Syrniki – aka Russian pancakes

These pancakes are delicious, protein packed and low in fat. Like crepes they are delicious both as a savoury or sweet meal or snack.

They are also pretty damn healthy given the taste they pack – this is thanks to their base of the naturally fat free quark cheese, a healthy almost yoghurt-like cheese. They can also be made with cottage cheese as well, which shares many of the same health benefits.

These traditional Russian morsels sit somewhere between pancake and fritter. They take minutes to prepare, and are great both sweet and savoury.

Clasically they’re served with soured cream, for breakfast or lunch, but they taste great at any time of day as a sweet food with jam or fruit, or savoury with crushed avocade, ketchup, salsa or whatever else you like.

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These are savoury, scattered with some wild garlic leaves

For variation you could also use cottage cheese.

Recipe facts

Preparation time – 5 minutes, plus ideally 20 minutes or more cooling time (can be skipped if short on time though)

Cooking time – 8 minutes

Servings – makes 8 pancake, enough to serve 2-3 people as a main

Calories – per pancake 80 calories (including cooking oil and dusting flour)

Difficulty – quite messy to make the pancakes from the batter, but not difficult

Ingredients

  • 250g quark or cottage cheese
  • 5 tablespoons of flour, plus the same again for dusting
  • 1 egg
  • Salt – a decent pinch
  • Baking powder, half a teaspoon (to make them nice and light)
  • Pepper – if making savoury
  • Sugar, 1-2 tsp – if making sweet
  • Oil for cooking
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All the ingredients, ready to go!

Method

  1. Mix together the quark, flour and egg with salt and pepper OR sugar (please not both 😮 )
  2. The mixture should form a very thick and sticky dough, it’s easiest handled when cold so I recommend now popping it in the fridge for a couple of hours (or if short on time the freezer for 10-20minutes). If it seems unmanageable then add more flour 1 tbsp at a time, you are, however, looking for a nice moist dough.
  3. When the mixture is plenty cold and a little easier to handle use either a heavily floured surface, or a bowl with a few tablespoons of flour in the bottom to make your patties – whilst making them, get your frying pan with a tablespoon of oil heating up ready to pop the patties in when made.
  4. Divide the mixture into 8 dollops and coat with flour before forming into flattened ovals.
  5. Pop in the frying pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden brown and fluffy inside.

Serving suggestions

I currently have been enjoying these mostly as a savoury snack, here is my last meal of Sirniki:

They’re also delicious with blueberries, honey and soured cream. But let your mind go wild! Savoury or sweet is delicious. Breakfast, lunch or dinner you can use them.

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