Not really a cheese, “Hrudka” pronounced (hur–UTka), is a simple custard cheese that’s essential for many Eastern European Easter tables. It’s sliced and eaten by itself or, more often, as part of a ham or kolbassi sandwich made on Paska bread that’s slathered with beet horseradish. The recipe is as easy as it is healthy, and one need not wait for Easter to make it. Any holiday or special occasion is a good time for Hrudka.
Recipe makes 1 large round of cheese
- 12 eggs
- 1 quart whole milk
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste
Crack eggs into a large saucepan and beat. Whisk in milk, sugar, salt and cinnamon. Cook over medium/low to low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture fully forms curds and the whey separates. This will take 20 to 30 minutes. Using higher heat or failing to stir will result in a big pan of sweet scrambled eggs. Drain the mixture into a colander lined with several layers of cheesecloth. Use the cloth to shape into a ball and twist the top to remove excess moisture. Secure with a twist tie. Hang for several hours or overnight. Untie the cheesecloth and wrap the cheesecloth ball in plastic wrap before refrigerating. The cheese will keep for about a week. Slice and serve.