It was 70F in New York yesterday with plenty of sunshine, and there were birds chirping all over the red and gold trees – nothing to complain about in November! I used this as an excuse to take a long walk to a Jewish store on the Upper West Side and got two packages of farmers cheese: one I ate right away for lunch with raspberry jam, a gift from my brother, and another pound of “tvorog”, which is what we call it back home, turned into these puffy sweet pancakes.
Syrniki tip: I often only fry half of these pancakes and freeze the other half of the raw syrniki so I can quickly cook them in the future when I want a special sweet breakfast or snack. To do so, I leave them on a floured cutting board and place it into my freezer for 15 or so minutes while I’m cooking the rest. Then, I take them off the board and package into small ziplock bags or plastic containers and store them in the freezer for up to 2-3 weeks.
Russian sweet cheese pancakes Syrniki
- 1 egg
- 4 Tbsp light brown sugar
- 1lb (453g or 16oz) farmers cheese
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 2 Tbsp (3 pieces) dried apricots, soaked, diced
- (can be replaced with raisins, prunes, etc.)
- 2 Tbsp oil or ghee for frying
Makes 12 2-in syrniki pancakes
1. In a medium bowl, beat together the egg with sugar.
2. Add farmers cheese and flour, mix well to combine.
3. Gently stir in apricots or other dried fruit.
4. Taking one heaping tablespoon of cheese mix at a time, roll into a ball in your hands and place onto a floured cutting board or table. Gently push down with your hand to flatten into a tall and fluffy pancake, turn it on the side like a wheel and roll once more in dusting flour. Set aside and repeat with the rest of the mix.
5. Melt ghee or heat up oil in a pan over medium heat.
6. Cook syrniki on each side for about 4-5 minutes until golden-brown, turn the heat off, cover with a lid and let sit for about 5-10 more minutes.
7. Serve warm or cold with your choice of jam, sour cream, sweetened condensed milk, honey, caramel sauce, or other sweet toppings.