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PASCHA
(Russian Easter Cheese Mold)

2 large whole eggs
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
1-1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
2 lbs. packaged farmer cheese
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. freshly-grated orange zest
1/3 cup finely-chopped almonds
1/4 cup dried currants
finely-diced glaceed cherries for decoration
angelica for decoration
kulich for an accompaniment

Beat the whole eggs and the yolk together with the sugar in a bowl
with an electric mixer until the mixture is thick and pale yellow.
Add the cream, scalded, in a thin stream, beating constantly as
you add it, and transfer the custard to a heavy saucepan. Cook the
custard over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until it's
thickened (175 degrees or so on a candy thermometer), BUT DO NOT
LET IT BOIL! Strain the custard through a fine sieve into a metal
bowl set in a larger bowl of ice and cold water, and let it cool
down stirring occasionally.

While the custard is cooling, in another bowl with the electric
mixer cream the butter, add the cheese gradually, beating all the
while, and beat the mixture at moderate speeds for five minutes.
Beat in the custard, the vanilla, the orange zest, the almonds and
1/4 cup of the currants. Line a 7- to 8-cup new clay flowerpot with
a double layer of rinsed and squeezed cheesecloth, and add the
cheese mixture, packing it tightly and smoothing the top level.
Fold the ends of the cheesecloth over the top. Put the flowerpot
into a small bowl, and weight the top of the cheese mixture with
a four-pound weight that just fits inside the pot (you can get a
small plate and put another coffee-can filled with water on top of
the plate to make the weight). Chill the PASCHA for at least 12
hours or overnight.

Note: You may substitute for the farmer's cheese, small curd cottage
cheese, ricotta, or similar cheese), drained between several layers
of paper towels for half an hour (or left to hang in a well-washed
muslin pillowcase over night and drain into the sink), and forced
through a sieve.

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