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.
Lemon-tvorog pie with apricot top
- 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!
- 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.
- Beat all ingredients with electric blender into a smooth puree. The apricot top was slightly sour, if you like sweeter -add more sugar.