Russian Syrniki, pronounced SYR-nee-kee, where y in ”SYR” sounds like the start of Syria and the end like the first name of the bass player for Mötley Crüe. Made from túró, which some people call quark or farmer’s cheese, a thick patty is made and fried into a delicious snack. When done well they are crispy on the outside, yet soft and creamy on the inside. Best served with sour cream but, since cherry season is upon us, why not whip up a quick cherry jam to drizzle on top? While syrniki are great for breakfast, they also make for a tasty afternoon snack and won’t take forever to make … or eat.
- 1 kg túró (quark)
- 2 eggs
- 2 heaping tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste)
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup flour (about 3 or 4 heaping tablespoons)
- 1/4 cup sunflower oil
- Optional (raisins)
- Crumble the túró until it is broken up into small pieces and mix with the sugar.
- Add the eggs and mix throughout using your hands.
- Add salt, mix throughout. Taste. Add more salt if necessary.
- Add up to 1/2 cup of flour and mix together. The mixture will be very sticky. The less flour, the less dough-y consistency. I like the 1/2 cup mixture but don’t add too much.
- Once mixed, make small balls of túró – about 2 tablespoons – rolling them like small meat balls and place on a lightly floured plate.
- Heat oil over medium-high heat in a frying pan.
- Flatten the túró balls using your hands into a patty and place into hot oil. Take care not to have too much flour sticking to the outside of the túró balls as this will burn quickly.
- Fry until golden brown and flip over.
- Remove from frying pan and place onto a paper towel. Serve hot with sour cream. Enjoy
Quick cherry jam
- 700 g pitted, ripe cherries (washed)
- 400 g sugar
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Place cherries and lemon juice in a shallow pan over low heat and smash with fork or potato masher.
- Cook 7 minutes or until gently cooked, then slowly add sugar to dissolve. Add a spoonful of water if it needs it.
- Bring to slow boil and cook about 10 minutes.
That’s it. Let cool a bit and spoon over your syrniki.
For some deep-Slav, Gopnik humorous recreation of babushka’s recipe. Warning there may be foul language involved.