Finnish Easter Pasha Paasispasha
Karelians, of eastern Finland, claim pasha as
their Easter dessert. It is a mixture of dairy products that are
flavored with almonds and raisins, and it is usually served with
cloudberry preserves from the Arctic. In Finland, pasha is usually
made with a fresh cheese called rahka. This recipe calls for
Pasha is traditionally baked in a special wooden mold that has the
orthodox Easter symbols carved into the sides so that they are
impressed on the dessert when it is unmolded. For the clearest
impression of the designs when using a pasha mold, use no more than
two layers of cheesecloth. If you don't have a pasha mold, a clean
five to six inch clay or plastic flower pot with drain holes on the
bottom makes a rather pretty substitute.
1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 pints ricotta cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup minced almonds
1/2 cup raisins
Fresh fruit, berries or preserves
In a large metal bowl, combine the cream, butter, sugar, and eggs.
With an electric mixer on high speed, beat until light and fluffy.
Place the bowl over a pan of boiling water and continue beating the
cream mixture until it is thick and light. Remove the bowl from the
heat and add the ricotta cheese and sour cream, beating until thick.
blend in the almonds and raisins.
Line a pasha mold (or a clean 5 to 6 inch flower pot with holes on
the bottom)with dampened cheesecloth. Turn the pasha mixture into
the lined mold and fold the cheesecloth over the top. Place a
1-pound weight (such as a pound of butter or a can of vegetables or
fruit) on top. Place in a large pan (to catch the drippings) and
refrigerate for several hours or overnight, draining off the liquids
several times, until the pasha is firm. Before serving, unmold the
pasha onto a serving plate. Serve with fresh fruit, berries, or