What does a cheese paska look like, you ask? Well, thanks to google images, now we know!
From what I can tell in my research, cheese paska is an Eastern European dish and instead of being a bread, it is a compressed cheese spread served with paska bread. The cheese is molded into a pyramidal shape, either using a special mold:
Or by using a new, clean terra cotta flower pot in the desired shape (pyramidal or conical). You will notice the Russian Orthodox church markings on the mold shown above. According to the Happy Wonderer, this dish is a Russian Easter food, and is called Seernaya Paska – sweet cheese spread. It also appears to be popular in German Mennonite tradition and also in Pennsylvania where there is a large Mennonite population. I found another great description of making this Easter dish over at Family Food For Feast And Feria, where she also has a much more detailed instruction on how to make it. Have you heard of this delicacy? Let us know!
5 lb cream cheese
4 c sugar
1/2 lb almonds
1 lb butter
1 pt light cream
2 whole eggs & 3 egg yolks
1 jar candied cherries
1 jar candied pineapple
Cook over heat until thick. Cool. Add to cream cheese. Place in cheese cloth to drain for a few hours. Make a mold with a new clean flower pot 7″x7″. Bake in 250 oven 1/2 hour. Cool. Line flower pot with double cheese cloth. Cover exposed top also. Fill, cover and set a heavy weight on top. Can be made 3 days before. Keep refrigerated.
My interpretation: beat the eggs and yolks until smooth, combine with the sugar and then cook over medium heat until thick. In a separate bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, cream, vanilla, almonds and mix well. Add the egg mixture. Separately, prepare the flower pot by baking it in the oven, cool it, then line it with cheese cloth. Invert the flower pot over a bowl, then pour the liquid-y paska mixture into it. Liquid will begin to drain out of the hole in the bottom of the flower pot. Place a weight on top and the rest of the liquid will slowly drain out, leaving the compressed cheese in the mold. When ready to serve, remove it to a plate, decorate with the cherries & pineapple.