Tag Archives: Easter

Paskha – Russian Easter treat

 In the previous post I’ve told you about the traditional Easter cake – kulich. But there is one more no-bake dessert for Easter, it’s called ‘paskha’, which means Easter in Russian. It’s made in a special wooden or plastic pyramid-shaped mold, which called pasochnica. Of course, it’s not easy to find such mold, but it can be easily substituted with a clean flower pot or a bowl.
There are many variations of the Paskha but of course tvorog (farmer cheese) is a main ingredient and mixed with eggs and butter. Some recipes call to mix it with raw egg yolks, another with cooked, the quantity of butter may vary as well. To flavour the tvorog mixture adding some chopped candied fruits, nuts, cocoa powder. If you love soft, creamy desserts that reminds a no-crust cheesecake you should definitely prepare it! 🙂Russian Paskha

Paskha - Russian Easter treat with tvorog

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients
500g tvorog, dry preferable
60g butter, soft at room temperature (not melted)
50g chopped candied fruits like orange peel, pineapple, strawberry
50g raisins
1 large egg yolk
80-100g white sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar
80ml cream (20-30% fat)
  1. First of all you need to beat the tvorog with an electric mixer until very smooth or push it through a sieve two times.
  2. Whisk butter for a creamy consistency. Add to tvorog along with 50g candied fruits and 50g raisins.
  3. In a small bowl whisk egg yolk with sugar and vanilla.
  4. In a small saucepan warm cream, then pour it into the egg mixture and quickly stir. Pour back into the saucepan, simmer for a 3-4 minutes, whisking continuously. Stir the mixture into tvorog.
  5. Line a paskha mold or any suitable bowl with a double layer of wet cheesecloth, pour the tvorog mixture in, fold ends of cheesecloth on the top. Arrange a weight (it can be a can or jam jar) and put in the fridge for 12 hours or up to 24 hours; allowing whey (liquid) to drain. When it’s ready to serve – unmold, remove the the cheesecloth.
  6. Decorate with candied fruits, if desired. To serve cut a slice or eat with a spoon.

Russian Easter. Kulich

 Today is Paskha (Easter) in Russia, it’s a bright and warm festival that is celebrated among Orthodox Christians. One of the traditional and famous treats for this day are died eggs, kulichi and paskha (in my next post). During this day we congratulate each other and say ‘Христос Воскресе’ which means Christ is risen, and the reply is ‘Воистину Воскресе’ – indeed hi is risen.Easter cake-Kulich
 Kulich is a special Easter sweet cake/bread which usually has a cylindrical shape and decorated with white icing. It’s made from rich yeast dough; raisins, currants or candied fruits can be added. Traditionally kulichi have a cylindrical shape, and some Russian housewives use empty tins from pea or beans for that purpose. After baking and cooling kulichi is glazed with white icing (egg white or water with sugar) and decorated with edible sugar beads, flowers and thin candle. Kulichi and died eggs can be also blessed in church; a part of Easter treats usually is leaved in church for poor people.Kulich- Russian Easter cake

Kulich recipe {Russian Easter cake}

  • Servings: 2 pieces
  • Difficulty: moderate
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I used large eggs. Egg for the glazing need to be very fresh.
The dough should be soft, but if needed add more flour.
 

Ingredients

350g plain flour

5-6g yeast
small pinch of salt
130ml milk, warm
1 egg
1 egg yolk
70g white sugar (or 90-100g to make it sweeter)
1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla sugar
50g butter, very soft but not melted
60g raisins (golden)
60g currants (dark)
Icing
1 egg white
150-160g icing sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
Preparation method
  1. In a large mixing bowl, sift 100g of flour, add salt, yeast, warm milk and stir to combine. Cover with a wet kitchen towel and let it rise for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk a whole egg, egg yolk, vanilla and sugar with hand or electric mixer for 2-3 minutes until pale. Add egg mixture and butter to the dough, mix to combine. Sift the remaining flour and knead to combine. Cover again with wet kitchen towel and let it rise for 30-40 minutes.
  3. Wash raisins and currants, blot it up with paper towel, sprinkle with a teaspoon of flour – you need to cover all raisins with some flour, it allows them to be evenly distributed throughout the dough. Add raisins and currants to the dough, mix into the dough. Cover with wet kitchen towel and let it rise for 60 minutes.
  4. Line baking pans with baking paper, grease with butter. Divide the dough bettween two baking pans, the dough should occupy 3/4 of the volume. Cover and let it rise for 20-30 minutes.
  5. Bake in preheated 100C oven for 10 minutes, then in 180C for 30 minutes or until the toothpick inserted into it gets back dry. If the top become too golden – cover kulichi with a piece of foil or baking pepper.
  6. Take out of the oven, let it completely cool.
  7. For the icing, whisk egg white with few tablespoons of sugar and lemon juice until well combined. Or beat it with an electric mixer on a low speed. Gradually add more sugar and whisk again. Keep adding sugar until you gets the desired consistency (not too liquid).
  8. Spread the icing on top of each kulich with a tablespoon. Let it dry.

Enjoy!

Cover kulichi in the foil and keep in the fridge up to 3-4 days.

Russian Easter sweet cake -kulich

Braised Rabbit with red wine, prunes and thyme

 I’m sure you know that Easter is on the way (Catholic falls on April 5 and Orthodox April 12), and you’re probably planning what to cook, or searching your notes with traditional recipes. I think some of you have a special main course recipe for this occasion, or may be it’s a wide range of recipes. What will you choose this year? An elegant dish or simple&casual? I think, with spring bringing nice and pretty weather, that you’re likely to be in the mood for something hearty and light! 🙂Braised Rabbit I’ve always been partial to rabbit; when I’m visiting my parents in Russia I’m always pleased to eat a rabbit stewed in sour cream. It’s always tender and delicious, of course because it’s prepared by my mom. 😀 Today recipe is elegant and great for a special dinner! I’d like you to try rabbit with prunes and thyme, braised in red wine. It requires few ingredients to be transformed into a flavoursome meal! Enjoy!Braised Rabbit with prunes, juniper berries and thyme

Braised Rabbit with red wine, prunes and thyme

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients
1 rabbit, 1.3-1.5kg
water
1-2 tsp apple or wine vinegar, optional
2 tbsp olive oil
20g butter
1-2 garlic clove, peeled, chopped
5-6 shallots or 1 onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
4 black peppercorns, optional
4-5 juniper berries
12-15 prunes, pitted
4 springs thyme or 1 tsp dried
150ml dry red wine
100ml or more hot water, if needed
sea salt and white pepper to taste
Garnish
boiled or roasted potatoes
sour cream
Preparation method
  1. Joint the rabbit, wash it and put in a large bowl, fully cover the meat with water, add vinegar if using, then cover with a wrap and leave to marinate for 1-3 hours. It helps to make rabbit meat more tender and get rid of any unpleasant smell.
  2. Heat the oil and butter in a heavy-bottom pan on a medium-high heat.  Add the rabbit pieces and brown each side for 6-8 minutes or until golden colour. Take out the rabbit pieces and place aside. Don’t clean the pan.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium, add onions, garlic, peppercorns (if using), juniper berries, bay leaf, some thyme leaves and sauté for 3-5 minutes or until onion have softened. Add rabbit, pour over wine and scrape up the bottom of the pan. Bring to boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Fold in prunes and remaining thyme. Season to taste. The liquid should come half way up the rabbit pieces. So, add some water, if needed. Reduce heat to low, cover with a lid (keep a small slit) and braise the rabbit for 45 minutes. Now turn the rabbit pieces on the other side, adjust the seasoning, again cover the pan with a lid and braise for further 40-45 minutes. The rabbit should be easily pulling off the bone.
  5. Serve with sliced boiled/roasted potatoes, or rice. Add a tablespoon of sour creme, if desired.