Russian Season


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

Apple & Sour Cream Tart

Apple and Sour Cream Tart

I’ve always admired the endless variety of apple pie recipes from different times, nations, and lifestyles. Perhaps the apple pie could be an independent area of culinary study and a separate subject for a book. Actually I’m sure someone has already done this. Maybe even written the Big Book of Apple Pies. Or made a special all-year-round apple pie menu that would feature one apple pie for each weekend: from warm and spicy types in winter to light and airy summer apple cakes… In any case, this tart, based on traditions of Russian cuisine, is just our humble contribution to the family of quick apple pies.

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Oh my God, it’s Sunday afternoon and it’s the first time this weekend that I’m cooking :(  That’s because I’ve got to buy/find/fix/finish a million things before my Christmas vacation.

While the Potato&Mushroom pie is baking, I’ll just post a couple of pictures of those beautiful and juicy tangerines we got yesterday. I love when tangerines come with sprigs and leaves. Aren’t they marvellous?

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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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Pear and Cream Cake

Pear Cake Ingredients

Last week we bought some incredibly soft and sweet autumn pears, and Mom immediately came up with the idea of a Pear and Cream Cake. We used frozen puff pastry – or you might prefer to make your own at home, which means you are a very patient person :) I easily come to a compromise between the store-bought and the home-made when it comes to puff pastry. They sell some really good-quality pastry in a nearby supermarket, and it makes life so much easier! Isn’t a home-made croissant or turnover made with frozen puff pastry still better than having sandwiches for lunch again?!

Pear Cake and Grapes

Anyways, we laid those sugary-simmered pears on a sheet of pastry, topped them with whipped egg and cream, sprinkled the cake with almond shavings, put it into oven and waited for 45 minutes, enjoying the warm smells of melting cream, vanilla, and baking pastry. The cake came out tender and sweet, with a very mild citrus flavour and a dreamy touch of vanilla. We let it cool until room temperature, so it became easy to cut. You might as well try serving it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. Read the rest of this entry »

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Are you curious to learn more about Eastern European cuisine? 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:

Priyatnovo appetita! (Bon appetit!)

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