Russian-Style Farmers’ Cheese (Paskha)
This recipe is based on one in Please to the Table (Workman, 1990) by Anya von Bremzen. A clean, one-quart clay flowerpot can be used in lieu of the paskha mold. This recipe was published in our April 2010 issue with Anna Stockwell's article Easter Sweet.
Enlarge Image Credit: Todd Coleman1 lb. farmers' cheese,
preferably Friendship brand
4 oz. cream cheese, cubed and softened
3⁄4 cup sugar
3 hard-cooked egg yolks, crumbled
3⁄4 cup heavy cream
1⁄3 cup ground almonds
1⁄4 cup golden raisins
1⁄2 tsp. lemon extract
1⁄4 tsp. lemon zest
1⁄4 tsp. vanilla extract
1⁄2 vanilla bean, scraped, seeds reserved
Sliced or chopped fresh or candied fruit,
1. Put farmers' cheese, cream cheese, sugar, and egg yolks into the bowl of a food processor; pulse to combine. Add cream; process until smooth. Transfer cheese mixture to a large bowl. Add almonds, raisins, lemon extract, lemon zest, vanilla extract, and vanilla seeds; stir vigorously to combine.
2. Line a 1-qt. paskha mold or a clean 1-qt. flowerpot with a double layer of cheesecloth. Set mold in a bowl, transfer cheese mixture into lined mold, and fold ends of cheesecloth neatly over the top. Put a plate over wide end of mold and weigh down with a soup can. Refrigerate, allowing liquid to drain, for at least 12 hours. To serve, invert mold onto a serving plate and remove mold; remove the cheesecloth. Decorate with candied fruit, if you like.