Paskha (russian Cheesecake)
Farmers Cheese; 3 Lbs,
* You can also use Large-Curd Cottage Cheese if the Farmers Cheese is ~------------------------------------------------------
~----------------- NOTE: THIS IS A SPECIAL CAKE REQUIRING A NEW LARGE FLOWER POT 7 X 7-INCHES AT A MINIMUM. Press the cheese through a sieve. Combine the cheese with the egg yolks, beating in 1 yolk at a time. Add the sugar and blend well. Heat the cream in a large saucepan until it almost boils, then add the cheese mixture and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens.
Remove from the heat before it begins to boil. Stir in the fruits, almonds, and lemon rind. Cool. Cream together the butter and the vanilla, then stir into the cooled cheese mixture. Line the flower pot with several layers of moistened cheesecloth, leaving enough cloth at the top to form a flap that will cover the pot. Fill the pot with the cheese mixture and cover with the flap. Put a weight on the top and place in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. The whey (liquid) will drip out the bottom of the pot, so be sure to place a pan under it. When drained, carefully unmold the cake with a knife. Remove the cheesecloth and smooth the sides with a hot knife. Prepare the sauce. Beat together the egg yolks, sugar, Madeira, and lemon rind in the top of a double boiler. Cook and continue beating until the mixture thickens. Stir in the lemon juice and the rum, then chill briefly.
Pour the sauce over the cheesecake and serve. NOTE: This very unusual cheesecake is a traditional Russian Easter dish. In the old days, the custom was to decorate it with paper flowers or religious emblems and have the priest come by and bless it. Back then, it was made in a special pyramid-shaped form, but you can make it in an ordinary red clay flower pot.
Visually, the effect is quite striking, and the drainage hole allows the excess whey to escape. To make paskha, you will need a large flower pot and some cheesecloth. The paskha will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks, but be sure to make it at least three days in advance.