Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Farmer Cheese Pancakes with Berry Sauce

Berry Sauce

When I wrote about syrniki in my Russian blog a few days ago I got a bunch of comments: people were commenting on how this is their favorite breakfast food, and how it reminds them of their childhood, and how “these look just like the ones grandma makes when I visit.” This is true comfort food for Russians and I should definitely write about it here.

Syrniki are pancake-like patties (as you can tell from the picture) which are made from farmer cheese (tvorog), with some eggs and a little flour thrown in as binding agents. I had a nice picture of the farmer cheese but unfortunately deleted it before I had a chance to download it to the computer. Ugh! Farmer cheese looks a little like cottage cheese, but is drier, and does not melt when heated. They have now started selling in it better supermarkets, and also in health food stores. And of course, you can always find it in the dairy section of the Russian store if you have one in your town :).

Farmer Cheese

Tvorog is very popular in Russian cuisine. It makes the filling for vareniki (Russian answer to ravioli), bliny (large, thin crepes) and various pastries. Cheesecake-like zapekankas are also made from tvorog. Where I live in Texas the tvorog I see is usually the one produced by Lifeway (these are the guys behind the most popular brand of kefir, too). 

After trying the syrniki my husband said, "Tastes like cheesecake." I don't think so. I think if cheesecake and pancakes had a baby, THIS is what it would taste like :))).

Farmer Cheese Pancakes (Syrniki)

Makes about 10

1 lb farmer cheese
2 eggs
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 tablespoons flour (whole wheat works well)
1/4 teaspoons baking powder
Oil for greasing the skillet

Mix farmer cheese, eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla. Add flour and baking powder, mix until just combined. Refrigerate batter for an hour (or overnight) to let it thicken and keep the pancakes from spreading too much. 

Heat the skillet on medium high, add about 1 tablespoon oil. Spoon batter onto the skillet (about 1/4 cup per pancake – a large ice cream scoop works great). Cook as you would regular pancakes. Serve with berry sauce (recipe below), honey and/or sour cream.

Berry Sauce

1 cup frozen berries (or fresh, if they are in season)
juice and grated zest of 1/2 lemon
2 teaspoon sugar (adjust to taste)

In a small pot, heat the frozen berries until thawed. Add lemon juice, zest and sugar. Cook, stirring frequently, until desired thickness, a few minutes.


  1. I can't believe I've never seen your blog before! Your photos are so beautiful and each recipe looks absolutely amazing!

    1. Haha, I don't know, I need to find a better way to market the blog I guess :)). Thank you and welcome :).

  2. This looks amazing! What can you substitute for Farmer Cheese if you can't find it? I live in Albuquerque, so no luck finding a Russian store.

  3. I wish I could find the farmer cheese so I could make this!

  4. these look utterly delicious! is farmer cheese the same as cottage cheese?


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