Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Russian Pascha Treats for Bright Week...

Ilya Kavernez - Joyous Resurrection - source

Today I'm sharing my recipe for Russian "Sweet Pascha Cheese", a traditional Russian treat put into Easter baskets and served at Pascha and during Bright Week to accompany "Kulich", a delectable sweet bread (click here for the bread recipe).  There are lots of authentic Russian Pascha Cheese recipes out there - this is a fairly simple one - "tried and true" - that was passed along to me by a friend who has made it for years.

3 lbs Farmers Cheese (or Ricotta)
1 1/2 lb. unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 pints whipping cream
2 T. + 2 t. vanilla extract
4 c. granulated sugar
5 egg yolks*

Procedure: (Do this a week in advance)  1- Gather all your ingredients before you start.
2- Line 6" clay pots with 2 layers of cheesecloth, letting the edges hang over so you'll have extra to cover the top when you're done.  (You'll need at least four 6" clay pots - or you can mix 6" and 3".  I ran into trouble because this recipe made so much and I didn't have enough pots - luckily, my daughter had some mini ones that we filled!
3- Beat the butter, vanilla, and sugar until light.  Add egg yolks one at a time, beating until creamy. Add farmer's cheese until blended. (The eggs in this recipe are uncooked - go here to decide if you're comfortable with this.  If not, there is a version of the recipe without eggs here.)
4- Whip the cream in a chilled bowl, until soft peaks form.
5- Fold in the whipped cream to incorporate it with the cheese mixture.
6- Pour into prepared pots and cover with the over-lapping cheese cloth.
7- Put all the pots in the refrigerator, placing a saucer (or weight) on top and paper towels or a pan underneath, so any extra liquid can drain out.

8- After 5-7 days, the cheese is ready to un-mold.  Note: You can put it on a plate with edible flowers or strawberries around the edge.  We made a bunch of pots - a large one to share at our church celebration and some smaller ones to give away and enjoy at home! Here was the finished product - it tasted like cheesecake!  Symbolism: Cheese is something Orthodox Christians fast from during the 40 days of Lent.  White symbolizes the purity of Christ and the Joy of the Resurrection!


  1. Replies
    1. Funny you say that - it was my reaction exactly the first time I ever tasted it - like food from heaven: sweet, and light as a cloud! :)

  2. Yours turned out so beautiful. ♥ Someone else in our parish also decorated their cheese Pascha with fresh fruit....I think I will do that in the future!

    1. Thanks, Martha - some year I might get a mold...then the cheese would have an imprint of the cross! Fruit was easy - at home, we did blackberries and strawberries - so beautiful against the white!

  3. I am giving this recipe to my European husband who is a great cook. This is something I enjoy for the ideas bring memories of my lovely Swedish-American grandmother who always created baskets of candy, cakes and flowers for different holidays-May Day to celebrate the farmers planting in Spring-to thank GOD, and Mother's Day. (I cannot write of Mother's Day yet, for my grief over my mother's death is too near. I shall be able to perhaps after seeing my sister who took care of mother, when no one in my family cared.
    Again, thanks for this wonderful element-Religious historical and cultural facts and crafts of the Russian Country-past and present. Mrs. ATK