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Sirniki

A typical dish of Russia, this delightfully different dessert is made with fresh farmers’ cheese. In Ukraine, it is often served for breakfast, so you can try it for brunch too. The farmers’ cheese is very mild, and a good foil for topping it with strawberry ragout as below, but you could experiment with sour cream, jam, or applesauce.

Ingredients

Sirniki:

  • 2 lbs (907 g) farmers’ cheese*
  • 2 lg eggs
  • 2 T (24 g) sugar
  • 2 T sugar or to taste
  • ½ tsp (2.5 g) salt
  • 1 C (125 g) flour, plus additional for dusting
  • Zest from each 1 orange and 1 lemon
  • 1 T (15 ml) vegetable oil

Strawberry ragoût:

  • ½ C (96 g) sugar
  • ½ C (118 ml) red wine
  • Juice from 1 orange
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • ½ tsp (1.5 g) cornstarch
  • 2 C (320 g) strawberries, hulled and cut into quarters
  • 1 T (15 ml) Amaretto

Garnish

  • 1 C (60 g) whipped cream
  • 6 mint sprigs

Directions

Sirniki:

Preheat oven to 140°F (60°C). Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, place farmers’ cheese, eggs, sugar and salt; mix well. Add flour and zests, stirring to incorporate. Generously dust a plate with flour. Form pancakes about 2-3 inches (50-76 mm) across and dredge in flour, passing pancake from hand to hand to remove any excess; set aside. Place oil in skillet over medium-high and cook just until golden brown; transfer immediately to prepared baking sheet and bake 7-8 minutes.

Strawberry ragoût:

Meanwhile, place a small saucepan over medium heat and add sugar, wine, orange and lemon juice. Stir in cornstarch and strawberries and cook, stirring gently, until thickened. Stir in Amaretto; remove from heat. Arrange Sirniki on dessert plates, spoon ragout over the top, and garnish with whipped cream and mint

*Or substitute small-curd cottage cheese, drained well in a fine strainer.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes.
  • Cook time: 7-8 minutes.
  • Makes 6 servings.