Serves 8-10 | prep 35 mins | total time
- 600g natural cottage cheese (not low-fat)
- 100g unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus extra for greasing
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 medium eggs
- 175g caster sugar
- 75g polenta
- 100g dried apricots, roughly chopped
- 50g pecans, roughly chopped
- 100g granulated sugar
- 50g pistachio kernels
The paskha can be made 3-4 hours in advance.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6. Blitz the cottage cheese, butter and vanilla together in a food processor until smooth.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar with an electric hand whisk until frothy and slightly thickened, then add the cottage cheese mixture and stir in gently. Carefully fold through all but 1 tablespoon of polenta.
- Toss the apricots and pecans with the tablespoon of polenta and then stir them through the mixture gently. Leave to stand for 10 minutes.
- Grease a 20cm springform tin and line the base and sides with baking paper. Gently pour in the cake mixture. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until set and golden on top. Leave to cool in the tin, set on a wire rack, and then carefully turn out onto a plate and remove the paper.
- Meanwhile, make the pistachio praline. Have a tray lined with baking paper ready. Slowly melt the granulated sugar in a frying pan, shaking the pan, not stirring the sugar. When it has melted and turned to a light golden colour, add the pistachios and gently swirl around. Pour the mixture onto the paper-lined tray and let it set. Then chop roughly and use it to top the cake. Serve with the rhubarb compote.
This is traditionally eaten raw, but as much as I love uncooked cottage cheese, I find this baked version a lot more satisfying. It also happens to be flourless. Not too sweet, it goes perfectly with a rhubarb compote and pistachio praline.