Sunny pie

 Today is the winter solstice, it is an astronomical event that occurs twice a year (summer and winter solstice). Winter solstice is the shortest day and the longest night of the year. During the paganism time in old Russia this day was a special celebration, which was called Yule night. It was a festive and holy day for the honour of greeting the baby-sun named Kolyada, that was born on this night, which slowly but steady began to be stronger and brighter. That means that with each upcoming day nights became shorter, days longer and sun shone brightly and warmly. In the night people had to get together (there was a superstition that to stay alone in this night was unluckily), they set a big festive fire, sang songs and burnt all old and useless stuff; people also prepared chickens and turkey, baked round pies and praised the Sun.Sunny pie

 As you can see, I’ve tried to make a sun-looking pie. Rich and sweet pastry holds lemon-scented milky filling and all covered with lightly soured apricot puree.  In a word, I liked this bright and tasty pie! It reminds me another pie that I made – ‘cottage cheese and cranberry pie’, so if you liked that one – give a chance to this sunny pie as well. 🙂Sunny pie with lemon-tvorog filling
Bright and Sunny Pie

Lemon-tvorog pie with apricot top

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print
I used 20cm loose-bottom baking pan.
*Tvorog is Russian cottage cheese, you can find it in many European or Russian stores.
Lemon-tvorog pieA slice of sunny pie
Ingredients
sweet lemon pastry
400g tvorog*
100g butter,  at room temperature
zest of 1 medium lemon
3-4 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 medium eggs
30g (3 tbsp) brown sugar
30g (3 tbsp) white sugar
60g golden raisins
hot black tea or water, to cover the raisins
2 tsp cornmeal
apricot top
Preparation method
  • While the pastry case is baking, prepare the filling.
  • In a small bowl, put raisins and cover with hot black tea or water. You can also add a tablespoon of cognac or brandy for extra flavour. Leave to soak while making the diary filling.
  • In a large bowl, whisk tvorog with butter until just combined. In another bowl beat eggs with sugars.
  • Add lemon zest and juice, vanilla and beaten eggs to the tvorog mixture, beat until just combined.
  • Drain raisins and mix into the filling along with cornflour.
  • Pour the filling into the pastry case. Pour the apricot puree over the tvorog filling.
  • Bake in preheated 190C oven for 45-50 minutes. If the top begins to burn – cover it with foil.
  • Let it cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then carefully transfer onto the serving plate. Enjoy!
P.S. The filling wasn’t smooth as you can see from the pics, if you like it -ok, if not- you may push tvorog through the sieve.
Sweet lemon pastry
170g butter, at room temperature
50g golden caster sugar
zest of 1 small lemon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg (40-45g), at room temperature
260g plain flour
Glaze: 1 small beaten egg yolk, optional
  • In a large bowl, whisk butter with sugar until just creamy. Add lemon zest, vanilla and egg and mix until just combined. Mix in flour. Cover the pastry with plastic wrap and chill overnight or up to 3 days until ready to use.
  • Roll out 3mm-thick (or as thick as you like) circle to cover your baking pan. You can also make ‘sun rays’ and stick them to the base and sides of the pan, but it’s optional step. If you have any pastry remains, roll out it and cut out cookies, then bake it on a baking tray for 10-12 minutes.
  • Put the pan with pastry into the freezer for 10 minutes.
  • Cover the pastry case with foil, add beans/rice/special stones for baking and bake in preheated 190C oven for 20 minutes. Then remove the weight, brush with the glaze (optional) and return to the oven for 5 minutes more.
Apricot Top (optional)
5 small sliced apricots (150g) (or sub with apricot jam)
2 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp cornflour
20-30g (3 tbsp) golden caster sugar
  • Beat all ingredients with electric blender into a smooth puree. The apricot top was slightly sour, if you like sweeter -add more sugar.
Enjoy!
 Lemon-tvorog pieSharing with wonderful and full of fun Fiesta Friday party!

52 thoughts on “Sunny pie

    • I’ve tried only UK cottage cheese (that was sold here), it was almost the same. But I think tvorog are now sold in many stores, hope you will find it to compare. 🙂

  1. Such a beautiful pie! It absolutely glows 🙂 I love everything about it–the pretty yellow colour, the flavours, the “sunniness” of it, the crown-like crust, and the information about the winter solstice tradition!

    • It was a bit time-consuming to make ‘sun-rays’.. I just stuck them to the sides of the pan, then cool it and bake. And another point – cool the baked pie in the pan and then carefully take it out.

    • Nowadays it’s not celebrated, but I love old traditions.. And agree with you- how many similar things, recipes and traditions we have in different countries! 🙂

  2. I absolutely love anything baked with tvorog in it, and your sunny pie is no exception. I also like that you soak the raisins in tea. I am bookmarking this and will make it some day soon I hope.

  3. Congratulations on the feature Mila… and deservedly so, wow! a work of art, and I can only imagine the end result! Merry Christmas and best wishes for 2016.

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