I love Pashka - Russian Easter pudding!
Here's my recipe - well worth the time!
Paska / Pascha - Russian easter cheese pudding
Make at least 1 day before serving
1 lb / 16oz / 750g ricotta
1/4c / 75g sugar
4 egg yolks
1c / 150ml creme fraiche made from double cream 1c double cream
2 Tbsp buttermilk to make creme fraiche
1/2c / 100g blanched almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
1/2c / 100g dried fruit –
chopped apricots, cherries, golden raisins, currants
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 c brandy, cognac, or rum
Zest of a small orange
Zest of a lemon
Decorate with sliced almonds, flowers, zest, and fresh or dried fruit, defrosted berry reduction cooked w/ rum/brandy/cognac
You will need:
Sieve or other vessel for draining moisture from cheese
Hefty sheets or cheesecloth Can of soup to act as weight
In a small bowl, combine the chopped dried fruit and brandy, cognac, or rum. Set aside and let soak at least 20 min.
Chop almonds in mini food processor. Set aside in small bowl.
Beat the egg yolks and sugar together in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk.
Bring the creme fraiche to a boil in a small pan, then slowly pour into the egg/sugar mixture, whisking all the time.
Cook the egg mixture over a very low heat, stirring constantly with a silicon spatula, until the mixture thickens to an almost yoghurt consistency.
Chop dried fruit with brandy, cognac, or rum in processor.
Immediately pour the custard through a sieve (to remove lumps) into a bowl. Add the ricotta, vanilla, and zest of orange and lemon to the bowl and whisk (or use an electric beater) until smooth. Stir in the almonds and dried fruit with liquid.
Line a large sieve with cheesecloth or hefty towel and put the sieve raised in/on a bowl to catch moisture. Pour in the ricotta mixture, folding the edges of the muslin over the top to cover it. Fold cloth over top and add a can as weight if the sieve is strong enough. Leave to drain overnight in the fridge.
The next day, remove can and push down on cloth covering pashka while holding over sink to push out more moisture.
Turn the pashka out on to a cold plate. Decorate with almonds, flowers and fruit.