Sphere Magazine March 1978

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I got behind on several of my monthly Sphere reports and need to catch up.  This month has lots of Easter ideas.  Even though Easter has obviously passed, I’ll still tell you about the article on Easter food traditions from Russia.  The appetizer menu includes platters of herring, smoked salmon, liver pate, red caviar, eggplant caviar,  cucumbers and radishes in sour cream, pickled mushrooms, and rye breads.  Main dishes have a huge variety to please everyone with ham, lamb, turkey, and halibut.  Drinks include vodka, dry red wine and dry white wine.

One of the specialties is the majestic “Paskha,” which you can see above with the dove on top.  It is a snowy pyramid of sweetened cottage cheese enriched with a vanilla bean, almonds, candied citron, lemon peel, cream, sour cream, and lots of butter.  There is a special mold used for this that is lined with cheesecloth and refrigerated at least 24 hours.  Jokes are told of Russian women sending their husbands to spy on neighbors’ paskha to compare to theirs.

Other articles include many recipes both sweet and savory for egg use, Nouvelle French cuisine, festive breads including Italian Easter Bread, Kulich, and scones, and many side dish suggestions for an Easter feast.  In a non-food article, if you would ever like to learn the art of cultivating and learning the history of Bonzai, there is much to read on the subject in this issue.  I read recently that in addition to jigsaw puzzles being popular during the pandemic, learning to make tiny Bonsai trees is also a popular at-home activity for the whole family.

When looking for a recipe to make for this month and since I don’t have a paskha mold, I decided on an old classic standby, Creme Brulee, one of my favorite desserts.  This one is made in a 1-1/2 quart oven-proof dish or bowl.  I used a deep quiche dish and it worked perfectly.  It looked pretty with the scalloped edges.

It is served scooped out with some fresh sweetened strawberries alongside.  It has that delectable crunchy top that shatters and a heavenly creamy base.  It’s good with strawberries or use your favorite berries.


5.0 from 1 reviews
Creme Brulee with Strawberries
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2-inch piece vanilla bean, split
  • 8 egg yolks
  • ½ cup granulated white sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons grated fresh lemon peel
  • 2 Tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange-flavored liqueur
  • ¾ to 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 cups strawberries, hulled and sugared
  1. Combine half-and-half, cream, and vanilla bean on top of a 2-quart double boiler; heat over simmering water until scalded, about 10 minutes. Mix egg yolks and granulated sugar in medium size bowl. Stir in scalded cream gradually.
  2. Transfer egg mixture to the top of double boiler and heat over simmering water, stirring constantly until custard thickens and coats a spoon. Place custard in pan in a large bowl of ice water; stir about 3 minutes. Remove vanilla bean. Stir in lemon peel and Grand Marnier.
  3. Pour into a 1-1/2-quart oven-proof bowl or dish. Cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Sieve brown sugar and sprinkle evenly over custard, about ¼-inch thick. Heat oven to broil. Place dish in a pan of crushed ice and broil just until sugar is caramelized, about 2 minutes, watching carefully as it can quickly burn. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Cool completely in refrigerator. Serve with sweetened strawberries. Serves 8.



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9 Responses to Sphere Magazine March 1978

  1. July 12, 2020 at 11:05 am #

    By any chance, would there be a recipe for a Zucchini Bundt cake with Cream Cheese glaze among your magazines? I made this recipe for my co-teachers back when the magazine with it was delivered to my house. One of the teachers remembered it from the 70’s and asked for the recipe. Wouldn’t you know, I recently cleaned out the book it was in and now can’t find the darn thing!!! I think it was 76-78. Thanks for the help.

    • July 16, 2020 at 12:03 pm #

      Karen, I found the recipe! It was in the March ’77 issue. Check your email! Thanks for writing! So glad I could help.

  2. November 4, 2020 at 10:06 am #

    So sweet to share your research with us and to sleuth out the zucchini bundt cake recipe! I love Sphere and wish I had kept my copies despite moving house. It’s always so much fun to read your summaries. Thank you!

    • November 11, 2020 at 7:28 pm #

      Cleo, I love finding Sphere recipes for those who loved them!

  3. May 30, 2021 at 9:30 pm #

    Any chance I could get the Zucchini Bundt Cake recipe too? My mom was talking about a Zucchini Cake recipe that came from Sphere Magazine and the internet led us here. I wonder if this is the same recipe she remembers!! Thank you.

    • June 4, 2021 at 7:55 pm #

      Hi Rachel – I will go find the recipe and get back to you. Thanks for writing!

  4. April 19, 2022 at 6:50 pm #

    I need the Easter receipts out of this magazine. I lost my copy after all these year due to moving Any help would be appreciated

  5. April 3, 2023 at 6:02 am #

    Still looking to purchase the Sphere March 1978 issue. Any ideas where to look.?

    • April 3, 2023 at 9:17 am #

      Demitri, from what readers have told me, most of them find the old Sphere issues on eBay or Etsy. Or if you get lucky, at used book stores or antique stores. Good luck!

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