Russian Friday – Vanilla Paskha

We, Russians, like to take our time with everything (I can see my husband nodding here). This year it includes Easter celebrations.  Russian Orthodox Easter is on the 5th of May. Naturally, I’m taking my time to publish this traditional recipe. Last year I was a bit unprepared, and paskha didn’t look anything like it supposed to; but I’m well equipped now.  If you like cheesecake kind of substances, here is a delicious no-bake dessert!

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Vanilla Paskha

From While Chasing Kids | Desserts | Russian

Another traditional Russian Easter dish, a symbol of joy and blissful eternity.

12:35
00:05
12:30

cal Calories 138kcal

fat Total Fat 7g

sat fat Saturated Fat 4g

chol Cholesterol 21mg

sodium Sodium 242mg

carbs Total Carbohydrate 13g

Serving size 43g Calories from fat 63kcal Fiber 0g Protein 6g Sugar 11g
20 servings

Ingredients

  • 300 g low-fat farmers cheese
  • 300 g low-fat sour cream
  • 150 g sugar
  • 100 g raisins
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Directions

  1. Mash fresh dry farmers cheese through a strainer. Add sour cream and mix to incorporate. Fold a cheese cloth 2-3 times and place the farmers cheese mixture in the center. Make a bundle and tie it above the sink or a deep dish for 12 hours.
  2. After the whey is strained, add the remaining ingredients. Mix to incorporate.
  3. Line the paskha mold with a thin layer of fresh cheese cloth. Fill it in with the farmers cheese mixture. Press a weight on top of the mold and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
  4. Carefully remove the mold and peel off the cheese cloth. Garnish with fresh berries, raisins, chocolate or caramel. Traditionally a candle would be placed on top of paskha.

Tips

  • To add some zing to the flavor, soak raisins in rum for about 30 minutes. Drain before adding the raisins to paskha.

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Христос Воскресе!

 

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Farmers Cheese

You know that moment when a certain taste or smell makes your heart skip a beat and brings you to THE happy place?  This weekend I took such trip down the memory lane.  It was very well planned, but nevertheless immensely pleasant.    

No, I didn’t order my father’s favorite cologne from Russia (though I’m sure it’d do the job!).  I prepared farmers cheese.  Savoring it brought me right back to my babushka’s house.  Sweet and nostalgic at the same time… Anyways, I hope I just planted that magic trigger into my kids’ hearts, and they would think of us every time they stumble upon this cheese.

It’s not very common in the States.  The texture is really close to goat cheese though has a milder flavor.  Making it is a journey by itself. 

Print this recipe

HOMEMADE FARMERS CHEESE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 gallon (3.78 liters) raw milk
  • 1/2 pint (236 ml) buttermilk

Yields about 700 g

DIRECTIONS:

Combine raw milk and buttermilk in a large jar (I used this 5 Liter glass canning jar).  Leave at a room temperature to ferment for about 12 hours).  Cover with a lid but don’t clamp it.

At the end of the fermentation some cream will separate and the mixture will become very thick.

Fill a large pot 1/2 way with water and warm it up on the stove.

When the water is almost boiling (about 180° F /approx. 80º C or higher) carefully place the jar into the pot.  It doesn’t matter if the water is below the milk level.  Let it heat up for about 10 minutes.  The milk will start separating into curds (solid) and whey (liquid).

Line up a large colander with a large cheese cloth folded twice.  Carefully dump the milk mixture into it and drain.  You may have to use a spoon to empty the jar.  Tie a knot with a cheese cloth and hang it above a dish or your kitchen sink for a couple hours.

If you don’t fully drain it, the farmers cheese will be very soft and tender, ready to eat.

A drier farmers cheese is perfect for cooking (I’m sure the recipes will follow).

Store in the fridge, also could be frozen for future use.

Enjoy!

You can enjoy your farmers cheese as is, mix it up with milk or sour cream to spread it on your bagel, sweeten it with honey, or sugar, or jam, or bake with it, add it to salads, make it salty, add herbs.  The options are unlimited and Russians have gazillion recipes to prove it!

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