Friday, 25 March 2016


“Easter is meant to be a symbol of hope, renewal, and new life.” - Janine di Giovanni

Pashka is a Russian Easter traditional dessert, a sort of custardy cheesecake without the biscuit base, traditionally shaped in a pyramid mould. Pashka means Easter and the dessert may be decorated with the letters XB, from “Christos Voskres”, the Russian for “Christ is Risen”.

3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup granulated sugar
A pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 cups small-curd cream-style cottage cheese
1⁄4 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup chopped mixed candied fruit
1⁄3 cup finely chopped blanched almonds

Mix egg yolks and whipping cream in a heavy saucepan. Stir in the sugar and salt. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture just coats a metal spoon (about 12 to 15 minutes).
Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Place saucepan in cold water until custard is cool. If custard curdles, beat with hand beater until smooth.
Place 3 cups of the cottage cheese and 2 tablespoons of the butter in blender container. Cover and blend on medium speed, stopping blender occasionally to scrape sides, until smooth. Repeat with remaining cottage cheese and butter.
Stir custard into cheese mixture until smooth. Stir in candied fruit and almonds.
Line a 2-litre non-clay flower pot (or any form dish with opening in the bottom, like a flower pot has; a colander works well!) with a double layer of dampened cheesecloth. Pour cheese mixture into pot; fold ends of cheesecloth over top. Place pot on cake rack in shallow pan; place weights on top. Refrigerate 12 to 24 hours, pouring off any liquid that accumulates in pan. To serve, unmould onto serving plate; remove cheesecloth. Garnish as desired with additional candied fruit and blanched almonds. Refrigerate any remaining dessert.

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