Sunday, April 19, 2009

Kulich and Paskha

This year I was very pleased with the way my kulich and paskha turned out.
These notes on well known recipes are for Abby, my son's fiance.

1/2 cup of hot milk + 100 g flour - make a paste
1/2 cup of warm milk + 57g of fresh yeast (1 package) + 100 g flour - mix together
Combine both mixes and let stand for about an hour (covered).
Take 10 egg yolks and mix with 250 g sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of salt (mix until egg yolks turn lemony-yellow, about 3 min). Take half of this mixture and combine with the yeast mixture + 250 g flour. Mix well. Let stand for another hour.
Add another half of the yolk mixture and another 250 g of flour. Mix well and add 200 g melted butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/3 teaspoons of cardamom and nutmeg, and 2 tablespoons of rum. Add flower (3-4 handfuls) if necessary (a tricky part), and mix until the dough stops sticking to your hands (it took me about 10 min by hand). Let rise for another hour. Add 1 cup of raisins, let rise for 15 min, and put in buttered coffee cans, or any containers that will help make a well-known kulich shape. Let rise for 10 min, and bake at 350 F until ready (about 30 min).
When cooled off a bit, make a paste of confectioner's sugar + lemon juice and cover the top of kulich.


3 lb of Farmer cheese
1 1/4 cup of heavy cream
1/2 lb butter
1/4 lb sour cream
3 eggs
1 lb sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup raisins
Mix Farmer cheese with butter, sugar, sour cream, whipped heavy cream, eggs, vanilla and raisins. Place in a cheese cloth inside the mold. Place some weight on top, and put everything in a fridge (a plate to collect liquid should be under the mold).
Let stand this way for two days, unmold when ready to eat.

A low calorie dessert I use instead (not for Easter) is Farmer cheese mixed with sour cream and raisins.

Easter Eggs from a Bosnian recipe

I used a very interesting Bosnian recipe to dye my Russian Easter eggs. I've never tried onion skins
as a dye. I have been collecting the skins for quite a while for dying yarn; however this beautiful method presented on the website above was too much of a temptation!

My Recipe:

I used 4 oz of yellow onion skins, 2 tablespoons of white vinegar and enough water to cover the skins. I boiled eggs in water first (about 5 min); meanwhile the skins were simmering on low in another pot.. I took eggs out and placed flowers and leaves on them, covering eggs with nylon stockings, and tying each stocking with a string (did not use rubber bands, but will next time: some of the designs did not come out as sharp as Ozanna's, probably because the rubber bands would have helped keeping the stockings tighter around the eggs.) Each batch (5 eggs) simmered different time giving them color variations. I was truly amazed by the intensity of brown/burnt orange color! Can't wait to dye yarn with the onion skins!
For darker colors eggs were simmering about 1/2 hour. When they were all done, my husband rubbed them with some olive oil to make them shiny.
Plants used: forthysia (cross-shaped design), periwinkle, dandelion leaves, and some others.