Sunday, April 12, 2009

Syrna Paskha- Ukrainian Easter Cheesecake or "Flower Pot Cheesecake"

Every Easter since I can remember, my Aunt Olha has made this dessert, which she learned from her mother.  I remember her always showing up at whoever's home we were eating at that year with a flowerpot in her hand.  As a child, I always thought it was kind of strange, but as I got older I realized that this delicious dessert would be brought forth from inside the pot.  

The flowerpot is integral to the success of this no-bake dish, as the terracotta absorbs moisture from the ingredients through a layer of cheesecloth.  After sitting overnight, the flowerpot is upended onto a plate, the cheesecloth unwrapped, and the eating can begin!

The recipe is simple: hard boiled egg yolks and basket (or farmers) cheese, is pushed through a sieve to break up, then mixed with butter and sugar. Raisins, orange zest, and vanilla are added for flavor.  

Behold my step-by step tutorial of how to unwrap:

Once out of the fridge unwrap the top of the cheesecloth

Turn over flowerpot onto a plate

remove the flowerpot

remove the cheesecloth and eat!

Syrna Paskha (Ukrainian Easter Cheesecake)
courtesy my Aunt Olha.


5 hard boiled egg yolks
1 lb farmer or basket cheese
1.5 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c sugar
3 tbs white raisins
3 tbs orange zest
.5 tsp vanilla
.5 tsp liqueur, if desired

Press egg yolks and cheese through a large, ordinary metal strainer into a bowl.  Add butter and sugar and blend with a mixer until smooth and fluffy. Add raisins, zest, vanilla, and liquer, if using and blend.  Do not overbeat.  Line an earthenware flowerpot with a piece of cheesecloth and spoon the mixture into the pot, wrap cheesecloth over top of mixture to cover.  Place pot on a saucer (add a can on top to weigh it down if you like).  Place in refrigerator overnight.  Moisture may drain out through the hole in the bottom of the flower pot (so saucer is important is you don't want a messy fridge).  The next day, the cheesecake will come out easily by lifting the cheesecloth or upending on a plate.

1 comment:

pinkstripes said...

Wow. How cool. I've never heard of it, but it looks neat.