Paskha is one of the most amazing, rich and creamy dessert indulgences you will ever eat! It is so rich we only make it once a year. It is a full fat indulgent dairy dessert. Paskha is served cold and tastes like a combination of a crustless cheesecake and a rich ice cream. The fresh flavors of this dessert come from lemon, orange zest and vanilla bean. This paskha recipe also calls for almonds which add another depth of amazing flavor, but they can be optional.
What is Paskha?
Paskha, pronounced, “Pahs-ka” (soft “a’s”) is a holiday dessert dish made served on Easter in Eastern Orthodox cultures, mainly Russian. In Russian, Paskha literally means “Easter.” It is a rich, dairy filled dessert enjoyed after the breaking of fast (end of lent). During lent dairy is not to be consumed so Paskha is a rich treat to celebrate the Easter holiday. It is usually made in a symbolic wooden pyramid form, but it can be made into other similar peaked forms as you see here. A clean empty flower pot may be used as well.
The main ingredient of Paskha is farmer’s cheese or white cheese curd. It also has heavy amounts of butter, sugar and cream. What’s not to like?! It is also usually served with a semi sweet Easter holiday bread called, Kulich.
Farmer’s Cheese for Paskha
Every year I’ve made this recipe I’ve always purchased farmer’s cheese from an Eastern European market. This year my husband and I decided to make it ourselves and boy, were we surprised at how easy it really is! Also, the consistency and texture were just perfect for our family recipe. Check out how easy it is to make yourself from the blog, Haniela’s. Here’s a video tutorial from Hani as well.
Cultural Cheesecake Paskha
As with any cultural dish besides the main ingredients, the lesser ingredients vary per household. I grew up with a very similar recipe to this one that my Mother made every year. She loved putting almonds and lots of zest into the Paskha, sometimes golden raisins as well. The recipe was never written down so after getting married my husband and I quickly came up with our very our family recipe to actually put on paper. Now we replicate this recipe every year and share it with family. Now I’m sharing this family recipe with you.
No Bake Cheesecake
This not only is a crust-less cheesecake per se, but it does not require baking. It just requires refrigerator sitting time to let the liquids drain from the mold.
This is not a super quick recipe only because it does require waiting overnight for your cheesecake to mold and drain, but it is so worth the wait, trust me! Be prepared for a creamy, heavenly treat. Beware of over indulging though. Paskha is quite rich and should be savored in moderation as with anything this good.
Give this rich, delicious and gorgeous crustless cheesecake a try and let us know what you think below!