Syrniki (Cheese Pancakes)
Popular in former Soviet Union and Russian-speaking countries, the name of these pancakes comes from the Russian word for cheese (syr), their main ingredient and source of fat. Pan-fried in vegetable oil, their edges become crisp while the inside becomes soft and creamy. These are often served for breakfast or dessert.
- 2 eggs
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2½ teaspoons vanilla sugar (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cups quark (farmers cheese)*
- 4 tablespoons self-rising flour (or 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour mixed with ¼ teaspoon baking powder)
- 2/3 cup raisins
- Flour, for dusting your work surface
- Oil, for frying
- Sour cream, honey, berry jam, for serving
- Combine eggs, sugar, vanilla sugar and salt in a bowl, and beat using a mixer or whisk. Add quark, flour and raisins, and mix until well combined and it comes together as a dough. On a floured surface, divide the dough into 15 uniform balls and flatten each into a disk, about ½-inch thick.
- Heat a thin layer of oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-low heat. Once the oil is hot, carefully lower in a few pancakes. Fry for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until golden. Remove from the pan and repeat with the remaining pancakes. Serve immediately with sour cream, honey and jam.
- *You can find quark, like Elli and other brands, at health food stores, or with some planning, you can make your own—it’s easy!
- Reprinted with permission from The Russian-Jewish Cookbook: Recollections and Recipes of Immigrants from the Former Soviet Union by Rinat Goldberg, Vadim Blumin, Yan Gitcelter and Kira Kletsky (LunchBox Press, 2016) (in Hebrew). Photo credit: Kira Kletsky. Recipe translated by Merav Levkowitz.