Growing up Mum would made Savoury Syrniki, a fried tvorog (quark) pancake (pronounced sYr-nee-key) usually on a Saturday morning, and we devoured them, drenched in sour cream. Syrniki were a treat, as mum had to make the Tvorog beforehand. When I went to Latvia in 1991 on an outreach trip with an American team, the hotel made Syrniki and they tasted just like my mum made. I was the only person to devour them as most American teenagers didn’t like the Tvorog taste, oh well, more for me!
Savoury Syrniki are often described as pancakes, and many recipes use lots of flour. As the flour increases in the recipe, the Tvorog-Syrniki flavour decreases in my opinion. Less flour = more flavour and keeps the unique tart of the tvorog in the syrniki.
Syrniki shouldn’t be made with Ricotta, or Creamed Cottage Cheese. If you cannot find Tvorog, Farmer’s Cheese or Quark, then a dry Cottage Cheese is kind of acceptable,
but not really. I like Syrniki to be savoury, which means no added sugar, vanilla or icing sugar. These aren’t exactly like my mum’s Syrniki, but they are easy to make, bite sized, ready to be devoured. Serve with lots of sour cream, or add jam or fresh fruit and enjoy. Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
- 1 kg Farmer’s Cheese Tvorog (творог)
- 2 eggs
- ½ teaspoon salt to taste
- ¼ - ½ cup flour*
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- *less flour is better to use, I like to use ½ cup of flour as it's less sticky and reminds me of Blini stuffed with Tvorog.
- Crumble the Tvorog until it is broken apart into small pieces.
- Add the eggs and mix throughout using your hands.
- Add salt, mix throughout. Taste. Add more salt if necessary.
- Add up to ½ cup of flour and mix together. The mixture will be very very sticky. If you add less flour, your Syrniki will have a less dough-y consistency. I like the ½ cup mixture, as it reminds me of Blini filled with Tvorog.
- Once mixed, make small balls of Tvorog - about 2 tablespoons - rolling them like small meat balls and place on a lightly floured plate or board. (use less flour on the plate than I did in my photos)
- Heat oil over high heat in a frying pan.
- Flatten the Tvorog 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 Tvorog 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