This is an ethnic treat. Pashka means Easter in Russian and is used to describe both the bread and sweet cheese that is an Easter tradition.
Pashka cheese, a spread that uses farmers cheese mixed with sugar, almonds, dried fruit and is drained overnight. You will need a good size piece of cheese cloth - enough to wrap the cheese with a double layer. Get the recipe for Pashka bread . If you are not into baking bread you could substitute Hot Cross Buns.
I used to work for the Internation Civil Aviation Organization in Montreal. It is a United Nations specialized agency whose purpose is to promote adherence to the Chicago convention of aviation safety standards and norms. In layman's terms they work to ensure that airline practices in all 191 member states adhere to global norms. Training of airport staff, equipment, air traffic control practices should all be the same anywhere you fly so you can land and take off just as safely in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, South America or anywhere in the world. A lot of that is accomplished by the UN sending in staff and trainers from developed nations to train other less developed nations. In a perfect world - the programme runs its course and at the end the developing nation is proficient and self sufficient in meeting global aviation standards.
Our immediate team did indeed reflect the United Nations - Egyptian, Canadian, Belgian, Australian and Russian. And that was just in a 10 desk radius! The rest of the building reflected all the member states!
All this to say- the first time I had Pashka my co-worker of Russian extraction brought it in for an office treat. I had never seen or even heard of it before. But I was hooked from the first bite!
Sweet but not too sweet, tender sweet pastry/bread... what's not to like!
I do make it occasionally but not in the quantities that the traditional recipes call for. For Russian, Ukranian, Serbian, Polish people this is an Easter staple and they make huge quantities.
The recipe below will make about 2- 2 ½ cups of the cheese spread.
Pashka (Easter Cheese)
- 1 lb dry curd farmer's cheese you can sub ricotta)
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 ⅓ cups icing sugar
- ¼ cup whipping cream
- ¼ cup ground almonds
- ½ cup dried fruit raisins, apricots
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 oz unsalted butter room temperature
- ½ cup dried fruit, diced raisins, apricots
- In the top of a double boiler mix the egg yolks and sugar. Add cream and heat until barely simmering- just bubbles around the edge of the sauce pan.
- Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients. Stir really well. The longer you stir the better the texture.
- Line a fine seive (or a clay flower pot or a Pashka mold) with cheese cloth. Turn the cheese mixture into the cheese cloth, Wrap the cloth to cover the cheese. Set the seive over a bowl to catch any liquid and refrigerate 24 hours.
- Remove cheese cloth, turn out onto a serving plate and serve with Pashka bread.