Pashka is an eastern European sweetened cheese spread that is served on Easter with Russian Kulich, a moist, sweet bread containing dried and candied fruit and nuts. It also makes a delicious pudding-type dessert on its own.
While hands-on time is minimal, the cottage and ricotta cheeses need to drain thoroughly, so plan to start your Pashka a day or to ahead.
1 pound cottage cheese
1 15 oz. container ricotta cheese
4 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 8 oz. package cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup currants
1/4 cup chopped dried cherries
1/2 cup blanched almonds, finely chopped
Currants, for garnish
Dried cherries, for garnish
- Place the cottage cheese and ricotta cheese in a fine strainer, cover with a small plate, then weight it down with something heavy (such as a large jar of fruit or heavy cans).
- Place the strainer over a bowl to catch the juice.
- Let drain for several hours in the refrigerator.
- Meanwhile, whisk the yolks, sugar, and heavy cream in a microwaveable container; microwave for 2 minutes.
- Remove from the microwave and whisk; microwave 1 minute, then whisk and microwave 1 more minute or until thickened. Watch closely so it doesn't boil over. Set aside to cool.
- When the cottage and ricotta cheeses have drained, transfer them to the bowl of a food processor along with the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla.
- Process until the mixture is smooth.
- Alternately, beat until smooth with a mixer.
- Add the custard mixture to the cheese mixture and pulse a few times to mix.
- Using a zester, zest several strips of peel from the lemon; set aside for garnish.
- Using a Microplane or fine grater, remove the remaining peel and stir it into the cheese mixture with the currants, cherries, and almonds.
- Line a 1-2 quart clean new clay flowerpot with several layers of cheesecloth.
- Pour the mixture into the lined flowerpot, cover with more cheesecloth, and weigh the mixture down; refrigerate several hours or overnight.
- Alternately, line a bowl with plastic wrap and pour the mixture in; cover with more plastic wrap.
- Unmold onto serving plate, removing the cheesecloth.
- With currants, make the letters X B (which stands for "Christ has risen" in Cyrillic script) on the side of the pashka.
- Decorate the top with lemon rind strips, cherries, and slivered almonds.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 225 Calories from Fat 148
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 66% Protein 12% Carb. 23%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 16 g
Saturated Fat 9 g
Cholesterol 80 mg
Sodium 164 mg
Total Carbohydrate 13 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 7 g
Vitamin A 12% Vitamin C 2% Calcium 0% Iron 3%