[Sca-cooks] Easter Cheese

Mairi Ceilidh jjterlouw at earthlink.net
Mon Apr 6 07:36:17 PDT 2009

In preparing one of my family traditional dishes for Easter, I was
wondering if anyone has seen similar dishes in period cook books.  I
don't recall anything in the late period English cookbooks, where I
have typically focused.  I have found something similar in Martha
Washington's cookbook, but I think it might have been one of the later

I think the spelling is Cirak, Eastern European origins.  It is
simple, a dozen eggs, a quart of milk and a teaspoon of salt, stirred
over a low heat until curds form.  Then it is strained in a cheese
cloth, hung from a hook to drain and/or pressed between weights (one
receipt suggested that the family bible would be the right weight to
do this).  Afterwards it's chilled, sliced and served on Easter


This is something similar that I have used and like, though I don't know of
its specific use at Easter:

LXXVII. Egost at giøre. 
Tag en potte sød Melck/oc xviij. Eg/sla Eggene i en Potte ræt vel/oc giff
saa Melcken der iblant/meng dette vel iblant hin anden met en Kockesleff/sæt
det paa gloendis Kul/oc rør det vel om/at det icke vedbrender/eller sangler
oc stenckes ilde. Leg der vdi Sucker oc smaa Rusiner/oc giør det vel søt.
Naar det er sammenløbet/saa tag en sneffr Sie/eller reent Linklæde/oc sie
det igiennem/at vædsken gaar slet fra/giff det saa vdi en Form eller
Egostkurff/oc sæt den paa reen Bred/at all vædsken sies fra/leg den siden op
paa et Fad/oc bestrø den met Sucker. Du kand oc besætte den met Rusiner/om
dig saa got siunis.
LXXVII. To make Eggcheese 
Take a pot of sweet milk/and xviii eggs/beat the eggs in a pot well/and put
then the milk thereto/mix this well together with a cook's spoon/put it on
glowing coals/and stir it well/that it doesn’t burn/or curdles and tastes
bad. Put therein sugar and small raisins/ and make it well sweet. When it is
cooked together/take the finest sieve/or a clean linen cloth/and sieve it
through/that the liquid is strained/give it then into a dish or eggcheese
basket/and put it on a clean board/that all the liquid is strained away/
then put it onto a dish/and sprinkle it with sugar. You can also stud it
with raisins/if you like it.

It is from a translation of a 1616 Danish cookbook found here:


Have fun, and good luck,

Mairi Ceilidh

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