Romanian Easter Bread with Cheese or pasca appears on the table with cozonac. Pasca is similar to Polish kolacz. The term "pasca" means Easter and can be confusing because it can refer to many different Eastern European bread and cheese desserts served at Easter time. The fun is in trying them all! If you can't find dry curd cheese, you might want to make your own farmers cheese from scratch.
Freeze leftover egg whites and save for leftover egg white recipes.
- For the Dough:
- 1 recipe Romanian cozonac (use your favorite recipe)
- For the Cheese Filling:
- 1 pound ricotta (or dry curd or farmers cheese)
- 2 tablespoons butter (soft)
- 1/4 cup sugar (granulated)
- 3 large egg yolks (slightly beaten)
- 1 large egg yolk (slightly beaten)
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
- 3 ounces raisins (light or dark)
Coat a 2-inch deep 10- or 12-inch round pan with cooking spray. Roll out cozonac dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Line the bottom and sides of the prepared pan, reserving a handful of dough.
With the reserved dough, make 2 long, pencil-thin ropes and twist them together. Place it around the edge of the dough. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place for 1 hour.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat cheese with a mixer and add all the ingredients except the raisins. Beat until smooth, add raisins and mix again. When the dough has risen, pour in the cheese filling, making sure it doesn't go over the edges.
Baste cheese filling and dough border with remaining beaten egg yolk. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a wire rack and then remove from pan.