Easter Cheese from Ukraine (Paska)

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Easter Cheese from Ukraine (Paska)
  1. Combine farmer cheese, cream cheese, butter, and egg yolks in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment; mix on low speed to combine. Add sugar, vanilla extract, lemon juice, lemon zest, and orange zest; mix until Paska mixture is smooth.

  2. Line a sieve with dampened cheesecloth, leaving an overhang on all sides. Place over a plate that will catch any additional liquid that drains out.

  3. Spoon Paska mixture into cheesecloth. Fold the ends of the cheesecloth over the mixture. Cover with a plate and set a heavy weight on top.

  4. Chill until Paska is firm, overnight to 24 hours.

  5. Remove weighted plate and unfold cheesecloth ends. Use cheesecloth ends to lift Paska out. Invert onto a plate and peel away cheesecloth.

Cook’s Note:

Substitute almond extract for the vanilla extract if desired.

Editor’s Note:

This dessert is traditionally made in a pyramid-shaped mold called a “pasotchnitza,” though a conical sieve or clean terra cotta flower pot with a hole in the bottom can be used to achieve the pyramid shape. A regular sieve or colander can also be used to produce a round shape.

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