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Syrniki (Russian Farmer’s Cheese Pancakes)
Makes about 8 plump pancakes
Note: Straining the whey out of the cheese is really a matter of taste. The whey is actually protein-rich, heart-healthy and gives the pancakes a bit of tartness similar to buttermilk pancakes. You can skip the straining part altogether, if you like. Just add a li’l more flour to absorb the extra moisture, maybe 1/3 of a cup.
The size & thickness of the pancakes is entirely a preference.
But, remember, the smaller they are, the more you can eat!
What to Get
2 lbs quark/tvorog cheese
1 cup flour
2 egg yolks
1 whole egg
4 Tb sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extra
butter & oil for frying
extra flour for coating
sour cherry jam
What to Do
Place a colander over a large bowl and cover with a piece of clean cheesecloth.
Put the cheese over the cheesecloth , wrap into a tight bun and allow the whey
to drain, about 8 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
To make the batter, discard the whey, remove the cheesecloth and place the strained cheese into the bowl.
Beat the yolks and egg together and add to the cheese.
Add the sugar, salt, zest, vanilla and incorporate everything together using a fork.
Dad finds a potato masher works well.
If you’re not ready to eat them yet, cover the bowl with plastic and store in the fridge for up to 1 day.
The dough travels well, too, if you want to take them to your daughter’s house and spoil her.
When you’re ready to fry them, gently start heating a nonstick pan, add a dab of butter and a drizzle of oil, so the butter doesn’t burn.
Cut a piece of parchment paper and place it over a clean plate/tray.
Put some flour onto another plate/tray and cover your palms with flour.
Take a tablespoon of dough and roll it into a ball about the size of a lime.
Rest it onto one palm and with the flat of the fingers of your other hand,
pat the ball down into a patty about 1/2 an inch thick.
Shape the rest of the pancakes.
Once the butter/oil has started to bubble and brown, gently place the pancakes, one at a time into the pan.
Take good care not to splatter any hot oil onto your hand.
After about 2 minutes, lift a pancake slightly to see how crispy brown the bottom has gotten.
Flip the pancakes and rotate the pan for even heating.
Serve hot with cold sour cream and your favorite jam.