Paskha (Russian Easter No Bake Cottage Cheese Cake) Recipe

Paskha and kulich cakes are traditionally cooked and eaten at Russian Orthodox Easter to break the fast. This is a Paskha recipe that is used in my family for more than 100 years. See this recipe and this recipe for the alternative methods and some useful tips.

Utensils
  • Paskha mould (or pudding bowl, if unavailable);
  • Thin cotton cloth (or gauze folded several times) to line the mould;
  • A colander;
  • A saucepan;
  • A meat grinder or a food processor;
  • Mortar and pestle, if you are using cardamom pods;
  • Small grater, if you are using the whole nutmeg.
Ingredients
  • 1.5kg cottage cheese;
  • 300ml sugar;
  • 500g butter;
  • 6 eggs.
  • 200ml walnuts and/or almonds;
  • 400ml raisins/dry apricots (whatever you like);
  • 1tbsp cognac;
  • Nutmeg, whole or ground, to taste;
  • Cardamom, in pods (7 or 8 pods) or ground, to taste;
  • Vanilla extract, to taste.
Directions
  1. Drain cottage cheese: wrap it in a cloth, put it in the colander and put something heavy (1kg+) on top of it, put it all in the refrigerator and leave for a few hours to drain;
  2. Place raisins and dry apricots into a bowl, wash them if needed, then add some water, and allow them to soften. Pat dry when sufficiently moist;
  3. If you are using the whole nutmeg, grind it (better quality than ready-made grind nutmeg);
  4. If you are using cardamom pods, peel the seeds and crush them using a mortar and pestle (better quality than ready-grind cardamom);
  5. Peel almonds and walnuts and cut them;
  6. Cut the apricots into raisin-sized pieces;
  7. Make cottage cheese homogeneous; use a meat grinder or a food processor;
  8. Melt the butter in the saucepan;
  9. Beat the eggs and the sugar;
  10. Incorporate the eggs and sugar mix into the melted butter;
  11. Gradually incorporate cottage cheese;
  12. Incorporate the taste ingredients and gently mix (raisins and apricot pieces should not get misshapen);
  13. Put the saucepan onto a hob on low heat, and stir regularly;
  14. Line your paskha mould with the cloth or prepare your pudding bowl.;
  15. Once the content of the saucepan starts to boil (you have seen about 10 bubbles), take it off the hob and let it cool a little so that the butter is no longer very liquid;
  16. Put the cottage cheese mixture into the paskha mould/pudding bowl, and put something underneath because some melted butter could leak;
  17. Put it in the fridge and keep it there until you are ready to serve it.

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