Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A creamy Easter paskha with cooked egg yolks

Easter paskha No 3 / Lihavõttepasha nr 3

Some of my American readers may have noticed a recipe for paskha in the April 2010 issue of Saveur. Saveur describes paskha as "a rich, airy sweetened cheese that's traditionally served in Russian homes to break the meat- and dairy-free Lenten fast. ... Made with a Russian farmers' cheese called tvorog, as well as cream, egg yolks, butter, and sugar, the treat is flavoured with vanilla and studded with golden raisins. Then the pashka is pressed into a mold and chilled to set." Although it's not traditionally Estonian, it's pretty popular here.

I happen to love pashka, and have been making it for, well, ages :) I've shared one of my favourite pashka recipes before, but there are several ways of making this dessert. There are cooked versions and uncooked paskhas, paskhas containing raw eggs, cooked eggs or no eggs. Here's one (out of three!) I made last Spring - it's uncooked, contains cooked egg yolks - and is thus quite similar to the recipe printed in this month's Saveur.

Highly recommended. The Saveur article recommends using the Friendship brand farmers cheese instead of tvorog, if you can't get hold of the real thing.

Paskha with Egg Yolks
(Kohupiimapasha keedetud munarebudega)
Serves 8 to 10

75 g unsalted butter, softened
125 g caster sugar
2 hard-boiled egg yolks
500 g curd cheese
100 ml whipping cream, whipped until soft peaks form
0.5 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp candied orange peel
4 Tbsp chopped almonds

toasted almond slices and orange segments, to garnish

Cream the butter with about one third of the eggs. Press the egg yolks through the sieve and add to the butter. Add vanilla extract, the rest of the sugar, curd cheese, whipped cream, candied orange peel and chopped almonds.
Line a pashka tin or a large sieve with a wet cheesecloth square. Spoon the curd cheese mixture into the pashka mold and place the whole thing on top of another bowl or over the sink, allowing the liquid to drain (depending whether you want to catch the whey* or not).
Refrigerate in a cool place for at least 24 hours.
Turn onto a serving dish, remove the cheesecloth. Garnish with toasted almonds and orange segments.

* This can be used instead of milk or water when making yeast buns.


kitty said...

kas õige sõna inglise keeles pole mitte "paskha" (pro "pashka")?

David G. said...

Having raved about your site to my wife, she looked it up and noticed this recipe. It was a fantastic Easter treat. We cant wait to try more of your dishes!

Pille said...

Kitty - mõlemad kirjapildid on levinud, aga jah, Sinu pakutud paskha on korrektsem.

David - glad to hear that you enjoyed the pashka!!! Did you use eggs from your own Eglu-housed chicken? ;)

Good for you, Orlando-bankruptcy attorney. As for the Tampa attorneys - you cannot be so smart up there, can you? The post starts with a definition of paskha, so not sure how much clearere I can put it for you :D

Marie M. said...

Paskha! Boy, oh boy. My Russian mother died several years ago taking her simply delicious Paskha and Koolich (sp.?) recipes with her. This recipe looks pretty similar to what I remember. Although I seem to remember sieving lots more egg yolks. Any good Koolich recipes? Please!

Tiffy said...

Tere Pille!

I made this pasha for Easter brunch, which we had for the family today - it was amazing! Even though I could not find my pasha mold.

My daughter made a blue cheese and pear tart and apple croissants also from your Easter recipes - also just wonderful... You are a hero in my house!

Thank you and Happy Easter!