Pashka with Ginger Melting Moments

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Preparation info

  • For

    Six

    Generous Portions
    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

The Sugar Club Cookbook

By Peter Gordon

Published 1997

  • About

I love to eat pashka on cold nights with stewed fruit or a simple biscuit, or both. The caramelised peaches are a wonderful accompaniment. The pashka can be made in one large mould or in several smaller ones. Small terracotta plant pots with a hole in the bottom look good and, as you will find, the hole is needed to allow liquid to drain from the dessert. The biscuits are based on a type I used to eat a lot of as a child. The original recipe is from the Edmonds Cookbook – that essential reference in all New Zealand kitchens.

Ingredients

Pashka

  • 200ml (7fl oz) milk
  • 60g (2oz) unrefined caster sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 50g (oz) plump raisins
  • 50g (oz) currants
  • 250g (9oz) cottage cheese
  • 275g (10oz) cream cheese
  • 80g (3oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 50g (oz) shelled pistachio nuts

Ginger Melting Moments (Makes 16)

  • 200g (7oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 60g (2oz) icing sugar
  • 125g (oz) plain flour
  • 125g (oz) cornflour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons peeled and finely grated or chopped fresh ginger

Method

Make the pashka first. Heat the milk and half the sugar in a pan, bring to the boil and remove from the heat. Whisk the remaining sugar, the egg yolks and the vanilla together and whisk the milk into this, mixing well. Return the mixture to the pan and stir continuously with a spoon over a moderate heat until the mix is thick enough to coat the spoon. Be careful not to overcook or it will curdle. When the consistency is right, pour it into a large bowl, add the raisins and currants and leave to cool to room temperature.

In a mixing bowl, beat together the cottage cheese, cream cheese and butter for a minute, then stir in the cooled custard and the nuts. Line a colander or individual moulds (with drainage holes) with calico or J-cloth and fill with the mixture. Fold the cloth over the top, place the moulds on a plate and leave in the fridge for at least 12 hours to drain and set.

For the biscuits, preheat the oven to 170°C/340°F/Gas 3—4. Cream the butter and sugar, then sift the flours and baking powder and add to the butter along with the ginger. Mix gently until the dough forms a ball. Divide this into quarters, then quarter again to give 16 pieces. Roll each into a ball and place, 4cm (1½in) apart, on baking parchment on a baking tray. Press the balls down with your fingers and put in the oven for 15 minutes, but don’t let them colour too much. When done, remove from the oven and allow to cool on the tray for a few minutes, then transfer to a cake rack to cool fully. Store in airtight jars.