Tag Archives: baking

Russian pirogki

 Small, large, festive, with cabbage and eggs, potatoes, with wild mushrooms or rice&fish, with jam.. It’s all about pirogi (pies in Russian) and pirogki (small pies). Pies have been always prepared and enjoyed in Russia. The word “pirog” came from a word “pir” that means feast and therefore in old Russia every festival and banquet could be hardly imagine without a large, beautiful and delicious pie.
 In old times pies were generally made with rye, wholegrain or any similar flour (which is considered very healthy nowadays), such flour were available among poor people and thus pies could be eaten very often. While the white wheat flour was an expensive thing and using it was an luxury, affordable only among novelty, bourgeoisie and other high classes.
 The dough could be prepared with yeast or simple unleavened, based on a soured milk or cream, also made with oil or butter (shortbread pastry). Pies fillings were diverse as well, it could be meat of wild birds like pheasant and black grouse, vegetarian – with fresh forest mushrooms during summer and autumn, with soured cabbage, eggs or dried mushrooms on a winter time, sweet – with wild berries, dried fruits or homemade preserve.
 Without a doubt, serving a large pie or even several pies on a festive table was an indication of the host’s wealth and prosperity.
Russian pirogki
 The dough for these pies was made with yeast and soured liquid yogurt (I used local soured drink-laban, which is very similar to Russian kefir). The dough is very tender and fluffy, and of course very easy to prepare. Pies made from this dough stay soft even on the next day!
 I’m loving mashed potatoes filling since childhood, I haven’t made it pretty long time.. Second favourite filling is a mixture of chopped hard-boiled eggs&spring onions, that reminds me spring! I posted the recipe that you can find here, moreover the dough I made that time is unleavened (no any yeast) and even more quickly to prepare, but not thick and fluffy as this one. The choice is up to you, I love both. 🙂
Russian pirogki with potato filling

Russian pirogki with potato filling /sour milk&yeast dough/

  • Difficulty: moderate
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Instead of kefir you can use laban, buttermilk or any soured milk.
Ingredients
Dough
180g plain flour
6g instant yeast
250ml kefir, warm/at room temperature
50ml sunflower oil
a good pinch of fine salt (about 1/2 tsp)
1 tsp white sugar
1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tbsp milk, for glazing
Potato filling
400g potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 bay leave
1 tbsp oil (olive or sunflower)
a small knob of butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 tsp dried thyme (or 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves)
15g butter
a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg, optional
salt, black paper to taste
some finely chopped parsley (2-3 tbsp)
Method
 
Dough
  • Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl, combine with yeast.
  • In a cup/bowl stir kefir with oil, salt and sugar.
  • Pour kefir mixture into flour. Mix to combine a dough. Cover with kitchen towel or plastic wrap and leave to prove for 45-60 minutes.
  • While the dough is proving, prepare the potato filling (recipe below).
  • When it’s risen, divide the dough into several equal balls. The size depends on your taste: if you wish to make small pirogki – you need small dough balls. Roll each ball slightly into round shape. The dough is soft and tender, that sometimes I don’t use rolling-pin and carefully stretch the dough with hands.
  • Put a tablespoon or two of potato filing into each round, close and arrange onto lined with baking paper baking tray.
  • Leave to rise for 10-15 minutes. Brush with egg wash.
  • Bake in a preheated 180C oven for 20 minutes.
  • Optionally, you can brush pirogki with butter. Cover with kitchen towel: it helps the dough to stay softer.
  • Serve warm with milk or tea.
Potato filling
  • In a large pan, bring water to boil. Add potatoes and bay leave, bring to boil again, reduce the heat and simmer on a medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are soft and ready.
  • Meanwhile, in a small frying pan, heat oil and butter, fry onions on a medium heat until soft and lightly brown. Stir in thyme and saute for a minute more.
  • Drain potatoes (leave 2 tbsp of water in a pan). Add butter, nutmeg and season to taste. Mash it. Stir in fried onion and fresh parsley.
Enjoy Russian pies!

Mandarin-lemon pudding

 There are so many recipes in this world, including pudding recipes: some are baked, another prepared with gelatin and then cooled in a fridge.. and then I’m feeling stuck and really don’t know which one to try. 🙂 I like easy-to-make recipes like this one – baked pudding. It has the amazing mandarin-lemon flavour and bright tasting. The pudding is good on its own, but I also prepared a simple citrus sauce, that I made for this peach pie, and it was absolutely delicious! 🙂
 Any favourite pudding recipes, guys? I’d like to hear which one do you like and cook.
Mandarin-lemon pudding

Baked mandarin-lemon pudding

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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For the citrus sauce recipe click here.
 
Ingredients
2 medium eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of nutmeg, optional
50g white sugar
zest from 1 mandarin +1/2 lemon
100ml full-fat milk
50g plain flour
1 tsp melted butter, for greasing
Preparation
  1. Beat eggs until pale and fluffy.
  2. Add vanilla, nutmeg, sugar, zests and whisk for a few minutes.
  3. Pour in milk.
  4. Sift in flour, whisk to combine.
  5. Grease tins with butter. Divide the batter between tins. Optionally sprinkle with citrus zest.
  6. Bake in preheated 200C oven for 18-20 minutes. Then reduce to 190C and bake for 7-10 minutes more.
  7. Serve warm with sauce. Enjoy!
Adapted from Russian telecast “Cook with A.Zimin”

Almond and ricotta cake

 One of the great part of food blogging is that you can discover new and interesting recipes almost every time you open your browser; you can see what bloggers cook and enjoy in different parts of the world, and of course try to prepare those amazing international recipes at home. So, when I saw the ricotta-almond cake that Margherita shared at her blog, I immediately saved it and decided to make it the other day. The cake turned out really moist and very nutty. I even could say that you can feel more nuts than ricotta, but it’s not bad at all (especially if you love lots of nuts in baking). Moreover, orange zest gave a fantastic aroma to the cake. The only thing – it was a bit too sweet to my taste, so I will reduce the quantity of sugar next time.
Almond ricotta cake
And I didn’t wait for an hour before unmolding the cake, about 20 minutes was enough to get it cool and enjoy with a tea. 🙂
A slice of almond-ricotta cake

Almond and ricotta cake

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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*Was a bit sweet to my taste, next time reduce sugar to 100g
For 20cm spring form tin
Ingredients
250g ricotta
180g ground almonds
3 egg whites
1/2 tsp lemon juice
a pinch of salt
90g butter, soft (at room temperature)
120g white sugar*
zest from 1 orange
3 egg yolks
some almond flakes
orange zest, for decor, optional
Preparation method
  1. In a bowl, stir ricotta with ground almonds. Set aside.
  2. Beat egg whites with lemon juice and salt until steady peaks. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, blend butter with sugar and orange zest until creamy. Mix in egg yolks, one at a time.
  4. Stir in ricotta mixture.
  5. Carefully fold beaten egg whites into ricotta mixture.
  6. Line the baking tin with greased parchment. Pour in batter. Sprinkle with almond flakes and orange zest.
  7. Bake in preheated 170C oven for 50 minutes or until golden.
  8. Let it cool in the tin for 20-30 minutes and then carefully transfer to a serving plate.
Enjoy!

Salted peanut cookies

 I love shortbread cookies, there are almost thousands possibilities of flavours that you can add: mandarin, lemon or orange zest, vanilla or cinnamon, cardamom and etc. I stumbled upon this recipe a long time ago on one Russian website that content was about news, conferences for chefs and there were some recipes as well. I don’t know why I haven’t tried this recipe earlier, because these cookies are amazing! They have the right shortbread cookie texture – not too crumbly neither hard, simply divine! 🙂SPCookies

Salted peanut cookies

  • Difficulty: moderate
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I mix all ingredients with my hands. You may do it with electric mixer, but don’t overmix.
Ingredients
75g butter, cold
50g caster sugar
1 medium egg
lemon zest from 1 small lemon
120g plain flour
30g salted peanuts, chopped
Method
  • Cut butter into 1cm cubes and bring to room temperature. Divide the egg into yolk and white.
  • On a flat surface (you can do it in a large bowl too), mix butter with sugar until just coarse crumbs.
  • Add egg yolk, half of egg white (keep the rest) and lemon zest. Mix to combine.
  • Mix in flour. Combine the dough. On this step you may think you need to add extra flour, stop, no need to add extra flour or overknead the dough; after resting it’ll be perfect. Cover the dough in a plastic wrap and put in a fridge for 40-50 minutes.
  • Once the dough is cooled, roll it out on a lightly floured surface into 5mm thick disk. Cut out cookies any shape you like. Carefully transfer cookies on a lined baking tray. Brush with remaining egg white, sprinkle with peanuts.
  • Bake in preheated 180C oven for 12 minutes or until cookies are lightly golden.
Enjoy!

Russian sour cream cake

 Hello-hello! May be some of you remember this post when I wrote about cowberries. I love these bright, sour and bitter beauties. These little cowberries is an excellent source of Vitamin C, and of course the best way to eat them as is or sprinkle with some sugar. A handful of these beauties make any cake only prettier, like I did – threw some on the top of this wonderful cake. I know, it’s not easy to find even frozen cowberries in stores, so go ahead and use cranberries (but I mean small ones). Honestly speaking, they are pretty similar.Russian sour cream cake
 In Russia, we consume much of sour cream; we use it as a sauce for both sweet and savory pancakes, to dress salads, to make famous Beef Stroganof and etc. And it’s no wonder that we make sour cream cakes. The cake is very soft, aromatic and tender; and the big plus – you can use almost any fruits that you can find in your fridge – apples, plums, or may be some pears..  And even prepare it plane-without any fruits or berries, then cut a good freshly-baked slice and enjoy it with a cup of hot milky tea. 🙂Sour cream cake

Russian sour cream cake (with plums and cowberry)

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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I used 20cm baking tin.
You may substitute yellow plums for red; and use cranberry instead of cowberry.
Ingredients 
200g sour cream (20% fat)
80g white sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon, optional
1 medium lemon, zest, chopped
1/3 tsp baking soda
2 tsp lemon juice
150-180g self-raising flour
4-5 yellow plums, cut into 4-6 slices
100-150g frozen cowberry (no need to defreeze)
Preparation method 
  • In a large bowl, whisk sour cream with sugar for 5 minutes. If using electric blender 2 minutes will be enough.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk eggs with vanilla, cinnamon and lemon zest ( you need only to combine ingrefients, dont overwhisk). Stir into sour cream mixture.
  • Dissolve soda in lemon juice and stir into the batter.
  • Gradually add flour.
  • Line and grease baking tin. Pour in batter. Arrange plum slices (lightly push them into batter) and cowberry. You may sprinkle with extra lemon zest and granulated sugar.
  • Bake in preheated 180C oven for 35 minutes. Leave to cool in a tin for 10 minutes. Carefully take it out and serve.
Next day gently reheat the cake before serving.
Enjoy! 
Sour cream cake with plums and cowberry