My mother makes Kulich (Russian Easter Bread) and Sernaya Paska (a yummy sweet cheese, cream spread) every Easter. The white pyramid looking thing with the cross on it is the Sernaya Paska. I don’t have a special mold so mine looks like a rounded dome. I’m including a recipe for the spread and a link to a recipe for Kulich. We eat the bread with the paska or slather it with sour-cream. My mom’s is the best and we’ve documented how she makes it and hopefully we’ll continue the tradition. You use empty, clean, 1 or 2 lb. coffee tins to bake the bread in.
Update for Easter 2008 ~ I’ll be adding my mother’s recipe for Kulich before Easter this year. Click here for the recipe.
Ingredients: 18 – hard boiled eggs / 3 pounds Farmers cheese / 1 pint whipping cream / 3 cubes unsalted butter (12 oz.) / 3 cups sugar /
Press the Farmers cheese through a sieve. (This is the hardest part of the recipe) I usually use a wooden spoon and press it through a wire strainer a little at a time. Separate the egg yolks from the whites. (You will not be using the whites). Press the egg yolks through the sieve. Cream the sugar and butter together. Beat in the egg yolks. Beat in the cheese. Add whipping cream and mix well. You will place the mixture into a strainer lined with about 3 layers of cheesecloth. You will need enough cheesecloth to wrap up and over the top of the cheese. Place the cheese mixture into the cheese cloth lined strainer. Bring the ends of the cheese cloth up and tie the ends on top of the cheese in a knot. Place the sieve into a larger bowl suspended with enough room for the cheese to drain without sitting in the drained liquid. Place a plate on top of the cheese an place a heavy rock, brick, or other weight on top of the plate. Refrigerate over night.
Update #1: I used a plastic flower pot for my Seerney Paska and added more holes to the bottom. I got the shape I wanted and it drained well.
New tip: Use a potato ricer instead of a wire strainer for the egg yolks.
Update #2: This Sernaya Paska recipe is for a huge amount (enough for my huge extended family). If you just want a normal amount, cut the recipe in thirds. (6 cooked egg yolks, 1-lb. cheese, 2/3 cup whipping cream, 1 cube butter and 1 cup sugar. Enjoy!
Tip #2: If you don’t get around to baking Kulich you can substitute a good Panettone for the bread. Hard to find this time of year because most stores stock it at Christmas, not Easter. If you are fortunate to have a Italian food store near you they seem to stock it year round. I bought the most plain one I could find (not easy) It had raisens and candied orange and lemon bits in it. It was a good substitute nevertheless!
ht: Vera Titov/Nadia Bagdanov ~ recipe for Sernaya Paska