Syrniki are slightly sweet, cheesy Russian pancakes made from farm cheese. They are super soft and just a little sweet inside. Syrniki are traditionally made with tvorog, a fresh cheese made from sour milk, but you can substitute farm cheese if you don’t have access to a Russian/Eastern European supermarket.
The method for cooking syrniki is basically the same as for bliny: make the batter and bake it. First, you should mix cottage cheese (tvorog in Russian) with flour, eggs and sugar, and maybe raisins or apricots to add more texture and flavor. Then form small pancakes in the pan, making sure that the insides are cooked through and remain creamy: it gives an interesting counter-taste to the well-baked sides of syrniki!
Syrniki is a sweet and savory dish that is usually eaten for breakfast or dessert. These are usually served with sour cream or varenye on the side.
Crumble the farmer’s cheese into small pieces in a large bowl with a fork. Add 2 eggs and mix well. Add ½ cup of flour, sugar and salt. Stir well and use a fork to break up any lumps of flour or farmhouse cheese. Add raisins, if using. The batter will be thick like dough, not like traditional pancake batter.
Prepare a small bowl with about ⅓ cup of flour – you will use it to dredge the pancakes. Scoop out about ¼ cup of pancake dough at a time. Use your hands to gently flatten the dough into a small patty. Sprinkle the pancake on both sides with flour. Shake off the extra flour and set aside until you’re ready to cook them.
In a large skillet, heat 3-4 tablespoons of vegetable oil and carefully place the flour dredged cheese pancakes in the pan with a spatula. Cook over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes per side, or until each side is golden brown. Place on a paper towel to cool. Do not overcrowd the pancakes, cook them in 2-3 batches if necessary.
Before serving, dust with powdered sugar or drizzle with maple syrup, honey or whipped cream. Or try this syrniki the traditional Russian way, with sour cream and your favorite preserves of fruit.