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SYRNIKI
Russian quark pancakes

These sweet, protein-packed pancakes are popular in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and many other Slavic countries of East Europe.

Syrniki
250 g smooth, soft quark
2 eggs
25 ml sugar
2 tsp vanilla sugar
50 ml flour
butter for cooking

Preparing the batter:
In this recipe, only use soft quark and not the harder, grainier type, to produce the best result. Pour out any visible separated liquid in the quark container/package, transfer the quark in a bowl and stir it smooth with a balloon whisk, fork or spoon.

Crack the eggs in the bowl and stir thoroughly with the quark. Add the sugars and the flour and stir until smooth, do not whip or beat the mixture.

Note that the batter for syrniki is much thicker than regular European crêpe or pancake batters (including the thicker American-type pancake batters)  —  in this recipe it is similar to medium-thick yogurt or sour cream. Cover the bowl and leave to stand for a minimum of 20 minutes. The batter will keep for a couple of days, stored covered in refrigerator.

Syrniki with jam Cooking the syrniki:
Heat a pancake pan or (non-stick) frying pan on medium-high heat and add a knob of butter, letting it melt and cover the rounds/bottom of the pan, but not brown. Unlike regular, lace-thin crêpes, the thicker syrniki are fried for longer, using lower heat so as not to burn them.

Spread batter in the rounds of the pancake pan or on the bottom of the frying pan in small, about 5-millimetre-thick rounds. The pancakes will puff up slightly (flattening as they cool down).

In picture on right: syrniki with raspberry jam.

Let the pancakes cook for a minute or two, or until they are just starting to brown on the underside and are firm enough to be flipped over with a spatula. Cook the other side and serve immediately.

Syrniki can be served for dessert, breakfast or as a snack, usually with smetana and (raspberry) jam, but feel free to use whatever toppings you like, like different fresh fruit, berries, jams or compotes, sweetened condensed milk, ice cream, etc. Store any leftover syrniki refrigerated  —  they may be eaten slightly warmed or even cold, to accompany tea or coffee.

Recipe source: family recipe/traditional Russian recipe.


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