Thursday, September 10, 2009


In St-Petersburg they used to have the store that was called “Eastern Sweets”. It was right on the main street of the city- Nevskii Prospeckt. To this day I remember what a treat it was to buy some sweets there. And they would have baklava and fudge and sorbet and nougat and kurabeye (sweet buttery cookies) and million other tasty things- or at list it seemed that way when I was a kid. When I’ve found this recipe on, I right away felt that this would be the taste that I remember from those early days. And it surely is! I did small modification- I love spices too much, so I've added some clove and cinnamon to filling and to the dough. It is not too sweet and plain delicious!

Here is what you'll need:

The Dough

3 cups of flour
8 oz of butter
1 cup of sour cream mixed with teaspoon of baking sode
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/3 teaspoon of clove, ground

The Filling

1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 egg whites
2/12 cups walnuts, finely chopped
1 tea spoon cinnamon

Incorporate butter into the flour using pastry cutter. Add sour cream and soda mixture and add egg yolks. Continue incorporating with the pastry cutter until it comes together. Divide into 3 parts and chill for 1 hour.

For the filling combine sugar, spice and egg whites and add to the chopped nuts.

Take 8 by 12 inch pan. Roll out the first piece of dough to approximately fit the pan, transfer to the pan and adjust with your hand up to the edges. Spread half of the filling. Roll out the second piece of dough. Stretch a bit with your fingers to fit the pan up to the edges. Spread the second half of the filling. Roll out the third piece of the dough. Lay it on the top of the filling. Brush the top with egg wash.

Cut the pastry into diamond shapes with the sharp knife. Place a walnut piece on each piece of pastry.

Bake at 350 F for about 40 minutes. Let cool completely.

Vinegret- Russian Beet Salad

There are a few dishes that are considered staples of Russian table, particularly for holidays. This salad is one of them in my opinion. With quite a bit of cold weather, majority of vegetables that were used were root vegetables that keep well. It is very basic but tasty and nutritious. It can be used as an appetizer ( can serve it in a nice bowl or in letters cups) or it can make a hearty side dish for dinner.

Here is what you'll need:

1 large beet
1 or 2 potatoes
3 to 4 carrots
Half of white onion
5 medium size pickles
jar of peas or steamed fresh pees
2 table spoons of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Steam or boil beet, potatoes and carrot in there jackets. You can do that 24 hours in advance to making the salad. Peel.

Cut in even cubes. Dice onion as small as you can. Cut 4 pickles same size as the rest of vegetables and grade 1 pickle on a large grader. Mix everything gently in the bowl, add peas and oil and mix again. Add salt and pepper to taste.
You always can add fresh herbs such as dill or parsley, finely chopped.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Blueberry Tart

Summer time - fruits and berries everywhere. It is hard not to be trying deserts using them.... I have never before made tart of any kind. But I've found this recipe on another food blog (Nami -Nami and in a few days happened to find myself with about a kilogram of fresh blueberries that were not very sweet. Cool day and blueberries – the answer calls for itself!

It is very simple and quite delicious.

Here is what you need:

100 g cold unsalted butter or margarine
70 g sugar
1 small egg
1/3 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
170 g plain/all-purpose flour

400 g blueberries or bilberries
75 g sugar
1- 2 Tbsp potato starch

Put all the ingredients for the dough in the bowl of electric mixer fitted with the metal blade. Pulse until dough holds together. You can do the same process with the metal bowl and dough cutter. Then mix dry ingredients, cut in the butter and add the egg. Turn out the dough onto clean surface, rap and let rest for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Mix sugar and starch in the cup, sprinkle over blueberries evenly and mix carefully with the spoon.

Fluted tart pan with the removable bottom works the best for this baking adventure. The tart comes out very delicate and it is a breeze to take it out if you can use a pan like that. The size that will be needed is 24 by 14 sm.

Roll out the dough as much as you can and transfer in the pan. Adjust by hand so that the dough reaches the sides and create a little border. Add the blueberry filling that you have prepared.

Bake at 375F (190 C) until the edge of the tart is golden brown.
Let cool and enjoy!