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Russian Easter Recipes
March 27, 2008 20:23


Russian Easter feast is paskha made of curds and shaped as a truncated pyramid, which symbolizes the Holy Sepulchre. A special sectional wooden mould was traditionally used for cooking this rich festive dish. Don’t get upset if you have no such a mold – just use whatever mold you can get or an ordinary colander. Paskha must be made of curds of the highest quality; home-made curd is best of all. It is rather an expensive and time-taking dish, yet in the face of the great holiday of Pascha a housewife would cope with any difficulties. Modern cooks might as well use a mixer to whisk curd thoroughly to make it airy and delicate in a simpler way. There are two major types of paskha: unboiled and scalded ones.

Unboiled Paskha

 Ingredients: 2,5 kg curd, 200g butter, 200-300 g granulated sugar, 250 g sour cream, salt to taste, candied fruit, raisins and nuts (optional).

Instructions: Thoroughly rub curd through a sieve twice. Mash butter with sugar till the mass is white; add sour cream to it and go on mashing it till the granules of sugar completely disappear. Mix the creamy stuff with curd, add salt, candied fruit, nuts and raisins if you have decided to use them. Fill a mould with the paste, put it under a small press and leave in a fridge for 12 hours.

Scalded Paskha

 Ingredients: 2 kg curds, 200-400 g butter, 400-800 g sour cream, 6-10 eggs, 300 g sugar, salt to taste, candied fruit, raisins, and nuts (optional).

Instructions: Rub curds and butter through a sieve twice, add sour cream, eggs, and sugar and mix very well to creamy paste. Put it on the stove and slowly bring to boil, while stirring it slowly with a wooden stick to not let it burn. Once it starts boiling, put it off immediately and cool it down as fast as possible, also stirring it all the time. When the paste is cool, mix in candied fruit, raisins, and nuts, a bit of salt and some vanilla powder if you wish. If you don’t have a special mould, take a colander, line it with slightly moist cheesecloth, fill with the prepared stuff and cover it with a plate. Put a small press on it and leave in the fridge for 12-24 hours. Keep in mind that moist will trickle down from the colander, so put something under it. When your paskha is firm enough take it out of the mould and serve.



Simple Kulich

 Ingredients (you can use half or quarter of all): 1 kg flour, 600 g milk, 50-70 g fresh yeast, 20 eggs, 200-300 g granulated sugar, 500 g butter, rum and raisins (optional), salt to taste, some oil, and more flour, depending on how much will be required.

Instructions: Dissolve yeast in lukewarm milk and leave to froth. Mix flour with warm boiled milk and yeast. Cover it with a cotton napkin or a towel and put into a warm place to ferment for 2-3 hours.When batter is done resting, add melted butter, 10 yolks whisked with sugar to white, and salt, and mix well. Then mix in very well foamed egg whites and carefully add flour to make the dough thick enough. Knead it well, add rum and raisins and knead 5 minutes more. Place in an oiled bowl and oil or butter the dough to prevent appearance of crust. Leave it for 2-3 hours until it rises. Knead it again to remove carbonic acid. Roll the dough into balls and place each ball into a greased metal mould (deep narrow pans will also fit). Bake in the oven at 180C. Baking time will vary depending on size of pans. When cake is done remove it from pan and butter the crust. Place on baking rack to cool. Drizzle with glaze icing, if you wish.

Scalded Kulich

 Ingredients: 600 g flour, ¾ liter milk, 50-70g fresh yeast, 4 eggs, 500 g granulated sugar, 700 g butter, salt to taste and more flour, whatever additional amount will be required.

Instructions: Scald flour with boiling milk and stir thoroughly; cool it down to lukewarm temperature. Add frothed yeast (preliminary dissolved in a small portion of lukewarm milk) and put the batter in a warm place to rise. Then mix in yolks whisked with sugar to white. Add foamed egg whites, mix well again and leave in a warm place to rise once again. When it is ready pour in warm (but not hot!) melted butter, and knead the dough to your best. Fill the buttered mould with dough half-full. When it rises up to the brim of the mould, egg the surface and bake kulich at 180C till ready.



Tulle Baba

 Ingredients: 4 glasses flour, 70-80 g fresh yeast, 25 eggs, 3 glasses sugar, 1/3 glass milk, and salt to taste.

Instructions: Mix together 25 foamed eggs, flour, yeast dissolved in milk, sugar and salt and whisk for two hours without break (with a blender it is obviously easier and will probably require much less time!). Place the dough into a mould richly buttered and powdered with flour. Carefully set it in a warm place and do not touch it or stir it, otherwise it can easily subside. When the dough rises up to the brim, put the mould delicately into the stove and bake at 180C till ready. Lay the baked baba upside-down on a pillow covered with parchment. Remove baba from the mould only when it is cold. When you cut tulle baba it is very spongy inside, thus reminding of tulle.

Tender Baba

 Ingredients: 100g flour, 6 eggs, 3 egg yolks, 100 g sugar powder, 100 g butter, ½ lemon rind, and vanilla sugar.

Instructions: First whisk eggs and yolks with sugar to thick foam on hot water. Then remove the bowl from bath and go on whisking it till it gets cold. Add flour, grated lemon rind, vanilla sugar and warm melted butter. Quickly mix light airy dough and pour it into the mould half-full. (Preliminary butter the mould and powder it with flour.) Carefully put the mould into the stove heated to the temperature of 180C and bake till ready. When baba is cold remove it delicately from the mould and richly strew it with sugar powder and vanilla sugar.






Tags: Russian Cuisine Russian Easter    

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