With Easter upon us Paska comes to mind. Many dishes are synonymous with Easter but this is the one I try very hard not to forget and Al is a huge fan so it is a must do for me. Paska has its origins in Russia and is traditionally made in a flowerpot to resemble the Turkish hat or captured Turk’s head, as it is known. This recipe came to me a very long time ago from my great old friend, Annie, when I lived in London. We cooked together often, swapped many recipes and talked food until we were blue in the face. Every year I make Paska and think of her, our cooking and our laughing. Other recipes call for eggs but I think this is nicer and gets top points for ease.
500g fresh cream cheese or ricotta from the deli counter
155g caster sugar
300ml sour cream
185g slivered almonds
125g mixed peel, chopped
Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Rub cheese through a nylon sieve and blend with the butter and sugar. Add sour cream and almonds. Beat well to combine. Add mixed peel, nuts and raisins – stir them through gently but thoroughly.
Line a mould or a flowerpot with a clean chux or j-cloth or muslin big enough to overlap the sides. Fill the pot with the mixture then bring the excess cloth over to cover the top. Weigh down with a saucer and a heavy tin or two and leave in the fridge for at least 24 hours - up to a week is fine. Invert pudding onto a serving plate and remove cloth. This pudding is very rich so serve small portions and keep the rest for later.