Hrudka: Slovak Egg Cheese Recipe for Easter

Slovak Egg Cheese Recipe

 The Spruce

  • Total: 70 mins
  • Prep: 40 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Refrigeration: 12 hrs
  • Yield: 1 Large Hrudka (Serves 24-32)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
49 Calories
3g Fat
2g Carbs
4g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 Large Hrudka (Serves 24-32)
Amount per serving
Calories 49
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Cholesterol 81mg 27%
Sodium 116mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 4g
Calcium 46mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This recipe for Slovak egg cheese is typically served at Easter time and goes by various names including hrudka, cirak, sirok, sirecz and more. Essentially, it's a ball of eggs and milk that have been cooked until the proteins separate into curds and the liquid separates into the whey. The technique for making hrudka is similar to making farmers cheese. Hrudka can be made savory with salt and sometimes pepper or sweetened with sugar. It's always included in the basket of Easter foods to be blessed on Holy Saturday and not eaten until the next morning, Easter Sunday, with other traditional blessed foods like beet horseradish, ham, sausage (klobása), salt and paska bread.

Ingredients

  • 12 large eggs
  • 1-quart whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Optional: 6 whole black peppercorns (crushed)
  • Fine cheesecloth
  • Butcher's twine

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Slovak Egg Cheese Recipe
     The Spruce
  2. Slovak Egg Cheese Recipe
    The Spruce 
  3. Add milk and salt (and pepper if using) and mix thoroughly.

    Slovak Egg Cheese Recipe
    The Spruce 
  4. Fill the bottom pan of the double boiler with about an inch of water. Bring the water to a boil and turn down the heat so that it is simmering hard.

    Slovak Egg Cheese Recipe
    The Spruce 
  5. Place the upper pan containing the eggs and milk over (not in) the pan with the simmering water.

    Slovak Egg Cheese Recipe
     The Spruce
  6. Stir frequently with a wooden spoon until the mixture curdles, approximately 20 to 30 minutes or until no more whey (the liquid) is exuded. By the way, don't throw away the whey! Use it in place of the milk in this paska Easter bread recipe.

    Slovak Egg Cheese Recipe
     The Spruce
  7. Line a colander with damp butter muslin or two layers of cheesecloth that is large enough to hang over the sides of the colander. Place the muslin-lined colander over a bowl to catch any whey.

    Slovak Egg Cheese Recipe
     The Spruce
  8. Use a skimmer or slotted spoon to ladle the curds into the cheesecloth. Allow the curds to drain for 10 minutes.

    Slovak Egg Cheese Recipe
    The Spruce 
  9. Then, gather up the edges of the cheesecloth to form a bundle to drain as much whey as possible from the egg cheese. Use a length of butcher's twine to tie the cheesecloth containing the curds into a neat bundle, pressing on the cheesecloth a bit to help the whey drain off.

    Slovak Egg Cheese Recipe
    The Spruce 
  10. Tie the twine to a wooden spoon or dowel, hang the egg-cheese curds over a pot or container to collect any remaining whey and continue draining for 30 minutes.

    Slovak Egg Cheese Recipe
     The Spruce
  11. When the egg-cheese ball has cooled and is not dripping any more whey, place it in the refrigerator overnight still suspended over a pan so it will retain its round shape.

    Slovak Egg Cheese Recipe
     The Spruce
  12. When ready to serve, remove the cheesecloth.

    Slovak Egg Cheese Recipe
    The Spruce 
  13. Serve on sandwiches and sausages or on its own sprinkled with a little salt.

  14. Slovak Egg Cheese Recipe
     The Spruce

Tips

  • This cheese is very perishable and should be consumed within a day or two.
  • Store tightly covered in the refrigerator.