Cottage cheese is a typical Russian product.
In many countries’ cuisines cottage cheese is considered a raw material for making cheese. In Russia, though, cottage cheese is consumed as a stand-alone dish (with honey, jam, sour cream), as well as the main ingredient in making cheesecakes, dumplings, cheese pastries and other dishes.
Making of Cottage Cheese
The main condition for the making of real Russian cottage cheese is having no artificial additives or thermal processes. Whole milk is placed into a warm room for two to three days. During this time, the milk first turns into curdled milk, and then separates into whey and curd mass. Only then the curd mass is filtered through a natural fabric. It should be filtered very slowly, for about a day. Such cottage cheese comes out with some acidity, stores well, and has a rather large grainy consistency. And, most importantly, such cottage cheese is very tasty.
Cottage Cheese Dishes: Cheese Pancakes (Syrniki) and Easter Cakes
Without cottage cheese it is impossible to make these two dishes. Cheese pancakes (syrniki) are pancakes made of cottage cheese, eggs and flour, which are fried in oil or baked in the oven. Cottage cheese for syrniki is rubbed through a sieve; sometimes to the mixture cooks add raisins, nuts, grated carrots, or herbs.
Cottage cheese Easter cakes (paskha) are prepared for the Easter feast. Sieved cottage cheese is mixed together with sugar or honey, cream, eggs and different fillings (raisins, candied fruits, dried apricots, nuts, vanilla, lemon zest, etc.). Then the mass is placed in a special form for Easter cakes. As a result, the cake comes out in the shape of a truncated pyramid with convex words “Christ is Risen!” or simply “CR” (“ХВ” in Russian).
Cottage Cheese Used as Filling
It is impossible to make traditional Russian pastries called “vatrushki” without cottage cheese. They are open round cakes that are filled with cottage cheese.
Besides vatrushki, cottage cheese mixed with sugar and eggs is put into vareniki. During the Soviet era so-called lazy vareniki were popular. In this case the dough was mixed with cottage cheese.
To discover Russia with Alexey Gureev