Russian Season


Russian, Eastern European and international cuisine brought to you by a mother and a daughter

Lemon Smetana Pie

Lemon Pie

In this Northern country we happened to live in, autumn is approaching already. I’ve noticed I have much less cravings for ice-cream and sorbets, and much more for tea, hot chocolate and something sweet and baked, preferably something you can prepare on a Friday night and stretch the pleasure into the weekend.

Sunny P said she was with me about the lemon zest diet – well, unfortunately I haven’t yet thought of one, but we did make a pie with four large and juicy lemons the other night. Just imagine that tart-and-fruity filling wrapped into a soft, moist pastry. Mmm. I think we’ll be making this pie with cranberries in place of lemons some time in future, and of course I’ll post the recipe and pictures if we do. Basically you might use almost any fresh berries as a filling, but something sour is better. And the most exciting thing about lemon filling is that you grind the lemons entirely, with all zest.

Another important tip is to let the pie cool properly before serving. Maybe even leave it in a cool place overnight and let the lemons soak into the pastry.

Finally, about the lemons. We had those really sour ones, so we took 1 cup sugar per lemon for the filling. If you prefer to use sweeter sorts of lemon, such as Meyer or other, please make sure you re-calculate the amount of sugar you need.



- For the pastry:
1kg wheat flour
500 g sour cream (Smetana), 20% fat
350 g margarine
75 g yeast
5 tbsp sugar +2 tbsp sugar for decoration
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

- For the filling:
4 large lemons
4 cups sugar


Scald the lemons (leave them in boiling water for a minute) and grind them in a food processor. Add sugar, stir well and leave to cool in the fridge for two hours.

Lemon filling

Grind down the yeast and sugar until liquid. Add sour cream and margarine, chopped in pieces.

Yeast and Sugar


Add flour. Chop the mixture with a knife into crumbs.


Now, knead the dough by hand until smooth and plastic. Form the dough into two balls, one of which a bit larger than the other one.

Balls of dough

Leave to cool in the fridge for 2 hours.

After 2 hours, roll out each of the dough balls so that the smaller sheet is about 35×30 cm in size (that’s what size our baking pan is). The bigger one will serve as a base, so it should have some 4 cm extra at each side, for the crust.

Place the bigger sheet of pastry into a baking pan and carefully spread the lemon filling over the pastry. Cover it with the smaller sheet of pastry; roll up the edges of the pastry base, and seal the edges properly.

Prick the pie with a fork and sprinkle the pie with sugar. Optionally, use sugar+cinnamon.

Bake for approximately 30 minutes, first on a medium heat, then on a slow heat.

Lemon Pie

Let the pie cool well before serving!!

Lemon Pie

Lemon Pie

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Category: Pastry, Russian

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7 Responses

  1. Sunny P says:

    YUM YUM YUM! 1) i love that you tagged me, 2) i love that you use a knife to mix or cut dough, i totally do that too, and 3) what kind of camera/lens do you use? i love the pictures, especially the second to last one. it’s so beautiful how it turned out.


  2. admin says:

    Thank you so much Sunny, I have to say I use an old point-and-shoot Sony!! :)

  3. This pie looks like it could melt in my mouth. The sugar granules look absolutely divine!


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