Paskha (Russian-Style Farmers’ Cheese)
This recipe is based on one in Please to the Table (Workman, 1990) by Anya von Bremzen.
Yield: serves 8
- 1 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, for garnish
- 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.
- 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.