Hrudka pronounced (hur-UT-ka) is a simple custard cheese. The basic recipe is mixing eggs and milk, adding salt, and cooking it while continually stirring until the proteins separate into curds and the liquid separates into whey while not scorching the mixture.
The technique for making hrudka is similar to making farmers cheese. Hrudka can be made savory with salt and pepper or sweetened with sugar and honey.
The recipe below is on the sweeter side with honey, sugar and vanilla. Hrudka can be served cold at Easter Sunday breakfast or at the holiday dinner feast. It is also sliced to be put on a ham sandwich on paska bread with red horseradish.
I like to fry hrudka in butter to brown each side and eat it for breakfast with grape jelly and Carolina Reaper sauce on top.
A couple of items to have on hand before starting:
1 dozen Eggs (the darker the yolks, the yellower the final cheese will be)
1 or 2 teaspoons Vanilla
1 quart Goat Milk (cow milk can also be used)
1/2 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Honey (I used Philadelphia Bee Company FP Fairmount Park Honey and NE Akron Honey, both are spring honey)
1 teaspoon pink Himalayan Salt
Healthy pinch of Saffron Threads (adds flavor and color)
Combine all ingredients in a enameled or stainless steel pot. Cook over medium to low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture curdles. Pour mixture into a colander that is lined with several thicknesses of cheesecloth. Once mixture is drained, pick it up –cheesecloth and all — and shape into a ball by twisting the top part of the cheesecloth. Tightly tie open end with string, placing string very close to the top of the ball. Twist ball of curds to drain liquid out. Caution: The ball of curds will be hot. Hang over sink until cool. Remove cheesecloth when cool; cut the top off the cheese to give it a flat bottom (use the piece you cut off to taste test the hrudka with a loved one) wrap and refrigerate. (The whey from the hrudka can be saved and used when making kulich. To conserve the whey, place the colander over a large pot before pouring mixture into cheesecloth).
This cheese is very perishable and should be consumed within a day or two. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator. I wrap my hrudka first in plastic food wrap then in aluminum foil for storage in the refrigerator. Stored uncovered the cheese will quickly dry out.