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

Good-Morning Plum Jam Tart

Plum Jam Tart

On weekdays, I start my day with just a cup of tea and a tiny bit of cottage cheese. Even if I have something yummy in the fridge, I don’t care because I am usually too sleepy to enjoy food. The situation changes greatly on weekend mornings that bring you all the luxury of long and lazy breakfasts, with endless tea drinking and a slow, relaxed talk.

This plum tart was baked last night and, despite the irresistible smell of melted plum jam, it waited patiently until this morning to be served along with the wonderful Ginkgo tea I get from Slovakia.

The pie is absolutely easy and turbo-quick to make, as it uses frozen puff pastry and home-made plum jam (taken from Mom’s collection of preserves: tons of strawberry, cowberry, plum, cranberry, black currant, cherry and raspberry jam). The jam was strong, sour and even with a tiny note of bitterness. I served the pie with a drizzle of dark chocolate sauce, but unfortunately the photos turned out to be blurry when I viewed them on a large screen, so just believe me: it goes very well with dark chocolate dressing.

Plum Jam Tart

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Russian Blini with Beef or Mushrooms

Russian Blini (Pancakes)

Blini, or pancakes, are an essential feature of Russian cuisine. Served with melted butter, sour cream, berry jam, honey, or the most luxurious option - caviar, they are made and eaten in gigantic batches during the Maslenitsa week that precedes the Lent. But they are as well eaten all year round – sweet or savoury toppings and fillings change with the seasons. For me, Blini symbolize all the warmth and coziness of home, and I love to cook some pancakes filled with cottage cheese and vanilla for a late Sunday breakfast as a sort of morning meditation.

This time, Mom made Blini with two different fillings: beef and chanterelles. I didn’t take part in making these, so I’ll just write about her method. But be warned: this is quite a time-consuming recipe, as you have to boil the rice, and fry the mushrooms, and of course cook the pancakes. Making pancakes in two skillets at a time is a nice idea therefore.

Let me also remind you that every cook has their own recipe for pancakes. So we’re not calling this recipe anything like “True Russian Blini”, “The One and Only Recipe for Russian Blini” or anything like that – this is just one of dozens of possible options.

Please note that the recipe suggests a choice between beef and chanterelle filling for 12 pancakes, meaning you will need to make 24 pancakes to try both fillings. The more pancakes you make however, the easier it is to calculate the right amount of filling, especially rice. Alternatively, you might use some leftover boiled rice from another meal.

Russian Blini with filling

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Are you curious to learn more about Eastern European cuisine?
RussianSeason.net is a food blog run by two Russian-speaking women - a mother (Natalia) and a daughter (Alina) - living in Latvia. Natalia is a professional artist and Alina is the co-owner of a web directory of Russian-speaking businesses in Europe. We both cook and Alina writes posts and takes photos.
In our blog you'll find a range of (mostly tweaked&adapted) recipes from Russia, Eastern Europe, the Baltics, and former USSR. But we can't restrain ourselves from experimenting with other cuisines too :)
Stano is the guy behind the Slovak version of this blog. He is currently living and working in Latvia and is also known as the Man Who Makes Alina Eat A Lot Of Cakes, because he hardly ever eats cakes or pies she bakes. He doesn't have a sweet tooth, you see. Stano also provides us with traditional Slovak recipes - such as Halušky that he's been promising to make for 7 months now :) Just be patient - we're sure he will eventually do it!
Ivanka is the largest cross-cultural project Alina and Stano have been ever involved in:) We hope she will be a foodie too when she grows up!
Our email address is: russianseason@gmail.com

Priyatnovo appetita! (Bon appetit!)

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