Topfen is a fresh, moist cheese with very small curds pressed into blocks and the basis for many central European desserts. In America, the best substitute is farmer’s cheese. Use whole-milk cheese and not the low-fat variety. It is available at well-stocked cheese stores and many supermarkets. If necessary, substitute small-curd cottage cheese (not creamy- or California-style, which are too liquid), rubbed through a coarse-meshed sieve.
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