Three years ago I made a Pashka, a low calorie treat for Easter dinner. Ingredients:
2 lbs. fresh farmer cheese
6 egg yolks
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. heavy cream
3/4 lb. (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg
Grated lemon peel, grated orange peel
2 tbsp. Vanilla
That year I didn't have any oranges or lemons, so used dried lemon and orange peel. The Paska was awesome.
Easter 2009, confident of similar success, I made another one, only I used fresh orange and lemon zest. The resulting mixture was lumpy and somewhat "loose", not solid and smooth like the previous one. I attributed the mess to the fact I hadn't pressed the cheese thru a sieve and tossed the whole mess.
This Easter I tried again. I sieved the cheese, but the final product was still all lumpy and nasty. It tasted ok (but not as good as the first one) but the texture was downright unpleasant.
In retrospect I remember trying a recipe several years ago for something else containing dairy and citrue (in that case it was oj) and it looked like someone tossed their cookies in the bowl.
So my conclusion is the citrus is curdling the dairy. Yet every pashka recipe I find includes some sort of dairy and either oj or zest.
These experiments are getting expensive!
So, what is the trick to using citrus and dairy together?