I am a freelance writer with a passion for art, photography, cooking, yoga, dancing and travelling. I have an Eastern European background and I love to explore new cultures, discover new things and share my experiences with the world.
Published December 13th 2012
An authentic Russian recipe
Cottage cheese pancakes are a traditional Russian/Eastern European dish, commonly prepared for breakfast or light dinner. They are one of my favourite childhood meals and from my experience favourite meals remain special throughout your whole life –they are sweet reminders of your carefree childhood.
Dairy products, especially cottage cheese top the list of high calcium foods and cottage cheese pancakes are a great way to introduce cottage cheese in your weekly diet.
Given that cottage cheese is the main ingredient in the recipe it is important to find the right one. The European style cottage required for the meal can be purchased from local markets, Russian or Polish food stores, Costco and occasionally from your local supermarket. The best brands of European style cottage cheese are Blue Bay, Quark, Brancourts and Tempo.
My recipe is just one out of the myriad of options, and I will outline some of the variations following the recipe.
Ingredients: 2 eggs, 500 grams European style cottage cheese, 3-4 tablespoons of flour, vanilla sugar, salt, sultanas.
First combine 2 eggs, 3 tablespoons of flour, a pack of cottage cheese (500g) in a big bowl. Mix it all together and then add a bit of salt and vanilla sugar to taste. I use a potato masher to mix it together but you can do it with your hands – you will get them dirty later anyway. This can be an engaging and fun activity to do with the kids. When the mixture is completely blended add sultanas if you like.
On a medium size cutting board sprinkle some flour, then make a little ball out of the mixture, flour it and then flatten out. The reason why I roll the balls in flour is to make sure that they do not collapse as the mixture does not have much flour in it. It is important to moisten your hands beforehand so that the mixture does not stick to your hands. It's a messy job -but it's worth it in the end.
Heat the frying pan with a bit of sunflower oil; do not pour a lot because you will need to top it up now and then. You can put the pancakes on the pan as you make them, otherwise make about 6 or 7 and then put them on at the same time. Fry them on both sides until golden brown on a low/medium heat. When done put it on a plate covered with a paper towel – this will ensure that the extra sunflower oil gets absorbed.
There are many variations of the recipe: you can play around with every ingredient and get a different outcome at the end. For example, some may prefer to add more flour – instead of three tablespoons use 6 or 7, this way you do not even need to roll them in flour on the cutting board.
Another variation is to add more sugar; instead of a tiny bit of vanilla sugar you can add a few teaspoons of raw sugar. On the other and, you can add more salt into the mixture and make sour cottage cheese pancakes with dill. My mum likes this recipe but my sister and I always ask for the sweet version. In the sweat version you can replace sultanas with dried cranberries or blueberries.
Finally, for healthy diet lovers (even though my recipe is quite healthy as it is) baking may be the best option. After you have rolled your cottage cheese pancakes in flour lay them into a tray covered with baking paper. Try not to put them too closely to each other because they tend to spread. Preheat the oven to 150-160 °C and bake the pancakes for about 20 minutes – keep checking on them otherwise you will be left with no dinner. The baking option is advantageous because this way you can avoid using oil.