Pancake day - with a Russian twist!

Try this delicious alternative to Pancakes this Shrove Tuesday – a tasty Russian version!

Loosely translated as Butter Pancake Week, Maslenitsa is a Slavic festival that originated in pagan times as a way to bid farewell to winter and welcome in the sunny season of Spring. Starting one week before the Great Lent, Maslenitsa is a time for family get togethers and usually feature snowball fights, rides on sleighs, folk music and storytelling and lots of great food, including sweet and savory blini.

Shared amongst families and friends, blini symbolize the sun and its warmth. Although various toppings and even stuffing are now common, blini were typically drenched in butter – lending Maslenitsa its famous name (literally Butter Week).

Try our delicious recipe for Russian Blini below, and let us know what you think!

Ingredients

– 2/3 cup all purpose flour
– 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
– ½ tsp salt
– Pinch of sugar
– 1 tsp instant (rapid-rise) yeast
– 1 cup warm milk
– 2 tbsp melted butter
– 1 egg (separated)

Preparation

1) In a large bowl, mix flours, salt and instant yeast, and make a well in the centre.

2) Pour in milk, mixing until smooth. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

3) Stir cooled melted butter and egg yolk into batter. In a separate bowl, whisk egg white until stiff but not dry. Fold into batter. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes.

4) Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Drop medium-size dollop of dough into pan and tilt pan to spread the batter into a thin layer. Cook for about 1 minute or until bubbles form and break. Turn and cook for about 30 seconds. Cover blini and keep warm. Repeat with remaining batter.

5) Serve with toppings of choice: farmer’s or cottage cheese with strawberry jam, fresh fruit with sour cream or crème fraiche, red or black caviar, smoked salmon or other fish, chopped hard-cooked eggs.

Hint: Smoked salmon, sour cream and black caviar make a delicious topping (my own personal favourite!)

Pancake day - with a Russian twist! : Section 2