Syrniki, Russian Farmers Cheese Pancakes and Cherry Sauce

April  8, 2012
0 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Russian food often gets dismissed as being just borscht, meat, potatoes and cabbage, but what often is overlooked are its delicious dairy products, especially Tvorog (farmers cheese). Syrniki are farmers cheese pancakes, often served with fruit or berry sauce, jam, and preserves, maple syrup or a mixture of cinnamon and sugar, and plus a healthy dollop of sour cream or crème fraîche. One of my absolute favorite breakfasts or tea time snacks since childhood. The outside of these delicious pancakes is crispy and the inside is creamy and warm.… Yummy!
Although traditionally Syrniki are a sweet dish, I often make them savory by adding chives or green onions, a healthy dose of deferent fresh herbs, salt, freshly ground black pepper, a dash of cayenne pepper and even a handful of very well squeezed lightly blanched or frozen spinach.

What You'll Need
  • • 1 pound firm full fat farmers cheese or ricotta, drained over night under press
  • • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • • 2 teaspoons lemon or orange zest
  • • 1/2 cup all purpose flour + extra for coating the pancakes
  • • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • • Light oil or clarified butter for frying
  • For the sauce:
  • • 1 cup sweet or sour cherries, petted
  • • 1/2 cup sugar
  • • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, if using sweet cherries
  • • 1 tablespoon potato starch
  • • 1/3 cup cold water
  • • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. In a mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. To another bowl add cheese, sugar, well-beaten eggs, lemon or orange zest and vanilla. Mix thoroughly.
  2. Gradually add flour mixture until well combined and very smooth. Place in the refrigerator for 45 to 60 minutes, and then scoop balls of the dough and place on a lightly floured board. Form into rounds about 3/4-inch thick, and about 2 and 1/2- inches in diameter. Make sure that you flip dough rounds and lightly coat both sides with flour.
  3. Preheat a non-stick skillet on medium-low heat. Pour about 1 tablespoon of oil or clarified butter in the bottom. When the oil is hot, lay the pancakes one at a time into the skillet, not more then three or four, depending on the size of the skillet.
  4. Sautee until first side is golden brown, turn the pancake over and cook until the second side is golden brown, about 5 to 6 minutes per side. Place Syrniki on a serving platter. Serve at once with crème fraîche or sour cream and any your favorite jams, preserves, fruit or berry sauces or fresh berries.
  5. To make the cherry sauce: Combine cherries with sugar and lemon juice (if using) in a small sauce pan. Bring to simmer; cook for 3 to 4 minutes. In a cup mix together potato starch with water and add to cherries; when it comes back to simmer, cook for about 2 minutes or until the sauce thickens; mix in vanilla extract and pour over Syrniki. Enjoy!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Droplet
  • deensiebat
  • LeBec Fin
    LeBec Fin
  • susan g
    susan g
  • Kukla

15 Reviews

Droplet January 12, 2013
I have been wanting to try Syrniki for so long. Thank you very much for sharing the recipe.
Kukla January 13, 2013
You are very welcome Droplet! Thanks for the comment!
Mother_of_plants June 26, 2012
thanks! will try this out soon. Of all Russian foods, farmers cheese-based dishes are what I miss the most.
Kukla July 4, 2012
Thank you kkathrine!
deensiebat April 13, 2012
I love syrniki! I usually use a bit less flour and make them small, more like silver dollar-sized pancakes. It's sort of a joke that I inevitably eat my entire portion while manning the griddle. They're just so good!
Kukla April 13, 2012
I agree deensiebat, they are scrumptious and addictive. Thanks for the comment.
LeBec F. April 12, 2012
kukla, i'm looking over all the recipes (1 day to go) and I have decided that if I were a betting woman, I would put a good stake down on this recipe DEFinitely being chosen, either as a finalist or as a CP. definitely. i'm going to make this very soon and the only thing i'm changing (I know you won't be surprised by this) is that I'm giong to add a bunch of chopped pecans. texture texture texture.( i'm sooo glad i'm not allergic to nuts!)thx again. this is really a winner!
Kukla April 12, 2012
Here at food52, you never know what can happen with any recipe. I wont be very disappointed if will not get anything, the most important that you and many others liked it. It took six month for the Ricotta-Lemon Bars to get even tested. I think the addition of pecans is a wonderful idea. Thanks for the attention Mindy!
susan G. April 9, 2012
I am looking forward to making these -- sweet or savory.
Question for you: did you have maple syrup in Russia? I think syrup is also made from the sap of birch trees -- is that made in Russia?
Kukla April 9, 2012
You are right susan g; in Russia we had Birch Syrup, which was called Birch Juice, a delicious, but lighter in color and consistency Syrup. I don’t remember about Maple Syrup; we had many sorts of wonderful honey's and always made deferent varieties of preserves and used them for serving over pancakes.
LeBec F. April 8, 2012
now kukla, here you go again with an unbeatable recipe! so luscious! and the 4th photo-wowwww. Kukla, you were born to be (after chef, mother, wife, musician...) a food photographer! (And I am serious. no foolin' around.) Won't you please hop on a plane and help me make my pancakes photograph half as well as yours?!!
Kukla April 8, 2012
You are as always to kind to me Mindy! First of all, photo number 4 isn’t mine; I did not have any preserves and found this photo on google images. I liked it because it has my favorite Sour Cherry preserve. Now Mindy open your recipe for Maple Almond Butter Krisped Rice Treats and read what I am thinking about you. Thanks for the invitation!
Kukla April 8, 2012
Thanks sdebrango, they really are delicious!
Tarragon April 8, 2012
Oh, these sound wonderful, can't wait to try them!
Kukla April 8, 2012
Thank you Tarragon! Please let me know, did you like them or not.