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easter 2010

Paskha is a traditional Russian or Nordic Easter dessert made from fresh cheeses or quark and cream, studded with fruits and nuts. It is made to celebrate and break the traditional fasting of Lent, or 40 days that precede Easter when foods such as dairy are forbidden.

Classically Paskha would have been made in one large wooden mould called a "pasotchnitza" and contain golden fruits such as golden raisins, Glacé apricots, peaches and almonds. I've used my creative licence to make these individual moulds studded with chopped pistachios, lime citrus and cranberries in 6 x 6cm terracotta flower pots lined with muslin or cheesecloth. These work perfectly to drain the extra whey from the sweet cheese dessert.

  • Easter Paskha with Cranberries and Pistachios
  • 250 grams of ricotta cheese
  • 250 grams of mascarpone cheese
  • 100 grams of caster sugar
  • Grated zest of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 60ml of cream, double cream if it's available
  • ½ cup of chopped toasted pistachios
  • ½ cup of chopped bitter-sweet chocolate
  • ½ cup of dried cranberries
  • ½ cup of Glacé citrus peel
  • blueberry compote or other fruit to serve
  1. Clean and dry the 6 terracotta pots well.
  2. Line each pot with a double layer of muslin, making sure there is plenty of excess to hang over the sides.
  3. In a large bowl add the ricotta, mascarpone, caster sugar, lime and vanilla and beat well until smooth.
  4. Add in the finely chopped chocolate, pistachios, citrus and cranberries.
  5. In another bowl whip the cream lightly, then carefully fold it into the cheese and fruit mixture.
  6. Share the mixture evenly between the 6 muslin lined pots and fold over the excess.
  7. Place the pot onto a tray and cover each with a small saucer with place a weight on top.
  8. Refrigerate overnight.
  9. When ready to serve remove the Paskha from the fridge and invert each pot onto serving plate, peeling off the muslin.
  10. Spoon a little blueberry compote along side and enjoy!

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