42 am

My grandma made this for me (and my dad) and for special occasions: “glums” pie, in low German dialect. We are Mennonites and Grandma came from Romanian (or some such Eastern European) roots –a little different than the Russian antecendents so many in our little home town of Seinbach, Manitoba shared. That pie RULED, even above raisin tarts, biscuits and rhubarb “plotz”. The picture is exactly as I remember it.


sue Pieferf April 6, 2012 at 10:24 am

I loved your story..thank you for sharing


Cathy October 31, 2011 at 7:02 am

My mother (born in 1911) in Pennsylvania got a cottage cheese pie recipe from her German grandmother. She made this for us when we were growing up. It still is the favorite dessert for many in our family and we usually include it on holidays. And it is good for breakfas too! Her recipe is as follows:
1 carton creamed small curd cottage cheese (3 cups)
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tsp lemon juice
4 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Mix above and pour in unbaked 10 inch pie shell. Sprinkle small amount additional nutmeg on top. Bake 410 degrees for 10 minutes. Turn oven down to 350 degrees and bake till done. (Some may prefer putting the cottage cheese through a sieve for creamier texture – I like just using a mixer.) You can cut recipe in half for a small 8 inch pie shell.


Dorothy October 31, 2011 at 10:23 am

Thanks for sharing that recipe! Looks grand to me, and we can see how similar these ideas are. Our German ancestors must have loved cottage cheese. I believe one of my great grandgathers (German), was known to eat pie every morning for breakfast, so this makes total sense to me as a breakfast pie, too.


Alonna Smith October 29, 2011 at 8:31 am

Hi Dorothy,

I do know what you mean. I have divided into 1/3 but the measurements don’t come out evenly. I will share it though. Just wanted to say that this is like a very light cheese cake with the richness of cream cheese. You separate the eggs which gives an ethereal quality. Sometimes I make this in small molds without a crust, then unmold and serve with raspberry sauce and melted chocolate that I spritz on it and it hardens for an additional texture. Here is the 1/3 recipe:

This will either make one pie or allow you to make individual tarts with crusts or just make small molded custards.

1 egg white, beaten
1 egg yolk, beaten

In a food processor or mixer cream:

1/2 c. + 2 T + 1 tsp. cottage cheese
1/3 of an 8 oz. package of cream cheese

Add and mix:

Egg yolk
1 T. cornstarch
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/3 cup + 1 T sugar
1/2 cup + 1 T milk

Put custard in a partially pre-baked pie crust, tartlets or small thoroughly buttered molds. If using the molds, fill almost to the top and place in a large pan. Put in enough water so that it comes half way up the sides. This will ensure a silky texture. If you are nervous about spilling when putting in the oven, pour water from a pitcher after you’ve placed in oven. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes and then check for doneness. It will probably take closer to 30 minutes. Look for the sames signs as above. A light brown color is what you want in the case of the molded deserts and when shaken, it should look like the custard has set. Approximately 10 -15 minutes after taking the molds out of the oven, loosen all around the edges, and unmold the custards onto their serving plates. It is important the they be unmolded while still warm or it will be more difficult. Make a raspberry puree and spoon around the custard. Drizzle imported bittersweet chocolate over the desert and refrigerate. Then benefit to refrigerating after adding the chocolate is the crunchy texture contrast. I like this desert cold and it makes a great “do ahead” desert.


Dorothy October 29, 2011 at 9:22 am

You are a DEAR for sharing your recipe for 1 pie. I love your idea of a raspberry sauce spooned around, too. That is genius. I really must make this now that you have done the mental math for me.


Alonna Smith October 27, 2011 at 5:58 pm

I grew up Pennsylvania Dutch and we made something we called Cheese Pie. Here is the recipe:

The original rececipe from the Franconia Culinary Pride ‘n Joy reads as follows:

3 egg whites, beaten
3 egg yolks, beaten

In a large bowl cream:
1 lb. cottage cheese
1-8 oz. pkg. cream cheese

Add egg yolks 3 T. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt 1 large can evaporated milk
1 1/4 c. sugar About 2 cups milk

Lastly add egg whites. Bake 10 minutes at 450 degrees, 30 minutes at 350. Makes 3-9 inch pies.

Notes: This recipe assumes you have 3 single pie crusts which you would line the pie pans with. If using premade pie crusts roll them thinner than they come and place pie/s in the lower third of the oven to give the crust a chance to cook completely. Also, when done the pie will be a nice medium brown, though a better test is to gently shake the pie is if it seems to have set in the middle, it is done. You can also test by inserting a knife in the middle, if it comes out clean it’s ready. There will still be a slight jiggle to it but not a runniness.


Dorothy October 27, 2011 at 6:53 pm


Thank you for sharing your own heirloom recipe! I wish it didn’t make 3 pies…you know? I would love to be able to cut it in half and then keep 1 pie here and give one away. I will have to figure something out so I can try this one!.


patrice October 26, 2011 at 9:15 am

This recipe is similar to ostkaka, or Swedish cheesecake, but we don’t put the curds in a pie crust. Can’t wait to try this!


Dorothy October 26, 2011 at 9:34 am

How interesting! I will have to look that up!


Dorothy Reinhold October 14, 2013 at 4:30 pm

So glad you could relate to the importance of heritage recipes. It’s bittersweet to go through photos, recipes and artifacts from a parent’s life, isn’t it. Full circle.


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