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Home cooking: Pashka

April 03, 2012

Paskha is a Russian, cheese-based dessert similar to cheesecake. It is traditionally molded in a pyramid shape and served on Easter. It is decorated with resurrection symbols such as a cross and the letters XB, an abbreviation of Cyrillic words which mean "Christ is Risen."

The dessert is called pashka by some local residents. Ann Lochbaum makes a version using gelatin to help the dessert set up. Her husband, Bob, a former counselor at North Hagerstown High School, brought the recipe home to her.

"It's very simple to make. It's an appetizer. Something to snack on," Ann Lochbaum said. "I use it a lot when I go to the Shriners. So many people wanted the recipe, I printed it up and handed it out."

Lochbaum said she learned to cook from her mother, aunt and grandmother. She likes to cook traditional dishes, but she does have some kitchen secrets.

"Everybody seems to like my homemade spaghetti sauce, my scalloped potatoes and my ham dinner," she said.

Lochbaum's version of pashka can be found in the forthcoming cookbook published by the Hagerstown Women's Club. The book will be sold at a recipe-tasting event at the Women's Club, 31 S. Prospect St., Hagerstown. For more information, call the club at 301-739-0870.



Pashka


2 8-ounce packages cream cheese

1 stick butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup sour cream

1 envelope unflavored gelatin

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 1/2 cups seedless raisins



Over double boiler, melt cheese and butter, sugar and sour cream.

Soften gelatin in cold water and add to melted ingredients. Add raisins and nuts. Mix well.

Pour into oiled mold and chill, or just pour into small bowl if desired.

Can be made ahead and frozen. Serve with Town House or Ritz Crackers.

Cook's note: If using mold, oil mold before pouring in cheese mixture. 

— Courtesy of Ann Lochbaum

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