Finnish Easter Pasha Paasiaispasha (Molded Ricotta Cheese Dessert)



10 servings



1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1-1/2 qt. ricotta cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup minced almonds
1/2 cup raisins
Fresh fruit, berries or


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 preserves. 10 servings.

Scandinavian Feasts

Author's Comments

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 ricotta.

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.

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