Greek recipe · pies · vegetarian

Tvorog Pie with Greek Horiatiko Pastry

Horiatiko fillo

My sister came back from her Greek trip some weeks ago and brought us gostintsy (souvenirs) from the sunny country. We now have our stock of oregano refilled and I have new Greek books which will help get me through the winter. And there was this herby olive oil from Corfu as well:

Horiatiko fillo

That was a good excuse to make one of my favourite things when it comes to savoury and comfort food – pies. A successful marriage between Russian fresh cheese filling and elastic Greek pastry made with olive oil was it, and as I had no Greek alcohol required for it too, I used some (pseudo) Russian vodka. The pastry recipe comes from Dina Nikolaou, Greek chef who travels around Greece and then presents the region from the gastronomic side of life on TV. The great thing about this pastry is that it doesn’t need lots of time to rise – it actually only rests half an hour in the fridge and then the yeast makes its magic right in the oven, rising the pastry just enough to be soft and not enough to get all soggy! Teleio!

Horiatiko fillo

1 year ago – Orange and David Gilmour

2 years ago – An Autumn Day in Lappeenranta, Finland

3 years ago – Bread-therapy for a Tired Traveller

4 years ago – Autumn Colours and Karelia

5 years ago – Creamy Peach Tart and Kitchen Reborn

Tvorog Pie with Greek Horiatiko Pastry (pastry recipe adapted from Village Pastry with Olive Oil, Horiatiko fillo me elaiolado / Χωριάτικο φύλλο, με ελαιόλαδο from dinanikolaou.gr) will make a Greek-size pie with a soft filling and just enough pastry (I know I’ve said this about so many pies but you just can’t keep yourself from saying this when you taste it!).

Ingredients:

for the pastry (enough for 2 big pies):

  • 500 g all-purpose flour
  • 30 ml or about 3 Tbs olive oil (I had to add some water too)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 30 ml milk (mine was 2.5% fat)
  • 8-10 g fresh yeast dissolved in 1/2 cup (100 ml) lukewarm water (I used 1.5 tsp active dry yeast instead)
  • 2 1/2 Tbs tsipouro or ouzo (well, I had to go for vodka!)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

for the filling (enough for half of the pastry recipe):

  • 500 g 5% fat cottage cheese / quark (tvorog) – might as well be feta or brynza or a mixture
  • leftover mashed potatoes (optional but good)
  • some grated hard cheese
  • 2 small eggs
  • fresh herbs like spring onion, coriander and parsley, chopped
  • salt, pepper, dried oregano and seasoning like khmeli-suneli

Procedure:

First, make the pastry: Place fluffed flour in a big bowl and make a well in the center. Pour in olive oil, beaten egg, milk, yeast with the water it was dissolved in, tsipouro / ouzo / vodka and add salt and pepper. Knead lightly with your hands until you get soft and flexible dough. (Here I had to add a bit more water cause my 500 g of flour seemed like a lot for the indicated amount of liquid). Divide the dough into 2 equal parts, wrap in plastic foil and place in the fridge for 30 minutes (I left them there for more than an hour).

Meanwhile, prepare the filling: Mix all the filling ingredients (a good idea would be to add all except eggs and try it for salt) and put aside.

Now you can proceed with assembling the pie: Take one piece of the pastry and roll it out finely on a floured surface (I used only one piece of the dough both for the bottom and the top layers). It should be larger than the baking dish you’ll be using so that the borders are covered too. Place it onto your greased / laid with parchment paper baking dish. Roll out the second piece (or the leftovers from trimming the overhanging edges, which I did) to the very size of your baking dish – this will be the top layer.

Place the filling evenly on top of the bottom pastry layer and cover it with the top layer, pinching the edges. Don’t forget to cut slits in the top layer to help escape the steam (and occasional cheese liquid).

Bake in the preheated to 200 ‘C oven for about 30 minutes. The pie should start getting brown on the top (the top layer got browned faster than I expected so keep an eye on it).

Horiatiko fillo

Remarks: You will get more pastry than you would need for a very big pie (I baked my pie in the biggest cast iron pan we have, greased). I’m keeping my second half wrapped in the freezer for future comfort-food pies.

Horiatiko fillo

Result: The pastry is just perfectly elastic and keeps shape nicely – it also rolls out easily after its rest in the fridge. The filling was a bit too bland to be called Greek, so I would suggest adding either more salt or a different kind of cheese like the salty feta or brynza (super-salty brine cheese) or at least making it 50/50 with the cottage cheese.

Horiatiko fillo

When you take the pie out of the oven, the pastry is all smooth at first but then these nice cracks appear on the surface patricularly when you cut your huge slices. And the top of this pie is also crunchy, oraia!

Horiatiko fillo

To make your life even more comfortable and cozy in this cold season (we’ve somehow skipped the autumn here and headed straight into oh-no winter, you just read some Moomin stories!

This post goes to country-specific recipes and Lunch / Dinner suggestions where you will find more Greek / Greek-inspired pies.

G.

pies · sweet

Russian-style Pear Cheesecake

Pear Cheesecake

When you have pears hard as wood and two packages of Russian tvorog, you just go and make an improvised cheesecake. It turned out to be quite Russian, I should say, because tvorog is pretty grainy compared to the much softer cream cheese. Anyway, here’s a more or less accurate reconstruction of that improvised Russian-style cheesecake with pears:

Pear Cheesecake

1 year ago – Deli Bread with My Un-Favourite Ingredient

2 years ago – Dying Eggs for Easter the Natural Way

3 years ago – Apples and Oranges

4 years ago – Biscotti and On Soviet Food Stupidities

Russian-style Pear Cheesecake will make a soft but rich cheesecake with that very tvorog texture and flavour.

Ingredients:

for the base:

  • 90 g of butter, cold
  • 70 g of sugar, but actually to taste
  • about 180 g of flour
  • an egg
  • some cold water
  • a dash of nutmeg

for the cheesecake:

  • 500 g 5% fat tvorog (or a grainy type of farmer’s cheese)
  • 2 eggs
  • 100 g or more of sugar, to taste
  • 2 Tbs of cornstarch
  • a pinch of vanilla extract
  • 4-5 small pears or other fruit
  • some ground cardamom

Procedure:

First, make the base: mix flour with sugar and nutmeg, then cut in cold butter. I usually work in the butter with my hands after I precut it into pieces. Your mixture should resemble crumbs. Mix in the egg and add the water little by little so that you get a kneadable dough. Do not over-knead though. Cover the bowl and leave it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, you can start making the filling. Rub the tvorog with the sugar, mix in the eggs one by one, add the cornstarch and the vanilla. Slice the pears in your preferred fashion (I leave the skins on and do not pay too much attention to the appearance).

Grease a round springform pan. Now take the pastry out of the fridge and roll it a bit bigger than the size of your baking pan / spread it in the pan with fingers (which I did). You should be able to make quite tall borders with this amount of pastry. Lay the pieces of pears all over the bottom, sprinkle with some cardamom. Then pour all the cheese mixture on top. Give it a nice shake to distribute the mixture evenly.

Bake at 160-170 ‘C for about an hour (check at 50 minutes). Leave to cool and then keep refrigerated. It will slice better after some time in the fridge.

Pear Cheesecake

Remarks: No need to buy unripe pears for this cake 🙂 And I think any fruit will do as long as you like it! I didn’t add any sour cream (smetana) either which might have added a creamier taste to it. Also, be careful with the sugar – mine was a little bit too sweet!

Pear Cheesecake

Result: A chewy kind of cheesecake, if you know what I mean. It is more like the Russian zapekanka which is made with tvorog, eggs, sugar and a bit of flour.

After some time in the fridge, the slices were not falling apart that much and looked more ‘professional’. But I didn’t get a chance to take any pictures 🙂

Pear Cheesecake

This recipe goes to the Sweet and Russian collections.

G.

bread · Greek recipe · pies · vegetarian

Greek: Grandma’s Cheese Pies and Homemade Village Bread

(Greek) Grandma's Cheese

I’ve got two Greek recipes to share with you: cheese pies and bread. Both recipes call for whole-wheat flour which in Greece is not that very common unless you really turn to home or rather village cooking. And that’s exactly what I like in cooking – let’s walk on the rustic side of it!

(Greek) Grandma's Cheese

1 year ago – Italian Sourdough Bread with Potatoes and Herbs

2 years ago – Sunflower Seed Rye Sourdough or We Need Sun Here

3 years ago – Thessaloniki

4 years ago – Mangoes and Rye to Welcome Spring

(Greek) Grandma’s Cheese Pies or Tiropitakia tis giagias (Τυροπιτάκια της γιαγιάς) translated and adapted from bettyscuisine.blogspot.com will make lots of pies with rubbery cheese filling – a Greek version of hand pies. Beware (:) the entire recipe will make about 40 big pies! I halved the recipe and yet got about 2 trays of pies 🙂 See my remarks in italics.

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg whole-wheat flour
  • 1 Greek yogurt case – was not sure about the volume so added about a cup for 500 g flour, using a mixture of milk and kefir
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup olive oil + added salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 700 g Feta, crumbled with a fork – I used a 250 g pack of 5% fat tvorog (cottage cheese) + 290g Adygea cheese (for all three fillings) + fresh rosemary, salt and pepper. Second filling was some cooked millet and third – Adygea cheese + green onions, fresh rosemary, salt and pepper

(Greek) Grandma's Cheese

Procedure:

Mix flour with yogurt (I would suggest adjusting the amount of liquid accordingly), soda, eggs and oil. Knead well and divide into pieces (I also let the dough rest about 20 minutes which made it softer). Roll each piece into a round disk and place a spoonful of the filling on one side. Cover the filling with the other side of the disk and pinch the edges. You should get crescent-shaped pies (I also tried other shapes, see remarks). Place the pies on a greased baking tray (I used a silicon mat) and bake at 200 ‘C for 20 minutes (before baking I sprinkled the pies with some water).

(Greek) Grandma's Cheese

Remarks: My pies took exactly 20 minutes to bake – no matter what shape I used. First I thought about making small pies just like pelmeni (or Russian ravioli) but soon got tired of all the rolling, cutting and pinching, so made medium-small pies with the rest of the dough. And I should really warn you that we’re dealing here with a truly Greek recipe that will feed all your relatives! 🙂 So I would suggest making only half of the dough recipe or you might end up with no filling! Even with half of the dough I still had to invent more filling options thus adding fresh herbs (rosemary was good!) and using both cottage cheese and soft white cheese.

(Greek) Grandma's Cheese

Result: I tried the smaller pies right out of the oven – they were hot (apparently) and rather rubbery with all the soft cheese inside. If you’re using real Feta (lucky you!) I bet your pies will be quite salty and won’t need any special spicy twist to them (the dough might seem a bit bland even with the added salt). You can serve these as a starter – or if you make them big as the author suggests, they can become your lunch or dinner! 

(Greek) Grandma's Cheese

***

Homemade Village Bread

I’m still looking forward to finding that very recipe which will result in the super soft and super whole-wheat rustic bread I ate almost each day at the free (!) student canteen in Thessaloniki. Gosh, even my parents remember it! 🙂 I guess the thing was in the flour which was rough but yet gave that wonderful flavour to the bread. And it was soft too – with a crunchy crust. Oh, that bread was perfect… So here’s what I call the Greek size:

Homemade Village Bread

Homemade Village Bread or Khoriatiko psomi spitiko viologiko (Χωριάτικο ψωμί σπιτικό βιολογικό) translated and adapted from www.sintagespareas.gr will make a huge flagrant bread with super soft crumb and yet all those healthy bran bits inside. See my remarks in italics.

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg ‘village’ flour (whole wheat) – made a mixture of whole wheat + all purpose + wheat and rye bran + some oats for the topping
  • 2 packages of instant dried yeast – used less
  • 500 ml lukewarm water – had to use more
  • 1 shot of olive oil (Greek, please!)
  • 2 tsp salt

Procedure:

In a big plastic bowl (not necessarily🙂 mix all the flour with the yeast. Add salt and gradually pour in the lukewarm water, mixing well with your hands (yep, that’s how you do it!). Knead vigorously so that it becomes soft. Cover the bowl with a towel and a blanket (I just used plastic). Leave the dough to double in size in a warm place for at least 2 hours.

Then add the oil and knead well again. Place the dough in a greased and floured baking pan (preferably a large thick non-stick pan or tray). Slash the surface (I also brushed it with olive oil + sprinkled oats). Preheat the oven to 180 ‘C for 10 minutes, place the bread on the middle rack and bake it for about an hour (I had to move it to the lower rack at the end and baked just 55 min.).

When the bread is ready, take it out of the oven and out of the pan and leave it on a rack so that it gets rid of all the moisture inside.

Homemade Village Bread

Remarks: With all its Greek dimensions the bread did bake through! However, if you’re not planning to gobble this entire loaf at once (which you will surely do if you try just a bit!) and would prefer to freeze a part of it, I would suggest baking two loaves out of this recipe. I eventually cut the bread in – still – huge pieces and froze them. Beware of the burning top – I had to move the pan to the lower rack as the oats started burning and the voluminous top was menacing to reach the upper heater.

Homemade Village Bread

Result: The crumb is really very soft – and crumbly while the crust is… you get it, crusty! :). It’s hard to slice this bread properly – but I’m sure you will manage without perfect slices! This bread won’t keep well because a). you will eat it fast no matter how huge it is and b). the crumb has lots of moisture in it.

Homemade Village Bread

Hope I’ve given you a desire to bake some nice rustic Greek food. Ideal at the end of the winter (let’s hope we’re getting there soon!).

This post goes to Lunch / Dinner, Leavened Bread and Greek recipe collections.

In neverending search for wonderful food, always yours,

G.

pies · vegetarian

Cheese and Herbs Qutabs, Azerbaijani Pies with a Russian Twist

Cheese and Herbs Qutabs

Let’s have some savoury dish for a change. This time it’s going to be a recipe for Qutab from the Azerbaijani cuisine but with a certain Russian twist. I recently tried a similar fried filled bread from Turkey called gozleme traditionally made with white brine cheese. Both recipes are easy to make and do not require lengthy dough preparation. You can make them with meat or other fillings but I just love the cheese + herbs combination. For both recipes I used suluguni cheese mixed with some tvorog (cottage cheese) for the lack of proper brynza, and whatever is available from the fresh herbs.

Cheese and Herbs Qutabs

The Russian twist is ensured by the addition of rye flour to the dough. I doubt that in Azerbaijan they eat rye qutabs (rye flour is characteristic of the Northern parts of Russia rather than Azerbaijan!) but at the same time this adds some extra flavour (and a bit of wholesomeness) to the somewhat heavy dish. You might want to make a 100% white flour dough or mix in some whole wheat flour. Whatever your choice, heat your sturdy cast iron pan and let’s make the qutabs!

Cheese and Herbs Qutabs

1 year ago – Vyatka, City of Snow that Dreams of Summer

2 years ago – Two Spinach Pies and Spinach…Rice

3 years ago – French Bread

4 years ago – Two Rrrrrye Breads (Raisin and Riga)

Cheese and Herbs Qutabs translated and adapted from perfectfood.ru will make a chewy and vegetarian version of the Azerbaijani pies. Check out the original website for the video recipe (understandable even without any knowledge of Russian). See my remarks in italics.

Ingredients for 9-10 qutabs:

For the dough:

  • 150 g rye flour (can substitute with whole wheat or all-purpose flour)
  • 150 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 Tbs sunflower oil
  • water – as much as the dough will take

For the filling:

  • 100-150 g cheese, hard and /or soft (Adygea, brynza, paneer…) – I used fat-free cottage cheese and Suluguni
  • 300 g of herbs of any type, can use spinach, sorrel, nettle, etc. – I used dill, parsley, spring onions and coriander
  • salt, according to your cheese (I also added pepper)

For the sauce (optional):

  • matsoni or natural yogurt or smetana (sour cream)
  • garlic, couple of cloves

Procedure:

In a bowl mix the flours, add salt and oil. With your hands rub oil into the flour mixture, so that it’s distributed evenly. Gradually add water and mix until you have a very soft sticky dough. Cover the bowl and leave the dough to rest for 10 min.

Meanwhile prepare the filling. Finely chop the herbs. If you’re using nettle, first scald it with boiling water and then chop it (the nettle will thus lose its stinginess). Finely grate the cheese and mix in with the herbs. Add salt.

Flour the work surface and your hands. Pinch off a piece of dough that will fit in the palm of your hand. Roll it out into a flat round. Place some filling on one side of the dough leaving the edges free. Then fold the other side over the filling and seal the edges with a fork.

Place a dry skillet (preferably cast iron) over high heat (no greasing required!). If your pan is big enough you will be able to cook 2 qutabs at a time. Cook 1 minute, then turn the qutabs over and cook 1 minute more (my qutabs needed more time – I also baked only 2 and then placed the dough and the filling in the fridge for a later use).

Serve immediately with the matsoni and garlic sauce, dipping the qutabs into the sauce. The sauce can be made in advance so that it gets the most out of garlic flavour: press several cloves of garlic into matsoni, mix and place in the fridge. For the lack of matsoni you can use natural yogurt or smetana (sour cream).

Cheese and Herbs Qutabs

oh that melting cheese!

Cheese and Herbs Qutabs

Remarks: I would rather call the rye dough pretty bland (although it contained salt) but the filling was pretty salty (didn’t pay attention to the saltiness of the cheese). Also, next time I would roll the dough really thin cause it was quite chewy. You can also experiment with the sizes and the amount of filling – some of my qutabs were a bit too big 🙂 These are best eaten hot – so I suggest cutting the dough recipe by half. I ran out of cheese with that much of the dough and had to use mashed potatoes with the leftover cheese filling for the last qutabs.

Cheese and Herbs Qutabs

Result: Easy pies with melting cheese? Count me in! Perfect with some greens on the side and a lot of kefir (for the lack of traditional matsoni). Also no problem with keeping these pies in the fridge and reheating them later.

This post goes to Lunch / Dinner and the country-specific recipe collections (first Azerbaijani recipe!).

G.

Georgian recipe · pies · sweet · vegetarian

Peach Pie and Khachapuri Revisited

Aunt Alice’s Peach Pie from www.thesisterscafe.com

A short break in between my Provence posts. A food post! Both recipes I’m going to share with you seem to be quite popular on my blog already and have lots of other variants. Greek peaches and Georgian pies – the best!

Aunt Alice’s Peach Pie from www.thesisterscafe.com

A year ago – Chocolate-Chocolate Cookies for the First Snow

Two years ago – Autumn Leaves and Karelian Pies

Three years ago – Khachapuri, I’m addicted!

Four years ago – Some Soviet Things for a Change

Aunt Alices Peach Pie adapted from www.thesisterscafe.com will make two small pies (or one big) with a runny & chewy fruit filling. Addictive-ly sweet! Check the link to get the entire recipe (which is super short).

My changes: I used no recipe for the pie shell but improvised as usual (see this for example). I used less cornstarch though would suggest using all the 4 tablespoons. Instead of fresh peaches, I found Greek canned peaches – some of them I sliced and the rest processed in the blender. Instead of almond flavoring I added cardamom.

Aunt Alice’s Peach Pie from www.thesisterscafe.com

Remarks: you will need to prebake the pie shell, so I would suggest putting some weight on the bottom of the pie (I skipped this with my second pie and, well, it all rose up and the result was not that straight :). The filling wouldn’t thicken unless I placed the pies in the fridge which seems to help with some pies.

Aunt Alice’s Peach Pie from www.thesisterscafe.com

Result: An addictive sweety-sweet pie with super soft runny peachy filling. Hats off to Aunt Alice, whoever she is!

More ways to use canned (or fresh) peaches:

And though the original recipe (and post) for that peach pie was definitely about Georgia, the peach state, here’s a connection to the other recipe I’m revisiting today… Piles of khachapuri, anyone?

Adjari Khachapuri

Three years ago in a random magazine somewhere up there in the North, in the Komi Republic (Russia) I found a recipe for a Georgian pie which I’m still using now. Recently I decided to bake the famous Adjari Khachapuri again.

Adjari Khachapuri

My khachapuri might not be authentically Adjari as those should be boat-like and have an egg in the middle, which you break closer to the end of baking. I add the eggs into the filling instead. My khachapuri also mutated to include pine nuts (why not?), spring onions and coriander (they say herbs are almost obligatory for such super-cheese pies), khmeli-suneli seasoning mix and smetana (sour cream) to make the filling softer.

Adjari Khachapuri

Khachapuri is what comes to your head first thing when you want to eat something hearty, when you have friends coming to your place, when you just want that comfort food (especially in autumn!). Khachapuri is for every occasion and I can sing songs about it just as I do for the sourdough rye bread.

Adjari Khachapuri

Khachapuri has become so very much known in USSR that we somehow consider it traditional. And although we do know very little how to make authentic Georgian pies (with the recipe varying from house to house, village to village, region to region) if you judge from what you can get in mainstream places, well, at least we do appreciate this super tasty food immensely! In particular in my family khachapuri is something like a family recipe, beating pizza no doubt.

Adjari Khachapuri

The are hundreds of recipes for these pies, I have already gathered an entire collection on my blog. The recipe for the boat-like khachapuri coming from the Adjari region is this recipe. I guess for the sake of the dough being elastic and shape-able, you’d better not choose a no-yeast no-egg recipe for these pies. The recipe is fool-proof – and who knows, probably you will dare and bake them with an egg cracked in the middle of each pie!

Adjari Khachapuri

I also baked another batch of these pies on the next day, adding some whole wheat flour to the dough and cottage cheese (5% fat tvorog), kefir, dill, spring onions and Adygea salt (salt + pepper, coriander, garlic, herbs) and khmeli-suneli to the filling. It was even more chewy and rubbery than a pie without tvorog. And as long as you can get hold of good rubbery suluguni cheese – you will succeed!

Other variants of the celebrated Georgian cheese pie khachapuri:

Enjoy!

Adding the peach pie to the sweet recipes.

G.

pies · sweet · traditional Russian recipe

Family Recipe: “Terty” Tvorozhnik or Sweet Cheese Pie

Midsummer at dacha

Before sharing with you our family recipe – here are some slightly belated midsummer shots taken at our dacha. Just to remind me that St Petersburg is not always rainy and windy 🙂

Midsummer at dacha

New dwellers of our garden this summer:

Midsummer at dacha

This one in particular looking like a hair pin all girls would wear in the 1990s 🙂

Midsummer at dacha

Mom’s been extra-creative these days and this is one of the pillow cases she made out of various bits and pieces – employing her truly Soviet practicality:

Midsummer at dacha

And here’s the recipe – “Terty” Tvorozhnik or Sweet Cheese Pie. The recipe requires for grating the chilled butter first – hence its name, Terty or Grated. Tvorozhnik is basically a type of a dish with tvorog (cottage cheese) as the main ingredient. It’s a bit hard to identify the type of this Tvorozhnik  – this is not a pastry pie, it’s more of a crumble pie though it keeps shape.  Khmmm 🙂

“Terty” Tvorozhnik or 'Grated' Cheese Pie

I don’t have a slightest idea of whether this recipe is actually Russian or not, I just know that it once came from a family friend. I guess it might be from the Soviet era, judging from the simplicity or rather availability of the ingredients – but not sure here either. This has been our family’s staple for years, though it’s been some time since we last made it. Mom had an idea of baking it some days ago – and so we did!

“Terty” Tvorozhnik or 'Grated' Cheese Pie

A year ago – Two Sourdough Bread Recipes

Two years ago – Greek Briam with Danish Rye Rolls

Three years ago – Moscow and Courgette Pies

“Terty” Tvorozhnik or ‘Grated’ Sweet Cheese Pie adapted from our family friends’ recipe. Will make a soft and crumbly cheese pie. Best eaten warm! See my remarks in italics.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

  • 100 margarine straight from the freezer – I used butter, see Remarks
  • 1.5 cups flour
  • sugar
  • soda
  • vinegar

For the filling:

  • 250 g cottage cheese (tvorog) – mine was 5% fat
  • ½ cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • vanilla

Procedure:

Grate the butter, add the flour and a bit of sugar, then pour just a little bit of vinegar over about ¼ of tsp soda and add it to the mixture. The ‘dough’ part is ready – it should resemble crumbs but it won’t be homogeneously crumbly. Divide the mixture in two parts – one will go for the bottom layer and the rest – for the top.

Mix the filling ingredients. I also added some flour as the mixture seemed too runny.

The best way to bake this pie is in a round pan lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle one part of the dough mixture onto the bottom, leveling it out. Then spread the filling (don’t worry if it is runny) and finish off with the rest of the dough on top. Bake on the bottom rack at 180 ‘C for 25 minutes and then some more time on the top rack with the ‘top heat’ option, if there’s one in your oven.

“Terty” Tvorozhnik or 'Grated' Cheese Pie

Remarks: I think one of the key ingredients of this pie is the butter. I suggest you’d rather not use margarine but butter of good quality. Don’t overdo the sugar part – I added too much to the dough I guess. The top layer will get crunchy if you go for the additional baking time using the top rack. Some bits of the crumble will fall off – but no worries, the rest will be gobbled down!

“Terty” Tvorozhnik or 'Grated' Cheese Pie

Result: Pretty sweet and crumbly – at the same time very soft and addictive! Will make a great supper, especially if served warm straight from the oven – the sweet cheese matches the floury crumble perfectly.

See another terty pie from our family recipe collection.

Adding this to Sweet and, well, to Russian recipes too.

G.

cookies · German recipe · Italian recipe · sweet

Almond Biscotti and Sour Cream Snickerdoodles

Almond Biscotti from smittenkitchen.com

After a tasty Greek cheese pie all one needs is… a combined Italian and German / American (the origin is contested here but who cares!) dessert! The trick of these two recipes is that they are complementary – you won’t need to think where to use leftover egg white (after baking cookies) or egg yolk either (from the biscotti).

Almond Biscotti from smittenkitchen.com

Making biscotti is somewhat a longish procedure but a very joyful one, really. Especially when the recipe is very good, you’re in a similarly good mood and there’s sun in the kitchen!

Almond Biscotti from smittenkitchen.com

And you will be in an even more cheerful mood when you complement biscotti (and yourself) with a batch of big chewy cookies! Made with the leftover tvorog (Russian cottage cheese) and the egg yolk left over from the biscotti.

Sour Cream Snickerdoodles from www.evilshenanigans.com

Let’s start with the biscotti:

A year ago – Makowiec or Poppy Seed Roll for Easter

Two years ago – St Petersburg the Great Part 2

Three years ago – Sour Rye Bread to Make Your Life Sweeter

Almond Biscotti adapted from smittenkitchen.com will make sweet and truly addictive crunchy-crumbly biscotti which are surprisingly soft inside (or should I say – they just melt in your mouth!). Follow the link for the entire recipe.

My changes: Added less butter and less sugar and still got very sweet biscotti. Instead of orange liqueur I used some brandy. Also I was quite lazy to grate the zest, so I just chopped it up. As for the procedure, I baked my cookies in between the first and the second bake that is required for the biscotti, so they were cooling down longer than 25 minutes waiting for the cookies to bake.

Almond Biscotti from smittenkitchen.com

Remarks: You will need an extra egg white – but will not use all of it. Use the left over egg yolk in the second recipe of this post. I would reduce the oven temperature or the time of the second bake as I think these biscotti would be even better if they retain more of their softness which was so obviously great after the first bake.

Almond Biscotti from smittenkitchen.com

Result: Crumbly and sugary, a bit over-baked but still melt-in-your-mouth kind of biscotti. The bits of almonds contribute to the crunchiness and chewiness .) Don’t hesitate, these are worth the two bakes they require!

Almond Biscotti from smittenkitchen.com

So now that you are left with an egg yolk (and some egg white too, cause you won’t need all for brushing), you can try this cookie recipe where you will use up the leftovers:

Sour Cream Snickerdoodles adapted from www.evilshenanigans.com will make big and soft cookies – just what you were craving for! Visit the link for the original recipe.

My changes: As I said, I had some 5% tvorog (cottage cheese) which I used instead of sour cream. I added some cinnamon to the cookie dough too. As I made these while waiting for the biscotti’s first bake, I placed the cookie dough into the fridge for some time. I think this only helped them get this perfect shape!

Sour Cream Snickerdoodles from www.evilshenanigans.com

Remarks: I used a less liquid and more grainy cottage cheese instead of sour cream so my cookies certainly differ from the original. Also, the second batch puffed up more than the first, but all in all these are very ship-shape cookies and do not spread much.

Sour Cream Snickerdoodles from www.evilshenanigans.com

Result: Big and chewy!

Adding these to my Country recipe collection and to Sweet and Leftovers collections.

G.