Saturday night around 10pm we Russians begin our Paschal Liturgy (Easter Church Service). Usually things wrap up around 2-3am and we celebrate with a feast in our ‘Easter baskets’. Everyone puts something different in his or her basket but there are 3 staples; dark red Easter eggs, Kulich, which is a raisin filled pastry bread, and Pashka, which is a sort of cheesecake.
Greek-style Red Easter Eggs
These are pretty easy to make. You need a lot of yellow onionskins. Most supermarkets are fine with you taking the leftover ones from the onion displays. You need about a bagful, so you may have to visit a couple stores. Obviously you also will need eggs. Here’s some links to popular techniques, and further reading.
• Red Dye’d Easter Eggs – From Utah’s Greek Americans
• Red Easter Eggs – Meaning and History from the OCA
• Kokkina – Greek Red Eggs Recipe
(Here are some great onion choppers for you!)
Kulich are a sweet bread, with raisins, and sometimes nuts. The bread is topped with a simple sugar frosting. It seems to me that there’s also a subtle contest to see who can make the tallest one. It seems a lot of people use coffee cans or similar cans as a mold in attempting that feat. I’ve always been fine with a more cake sized Kulich. Here’s some different recipes, and background on this Russian Easter recipe.
• Kulich – From World Wide Gormet
• Russian Easter Cake – A Kulich Recipe from New Zealand Russian Recipes
• Easter Pies – Kulich Video from Russia Today
Recommended reading: Best Pastry Cookbooks
Pashka, also called Sirnaya Pas’ha, is a type of Easter Cheesecake. These are made in a mold, and decorated with ‘XV’ which standard for Xristos Voskrese (Russian for Christ is Risen). While the ingredients, mostly farmer’s cheese may sound odd at first keep in mind how regular cheesecake is made. Here are some good recipes for Pashka.
• Russian Easter Cake – From Cook It!
• Pashka With Egg Yolks – From Expat Angels
• Siberian Easter Meals – Includes A Paskha Recipe and History
While you’re here, be sure to check out our kitchen product reviews!