Sirniki is a traditional Russian dessert that’s so easy to prepare and makes a delicious change from regular pancakes. Made with curd cheese (either homemade or available in the cheese section of most supermarkets), flour, sugar, eggs, lemon and orange flavouring, with a strawberry and Amaretto topping. Sirniki is a typical dish of the Russian region. It makes a nice, light dessert—but in Ukraine it is often served as a breakfast dish. It is made with farmers’ cheese (or small-curd cottage cheese) well drained using a cheesecloth or fine strainer. We suggest topping it off with whipped cream and a perfumed strawberry ragoût, but you can experiment with sour cream, jam, applesauce or whatever you like.
Ingredients: courtesy of VIKING RIVER CRUISES, Hope they serve this on my next Viking River Cruise, JOHN POND.
Two eggs One cup flour
Two tablespoons sugar (or to taste) One-half teaspoon salt (or to taste) Zest of one orange and one lemon
One pint strawberries shelled and cut into quarters One-half cup sugar One-half teaspoon cornstarch
Juice of one orange and one lemon Amaretto One-half cup red wine Whipped cream (optional)
Sprigs of mint for garnish (optional)
Transfer farmers’ cheese (or cottage cheese) to large mixing bowl. Add eggs, sugar and salt; mix well. Add flour, orange zest and lemon zest; mix again. Put a little flour on a plate or cutting board. Form a pancake approximately the size and shape of a small crab cake. Coat the pancake with flour, then pass from hand to hand to remove extra flour, which will prevent burning in the pan.
Heat a pan and coat with cooking oil. Fry each cake just until it is golden brown, then remove from the pan immediately. Place all the sirniki on a cookie sheet sprayed lightly with oil to prevent sticking and bake at 140 degrees Fahrenheit for 7 or 8 minutes.
Strawberry ragoût: Heat a pan over a medium flame. Add sugar and red wine. Chop orange and lemon in half and squeeze their juice into the pan. Add cornstarch. Stir the sauce, then add strawberries. Gently move the pan as the strawberries soften and are glazed with the sauce mixture. Add a splash of amaretto to taste and remove from heat. Arrange sirniki on dessert plates and spoon strawberry ragoût over them. Garnish with whipped cream and mint if desired. If you make these, please invite me over, JP.