Tvorognaya zapekanka literally means a cottage cheese bake. This is a very special treat for me. It reminds my childhood and good time when I was going to the kinder-garden. Some of my friends do not share the same nice memories about the food in a kinder-garden, and even few of them hate any cottage cheese bakes (and not only bakes) and don’t want to believe that it can be so tasty! Thank God, I was luckier and remember not only huge onion chunks in a beef stew 😀 but also good meals, like this sweet cottage cheese bake and delicious plum jam.
Speaking about tvorog (that’s how we called cottage cheese or farmer cheese in Russia, and it can be both smooth and chunky), I do like it and consume regularly: either as is or adding it to the apple pies and cabbage bakes. So, I’ve tried hundred times to make a bake somewhat childish, and every time it was too liquid or too sweet.. Finally, here it is! The bake is perfect! The only notice, maybe next time I will use a smaller baking dish to make the cottage cheese bake higher.
Russian sweet cottage cheese bake
If you’ve got a chunky and dry cottage cheese – push it through a sieve or stir with electric blender into a smooth mixture.
450-500g cottage cheese
40g butter, melted
2 medium eggs
3 tbsp white caster sugar
2 tbsp semolina (I used coarse, but fine is ok, too)
2-3 tbsp milk, warm
3 tbsp sour cream
a pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract or any other vanilla
1 egg yolk
1tsp icing sugar
sour cream or sweet condensed milk
icing sugar, if desired
- In a small cup, soak semolina in warm milk for 5 minutes. Add sour cream and mix well.
- In a other small cup, soak raisins in hot black tea or water for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- In a bowl, beat eggs with sugar and salt until pale and creamy, allow sugar to dissolve.
- In a large bowl, smooth cottage cheese with a folk or electric blender, add butter and mix. Add beaten eggs and vanilla, mix to combine. Add semolina and raisins, and combine.
- Grease the baking dish with some butter or oil, pour the mixture in and bake in preheated 200C oven for 25 minutes. At this step check the color of your bake: if its top is still pale, brush the bake with glaze and put the dish back into the oven for 15 minutes or until golden-brown; if top is already golden-brown, omit the glaze and bake for 10-15 minutes more.
- Cut the cottage cheese bake into slices. Serve warm or cold with a dollop of sour cream, if desired. It’s also tasty to pour over some sweet condensed milk (instead of sour cream).