Russian Cheese Pascha

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb cottage cheese, dry-curd
  • 1 c sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 pk farmer’s cheese (7 1/5 oz)
  • 1 c raspberry jam, seedless
  • 3/4 c butter, unsalted, softened
  • 2 tsp lemon rind, grated
  • 6 drops red food colouring (optional)
  • 1/3 c raisins, golden
  • 1/4 c orange peel, candied, chopped
  • 1/4 c almonds, ground
  • Candied cherries for garnish
  • Almonds, sliced for garnish
  1. Line pascha mould or clean 7 1/2×5″ plastic or unglazed flower pot with drainage hole with 3 double-thicknesses of cheesecloth.
  2. Place it on wire rack set over cake pan.
  3. Place 1/2 pound cottage cheese, the sugar and eggs in food processor or blender.
  4. Whirl, scraping down side as necessary, until smooth.
  5. Scrape into medium-size saucepan.
  6. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 6 minutes or until mixture almost comes to boiling or instant-read thermometer registers 150F.
  7. Stir in vanilla extract.
  8. Pour into large bowl to cool.
  9. Working in 2 batches, add remaining cottage cheese, farmer’s cheese, jam, butter, lemon rind and food colouring, if using, to food processor or blender.
  10. Whirl, scraping down side.
  11. Whisk into bowl with cooked cheese mixture.
  12. Stir in raisins, orange peel and almonds.
  13. Pour into prepared mould.
  14. Fold excess cheesecloth over top; cover with plastic wrap.
  15. Place flat-bottomed plate or saucepan, slightly smaller than diameter of mould, on top to weight.
  16. Refrigerate for 3 hours.
  17. Weight top with two 23-ounce cans or heavy iron skillet.
  18. Drain for 2 days in refrigerator or until center is firm.
  19. Refrigerate up to 1 week.
  20. Unmould and remove cheesecloth.
  21. Decorate mould with candied fruits and almonds.
  22. Slice into wedges and serve as cheesecake, or spread on Babka Wielkanocna.

 

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