Notes: This dessert cheese for Russian Easter is traditionally shaped in a flat-topped pyramid mold. A new 4- to 6-inch-wide clay flowerpot also works. Make cheese up to 4 days ahead. Instead of vanilla bean, you can use 1 tablespoon vanilla. To make the XB ("Christ is risen" in Russian) on sides, use decorator icing in a tube or toasted silvered almonds.
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- Calories: 231
- Calories from fat: 78%
- Protein: 4.4g
- Fat: 20g
- Saturated fat: 13g
- Carbohydrate: 8.6g
- Fiber: 0.0g
- Sodium: 67mg
- Cholesterol: 61mg
- 1 vanilla bean (6 to 8 in.)
- 1 cup (1/2 lb.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 carton (16 oz.) ricotta cheese
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped candied orange peel
- 1. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise with a sharp knife and scrape out black seeds.
- 2. In a bowl with a mixer, beat vanilla seeds, butter, cream cheese, and sugar until smooth. Add ricotta and orange peel; beat until blended.
- 3. Line a deep 5-cup mold with 2 layers of damp cheesecloth (if making more than 2 hours ahead, use a mold with a bottom drain--see notes--to get a firmer cheese). Spoon paskha mixture into cloth and pack down firmly. Set on a rack on a rimmed dish.
- 4. Cover airtight and chill until paskha is firm enough to hold its shape, at least 1 hour.
- 5. Lift cloth with paskha from mold. Peel back cloth, invert cheese onto a flat plate, and remove cloth.
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