Pashka, the Russian word for Easter and also the traditional accompaniment to kulich, is a creamy mix of fresh curd cheese, such as cottage or ricotta, and eggs, almonds and glacé fruit. It is great smeared over a slice of kulich. In Russia the symbols XB are usually pressed on the side, which in Cyrillic script stands for Christ has risen. You can make a large one to share or smaller individual ones.
- 600 gm fresh cottage cheese (see note)
- 180 gm caster sugar
- 90 gm unsalted butter, softened
- 90 gm each of glacé red cherries and candied cedro (see note), finely chopped
- 60 gm sultanas
- 45 gm whole blanched almonds
- 3 eggs
- 1½ tsp vanilla bean paste (see note)
- 80 gm sour cream (1/3 cup)
- 1Using the back of a spoon, press cottage cheese through a fine sieve placed over a bowl. Add remaining ingredients, except sour cream, and stir to combine. Add sour cream and stir until mixture is smooth.
- 2Line six 1 cup-capacity plastic flower pots or pudding moulds with a hole in the base with muslin, allowing excess to overhang. Divide mixture among moulds and fold over muslin to cover. Place on a tray and weight down with food cans. Refrigerate until firm (about 1 hour), then unmould and serve with slices of <a href="kulich.htm">kulich</a> to the side. Pashka will keep, refrigerated in an airtight container, for up to 3 days.
Fresh cottage cheese is much drier than tub cottage cheese. It’s available from select delicatessens. If unavailable, substitute with ricotta. Candied cedro is available from David Jones Foodhalls. If unavailable, substitute with other candied fruit. Vanilla bean paste is available from
and select supermarkets. If unavailable, substitute with vanilla extract.