Blini spiral pie

 Maslenitsa or Butterweek is going on in Russia right now. It’s a winter festival, saying goodbye to the cold winter days and greeting the warm and sunny spring. During this week people prepare and eat lots of blini. For breakfast blini can be served simple and quick with melted butter and sugar or some homemade jam, for lunch – again blini, and for the dinner, especially when the whole family is getting together, is really nice and festive to serve the delicious salmon pie or this one – soft, aromatic and nourishing spiral meat pie.
 Blini and the filling can be prepared a couple of days ahead, so you can assemble the pie whenever  you have the time or just before the dinner. Succulent stewed cabbage, tasty beef and aromatic dill along with coriander and parsley make the filling truly wonderful! Moreover, blini will be soaked in a mixture of sour cream and eggs, that adds extra moisture and taste.
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 Maslenitsa is a very kind and light time, each day has a special meaning according to old tradition. For example, Wednesday is called “Gourmand”. On this day huge tables and stalls were settled on main squares, where people could drink hot honey-based sbiten and aromatic tea, enjoyed gingerbreads, fresh buns and some other sweet treats, and definitely taste the unlimited blini! But the main event was the visit of son-in-law his mother-in-law, and the mother tried to prepare the best blini she could to show respect and love to her daughter’ husband.
 On Friday, the mother-in-law returned the visit, then her daughter made pancakes and the son-in-law had to please the mother and her other relatives.
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Blini spiral pie

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: moderate
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The quantity of the ingredients is given approximately, as it totally depends on the taste, quantity of blini, etc. 
*For the pouring mixture, you can use either sour cream or double cream; even milk will work, just reduce the quantity.
Ingredients
~8 blini
Filling
250g mince beef
250-300g raw white cabbage
1 medium red onion
2-3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
dried herbs: dill, crushed whole coriander, marjoram
salt&pepper to taste
some oil for frying
2-3 tbsp sour cream (15-20%)
100ml double cream (30-35%)*
2 eggs
Garnish
sour cream
Method
  • Make blini. The recipe is here.
  • Heat some oil in one frying pan, add chopped onion and beef, season with marjoram and salt and pepper. Fry on a high heat for few minutes, breaking up the lumps with spatula. Reduce the heat to medium and fry for 10-15 minutes more. Then add some warm water, if the meat is too dry, cover with the lid and simmer until tender or while you’re preparing the cabbage.
  • In another pan, heat the oil and shredded cabbage, fry on a medium-high heat, stirring occasionally and adding water if necessary, allow cabbage to brown but not to burn. Fry until cabbage is brown, then sprinkle with dill and coriander, season, cover with a lid and cook until the cabbage is soft.
  • To assemble, you need any round baking dish, covered with baking paper and drizzled with oil. Mix meat with cabbage and fresh parsley. Take one blin and put one-two tablespoons of the filling into it, roll. Make as much as fits to the baking dish.
  • Mix creams with eggs and pour over the blini pie.
  • Bake in preheated 190C oven for 30 minutes.
  • Serve warm with  a dollop of sour cream.
Enjoy! 

Buckwheat pancakes with pike caviar

  Good morning! I guess, pancakes is the most wanted breakfast on Earth. 😀 No matter how you call them in your country, whether you like thick or thin pancakes, sweet or savory – they are all delicious! Today, I’d like to share the recipe of Russian buckwheat oladushki (small pancakes). In Russia we like buckwheat grain and consume it in enormous amounts; it is not only the tasty grain but also very healthy (it contains no gluten, and a good source of protein). So buckwheat flour is also popular and widely-used in preparation of various pancakes, vareniki or cakes.Buckwheat pancakes

 The flour is a bit heavy itself, plus I used wholegrain one, and as you can see from the photos: my pancakes turned out not very thick. But if you like them thicker and fluffier, add less buckwheat and more plain flour.
 These pretty dark and so-healthy pancakes go great with a dollop of fresh sour cream and slice of homemade cured salmon! I brought a can of pike caviar from Russia, and garnished pancaked with it. It’s not very salty and suits perfectly here. Of course I understand that it’s not easy to get pike caviar (at least find it Russian store), but you can substitute it with salmon or any other fish caviar you like, or a thin slice of smoked salmon is another awesome option.
Buckwheat pancakes with pike caviar

Buckwheat pancakes with pike caviar

Ingredients
100g buckwheat flour (I used organic wholegrain)
100g plain flour
1 egg
200g sour cream (20% fat)
3 tbsp full-fat milk
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1/3 tsp baking soda
1/3 tsp salt
sunflower oil, for frying
Garnish
sour cream
pike caviar (sub it with salmon caviar or cured salmon slices)
chopped chive, optional
Method
  • In a large bowl, whisk egg with salt, milk, sour cream and oil. Sift plain flour, add buckwheat flour and soda. Mix all ingredients to combine.
  • Heat a frying pan or skillet of a high heat. Add 1-2 tablespoons of oil, if needed. Using a ladle or cup, drop some batter on a pan until desires size of pancake is reached (I made 7-8cm). Cook until edges begin to look dry and bubbles start to form, about 1 minute. Then flip the pancakes and cook 1-2 minutes more on the other side. Repeat with remaining batter.
  • Serve with a dollop of sour cream, top with a few teaspoons of caviar and sprinkle with chive if desired.
Enjoy Russian Breakfast!

Crepe Cake with custard creme

 Yes-yes! It’s blini again! I was eating lots of crepes last two weeks, seems I need to stop. 😀 But this is the whole cake! Believe me, you need to try it once to be obsessed forever! 😉 Just few days back I was watching one video and Russian confectioner made sweet blini-cake, it was a sign to make it and of course to try new recipe of blini. It turned out to be easy to make, but get ready to prepare a lots of blini! Despite the fact that I used too wide pan and the stack wasn’t high as much as I wanted, blini turned out thin, tender and very tasty.Blini Cake with custard cream

 I decided to make custard cream (the confectioner made another cream), which is not very sweet and buttery. The quantity of the cream was more than enough for my cake, so I spread it on each crepe and put the cake in the fridge to set. Impatiently, I sliced into the cake, bite it and was surprised, the crepes absorbed almost all the cream. There was only the one way out – to eat it with sweet condensed milk on side. 😀 So, next time I will make double quantity of the cream.Crepe Cake

Crepe Cake with custard creme

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 2-3hr
  • Difficulty: easy
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Before assembling the cake, allow the crepes and cream to cool completely.
The crepe-cake tastes also good on the second day and can be a tasty breakfast, if you manage to save a slice that long!
Thin Blini (crepes)
300g flour- sift in a bowl
1 tsp/5g salt
500ml milk
5 eggs, beaten
120ml water
70g butter, melted
Custard cream 
500ml milk, full fat
4 egg yolks
100g fine sugar
40g cornmeal
1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp extract
In a small bowl whisk together sugar and yolks until the mixture is pale. Add cornmeal while continuing to gently whisk the mixture.
In a pan bring milk with vanilla bean to a boil while constantly stirring and taking care not to burn it.
Gradually pour half of the hot milk into the egg mixture  while continuing to stir. Pour egg mixture into the pan with the other half of milk, continuously stir. Continue cooking and stirring to the point of the mixture becoming thick and custard forming – about 10 minutes.
Cool the custard completely.
Enjoy!

Maslenitsa (Butter Week). Blini recipe.

 Maslenitsa (Butter Week) is a Christian holiday, one of the brightest and widely-celebrated holiday in Russia, a week before Great Lent. The name Maslenitsa came from Russian word ‘maslo’ which means butter. In the beginning of 16th century, when Church initiated the holiday, it was restricted to eat meat, however fish was allowed, as well as dairy products and butter. Most of the peasants could afford to eat only butter, thus the week began to call Butter Week or Maslenitsa.
 During Druids’ times- before 16th century in Rus’ (old Russia’s name) was celebrated a pagan holiday – The Day of spring equinox, which was called Komoedica. It was one of the ancient pagan holidays, celebration of greeting spring, and moreover, worship of the Slavic Bear God: early in the morning people got together, song the songs and went into the forest to praise the Bear God, so they left first and freshly-cooked blini on tree stumps to treat him. After that the Butter Week revelry had been started.Russian stuffed blini (crepes)
 That time Spring was considered as a beginning of new life, people revered to the Sun and made round flat-bread as its symbol. But  in 9th century peasants began to make round-shaped blini. Hot and yellowish, blini became new symbol of the Sun; people also believed that with eating blini they had a piece of warmth and power of the Sun.
 In ancient times the Komoeditsa holiday was celebrated during two weeks and played an important role for peasants. After a long, cold and often starving winter people had to eat plenty of food (usually it was winter stock remains), cheered up and got stronger for future spring works. Butter week celebrations denoted that winter has passed, and it’s time for a warm season to come. After this holiday peasants began to work from sunrise until sunset during all warm months – spring, summer and autumn. Up to next snow season, they forced to work almost non-stop, without any weekends to get food for their families, fodder for cattle; they repair houses, and cut woods to keep homes warm during the long Russian winter.Russian Blini
 When Christianity was established as a state religion, all pagan celebrations and traditions were prohibited; Christian churchmen battle in a vain attempt to stop all holiday habits. After several centuries of unsuccessful fights, in 16th century the Church created new holiday – ‘meatless week’, the week before the Great Lent. People got used to the new holiday, started celebrate it widely and created other name – Maslenitsa.
 Finally traditional Maslenitsa celebrations were set in 18th century by Russian Emperor Petr I, who was a famous reveller and  party lover. Of course, the main treat was blini, which were baked and eaten in enormous amounts!
 One of my fav sweet fillings for blini is a mixture of tvorog (cottage cheese), sour cream, raisins and sugar. For me, it’s a pure indulgence to tuck the delicious filling into piping hot blini! You can also fold blini into half then half again to form wedge, then take the wedge and deep it onto sweet condensed milk.. Incredibly satisfying breakfast or lunch, or even dinner! 😀
 This blini recipe suits for any savory filling as well.

Russian blini. Sweet cottage cheese filling.

Ingredients 
2 eggs, medium size
a good pinch of salt
1-2 tbsp white sugar, optional
200ml hot water
1/2 tsp soda
200-230ml kefir (or sour milk/laban/buttermilk), 2-3% fat
150-170g plain flour
3-4 tbsp sunflower oil
some oil for frying, if needed
Filling
300-400g soft cottage cheese
2-3 tbsp sour cream, or more if needed
2-3 tbsp sugar or sweet condensed milk
50-60g sultana/raisins
Garnish
sour cream/sweet condensed milk/icing sugar
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs with salt and sugar.
  • In a glass or cup mix water with soda, stir and add to the eggs, stirring constantly.
  • Add kefir and mix well.
  • Sift flour and add it to the batter. Stir to combine.
  • Add oil and stir.
  • Let the batter rest for 20-30 minutes, if you have time.
  • Heat the frying pan and fry thin pancakes as usual. You can make any diameter you like.
  • For the filling, soak sultanas in hot water for 5-10 minutes, then drain. Mix all ingredients until well combined.
  • To assemble, spoon some filling in center of each pancake. Fold bottom edge of pancake over fililng, fold in both sides and roll up. Sprinkle with icing sugar and/or drizzle some sweet condensed milk, if desired. Or serve with a dollop of sour cream.

Enjoy!

Pancake Pie

 Today is ‘Forgiveness Sunday’, the last day of the ‘pancake festival’ (Butterweek) in Russia.
According to one old tradition, the more pancakes have been eaten during the Butterweek, the more successful will be the year.
As per another custom, a girl at the twilight, should took a pancake, went out and asked the first stranger his name. It was believed, that man’s name and look is similar to the future husband’s appearance. In case if the girl didn’t like the name ‘n’ look, she had to give a pancake to the guy. If she liked it, she had to eat a pancake herself. 🙂
 There are lots of pancakes varieties, with savoury or fruit fillings. Mine 3 favourites: with cottage cheese, sweet condensed milk and salmon 🙂
 Making pancakes could be really exciting and interesting, you can involve the whole family, invite friends and enjoy the holiday.
 You can surprise your family by preparing this delicious pancake pie!
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What’s more, I decided to participate in Fiesta Friday, organized by Angie from TheNoviceGardener. I’m happy to be involved in such virtual parties and get new friends. 🙂

The basic Russian pancakes recipe
Serves 4-6
Ingredients:
650ml full fat milk
50ml warm water
250g all-purpose flour
2 eggs
a good pinch of salt
2 tbsp of sugar
2 tbsp of sunflower oil
1/3 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp of lemon juice or vinegar
Preparation:
  • Break the eggs into large bowl, add salt and sugar, whisk.
  • Add the oil and milk, whisk again.
  • Sift the flour into the bowl, whisk thoroughly.
  • Add warm water and whisk to incorporate any lumps.
  • Pour lemon juice or vinegar into a spoon with baking soda on it (to dissolve the soda), quickly add it into the batter and whisk a couple of times.
  • While the mixture is resting (it allows the ingredients to blend together better), heat the pan; grease the pan with some oil, if needed.
  • Evenly coat the pan with the batter. Cook about a minute, then flip the pancake and cook for 15-30 seconds more.
  • Keep prepared pancakes in warm place.
 You can already enjoy the tastiest pancakes, dipping them into a raspberry preserve or hazelnut sauce, or prepare the pancake pie with salmon. It could be wonderful lunch or dinner for the weekend. Pancake_pie_caviar-2
Pancake pie with salmon and cream cheese
Serves 4-5
Ingredients:
8 pancakes
200g salted or smoked salmon, always better homemade (find the recipe here)
120-150g cream cheese
2tbsp sour cream (substitute with crème fraîche, or single/double cream)
4-5 tbsp finely chopped dill
I used red caviare for the decoration, you can do it with salmon or just keep the top as is.
Assembling:
  • Blend the cream cheese with sour cream until smooth.
  • Cut the salmon into small cubes.
  • Arrange the first pancake on a plate, spread the cheese mixture and sprinkle with dill.
  • Cover with the second one. Spread some salmon on the pancake.
  • Cover with the third pancake.
  • Repeat all steps.
 Have a lovely pancake time!  🙂
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