Pasha -Easter treat in Eastern Finnish Style

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I wanted to make the traditional Finnish Easter dessert this year, well I should say one of the Finnish Easter desserts as the other famous one is ”mämmi”, a custardy type of dish made of rye malt (and looks like poo) and is very tasty too! I have mentioned multiple times before that the Finnish cuisine is very seasonal and rather than having traditional cuisine we have seasonal cuisine which means almost every celebration has the own type of treats or food to serve. Finns are so seasonally minded that for example no-one would never ever serve Pasha at any other time of the year than Easter. If you did, other Finns would think you either confuse the celebration or you are out of your mind! Pasha which is only served at Easter time comes originally from Russia, but Finns tend to think it is part of their traditional seasonal cuisine in the Eastern (Orthodox Christian) part of Finland (which is part of Karelia, most of Karelia still belongs to Russia, but used to be part of Finland).

I have never made this dessert before but I used to eat it often at my grandparents’ place at Easter time. My grandma comes form Estern Finland (Finnish side of Karelia) and is so proud of her Karelian roots that she has always made sure we grandkids learn her traditional cuisine. Pasha is very simple to make and contains only natural ingredients -butter, cream, almonds, raisins, quark etc.- so in that sense it is very healthy..although contains a lot of sugar.

I was quite proud of myself when making Pasha for the very first time as it turned out to be a success. My dear Aussie husband ate it for lunch too as he liked it so much 🙂 The method of making it sounds very old fashioned as you actually need a coffee filter mould and muslin square to drain the mixture. Of course these days you can buy proper Pasha moulds but the traditional way of making it is with the coffee filter mould and muslin square that you definitely used to find in every Finnish household back in olden days..although I think you still do find them these days :)!

See the recipe below and try it -it is super tasty

250 g quark
100 g soft butter
1 yolk
1 dl sugar
2 dl cream (double cream)
3 tsp vanilla sugar
1 tbs lemon juice
4 tbs crushed almonds
3-4 tbs raisins
In addition to this:
pasha mould or coffee filter mould
clean muslin square

1. This recipe makes one small pasha for 4-6 people.

2. Boil the muslin sqaure (sideharso). Cool it in the cold water afterwards.

3. Whip the cream in one bowl and whisk the butter and sugar in another bowl.

4. Add spices (lemon juice, raisins, vanilla sugar and crushed almonds), quark, egg yolk and whipped cream into the butter sugar mixture.

5. Set the coffee filter mould in the bowl that has approximately 2-3 centimetres below the mould where liquid can dribble. Set the muslin square into the coffee filter mould, fill the mould with the pasha mixture. Cover the mould with the rest of the muslin square and let it drain over the night in the fridge.

6. Turn Pasha upside down on the serving plate and enjoy!!!

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