Sweet Cheese

For a delicious, traditional Easter dish that's also great for snacking, treat yourself to sweet cheese.

| March/April 1981

  • 068 sweet cheese - preparing2
    Rap the curds in porous cheesecloth and squeeze out as much water as you can.
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    Boiled eggs, wheat crackers, and sweet cheese make up a much beloved Easter tradition in Hungary.
  • 068 sweet cheese - preparing1
    Cook the mixture till it resembles yellow cottage cheese.
  • 068 sweet cheese - preparing3
    Tie the cloth up into a bag and let it drain overnight.

  • 068 sweet cheese - preparing2
  • 068 sweet cheese - main
  • 068 sweet cheese - preparing1
  • 068 sweet cheese - preparing3

Each year, we follow the custom of our Hungarian ancestors by preparing sweet cheese for Easter. This traditional, easy-to-make comestible (which requires no unusual ingredients) is served with boiled ham, kielbasa (a delicious smoked sausage), fresh Easter bread, boiled eggs, and horseradish. It can also be enjoyed — with wheat crackers — as an appetizing hors d'oeuvre or a wholesome snack.

What's Necessary

To make sweet cheese, you will need 1 1/2 quarts of milk, 1 dozen eggs, 4 tablespoons of honey, 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt, and a yard of cheesecloth (or a large, porous dish towel). We sometimes add a handful of golden raisins and/or dried currants, but such "surprises" are optional.

The first step is to beat the eggs, honey, and salt together until they're well blended. When that's done, heat up the milk in a large pan, stirring constantly, and — when it comes to a boil — add the egg/honey/salt mixture and continue to boil and stir for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the mixture curdles (it'll resemble yellow cottage cheese). At that point, remove the pan from the heat and mix in dried fruits if desired.

A Gourmet Globe

Next, fold the cheesecloth in half and then in half again, to make a four-layered square of material. Place the cloth in a colander and put the colander in a large bowl or pan.

Pour the curdled milk into the lined strainer, and then pull the corners of the cheesecloth together, twisting tightly and squeezing out as much liquid as you can while forming the curds into a ball. Tie the "bag" shut with a piece of string or a clean shoelace, and hang it (above a bowl) overnight ... allowing the remaining liquid to drain off and leave a nice, firm cheese globe. (You can chill the leftover liquid and serve it as a rich eggnog-like — but thin — drink.)

When you unwrap the cheese the following morning, store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container to keep the sphere fresh and moist till you're ready to eat it.

12/17/2008 11:22:01 AM

I have been looking for my mother receipe for over 20 years. This one here is simliar to hers only she used white raisins and cimminon. I am going to try this and just add th cimminon and raisins and see what happens. I hope this is it. I am also looking for the Pigs Feet receipe. I know some of the ingrediants but I am not sure of how much to use. Garlic, salt, whole black pepper, water and pigs feet. If you know anyone who has this receipe can you send it too me, please.

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