Also known as Lithuanian Flowerpot cheese (saldus sūris) or Russian Paskha
From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh
This recipe makes 2 x 1 lb cottage cheese or sour cream tubs, washed well, holes poked in bottom for drainage and lined with damp cheesecloth. Or new plastic flower pots. People in my Lithuanian cooking demo said it was like a cheesecake.
“This rich and lovely addition to the Easter table is reputed to be of Russian origin, but is described as sweet cheese in books on Lithuanian traditions” – Treasures of Lithuanian Cooking. From(1960’s) Time-Life Foods of the World -Russian Cooking. “The Paskha is meant to be a marvel of cottage cheese, rich cream, eggs, raisins, almonds and candied fruits deposited in a four-sided, perforated wood frame in the shape of a truncated pyramid. The mold is lined with cheesecloth and weighed down so that the surplus liquid in the ingredients can seep out. The mold has more than a purely utilitarian function; it usually has a cross and an XB design carved on its inner sides, so that when the paskha emerges it is already decorated. XB stands for the Cyrillic initials of Christos Voskres, the greeting given at Easter Saturday Midnight Mass (therefore being Easter Sunday) of “Christ is risen” “Truly He is risen.” If the mold doesn’t have this imprint then the letter are spelled out on the outside of the cheese in fruits and nuts and they continue to celebrate for the next three days.” (The molds are available to buy on Amazon).
The original recipes would have used whisked raw eggs and sugar to enrich the cheese. In today’s salmonella-conscious world we either make an egg custard or purée hard boiled egg yolks. For cheese now we can buy the ‘Friendship’ brand of Farmers cheese or cottage cheese that we drain and then puree. They would have forced the cottage cheese (which would probably have been home made) through a sieve to give the smoother texture. We have the food processor.
Gluten-Free No Bake Easter Sweet Cheese Mold
Cookbooks say this will keep refrigerated for a week once removed from cheesecloth.