Method

For a medium-size mold, use 7–8 lbs fresh farmer’s cheese. Weight the cheese (tvorog) for 24 hours. Rub the pressed cheese through a coarse sieve and add 1 glass very fresh sour cream, ½ lb very fresh butter, 2 teaspoons salt, and ½ glass or more sugar, according to taste. Mix everything as well as possible until no lumps remain, and pile into a wooden mold* lined with a clean, thin napkin. Cover with a board or plank and place a heavy stone on top. After 24 hours carefully unmold the paskha onto a platter.

Wooden mold for making paskha.

Paskha unmolded and decorated. From Molokhovets, 1917.

*Special tall, wooden, hinged molds were used for making paskhas. Usually they were shaped like a pyramid with the Cyrillic letters XB (standing for “Christ is risen”) carved into one side. Often, but not always, the molds were collapsible. Clay flower pots are a good modern substitute for the traditional wooden molds.

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