Hello from CA (and I mean Carboholics Anonymous, not the state)! I must admit, this Russian mom fell off the wagon again with a crazy week-long baking spree. Why? Because she finally nailed the perfect pie crust recipe. I know, disastrous right?!
To top that, it’s rhubarb season in CA (the state). So, I think you can guess what I’ve been up to! There is a rhubarb pie bubbling in the oven right now… ohm… my 3rd this week.
The rhubarb pie recipe (my new favorite, can’t you tell!?) is to follow in a later post (once my hands stop shaking from all that sugar, and I take some photos). Here is everything on how to make the flaky pie dough I’m so much in love with!
This doesn’t just make a fabulous crust; it also is very easy to remember. The flour to butter to water ratio is 3 to 2 to 1. Add a quarter of a teaspoon of salt for each 100 grams of flour and you got yourself The Perfect Dough! This recipe yields two 9 inch pie shells.
fatTotal Fat 10g
High sat-fatSaturated Fat 6g
carbsTotal Carbohydrate 14g
Serving size38gCalories from fat93kcalFiber1gProtein2gSugar0g
Measure water, dissolve salt in it, and place it in the fridge
Cut butter into pea-sized cubes and place in the freezer for at least 20 minutes.
To make the dough combine cold butter and flour and pulse briefly until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
Slowly add cold water and pulse again for several seconds until the dough begins to come together in a ball but not completely smooth. There still will be butter chunks. If needed, finish kneading with your hands until the dough forms into a ball (try to handle the dough as little as possible).
Separate the dough into disks, 1-inch thick. Wrap them in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Roll disks on floured surface one at a time to 1/8 inch thick. Carefully line the baking dish with the dough, overlapping about ½ inch (the dough will shrink during baking)
For recipes that call for uncooked shell, refrigerate until ready to use.
For baked shells, preheat oven to 375⁰F/190⁰C. Line the shells with parchment paper and fill with pie weights (I use dry beans). For partially baked shells, bake for about 20 minutes, remove weights. Carefully poke with a fork the dough if it bubbled during the baking. Bake for another couple more minutes. For a fully baked shell, bake for about 25 minutes till light brown. Remove the weights, poke the dough, and bake for another 5 minutes till the dough is golden brown.
Let the shells cool completely on wire racks before filling.
The dough could be made a day in advance and refrigerated. Cooked shells will keep for up to a week in the fridge, or for up to two weeks in the freezer.
When I was a kid each serving of buckwheat was paired with a motivational speech from my parents: “Tolstoy ate this every day, and he lived to be 100 years old!” What they were probably thinking was “Tolstoy ate this every day, and he lived to write ‘War and Peace’!”
Well, I don’t know about 100 years old or even 82 (which is more accurate); but their aspirations came true! Look at me! I’m a blogger who writes in simple English with a heavy Russian accent about once a month, and 200 people liked me on Facebook! Tolstoy in the making!
So, parents, tell your children, that there is this Russian mom, who ate buckwheat.. Wait, actually, I’d stick with the Tolstoy story, because this grain is really good for them, and “War and Peace” is one of the best books ever written!
This is an excellent make-ahead breakfast. Start it in a rice maker before you go to bed, or refrigerate freshly cooked buckwheat in an air-tight container. All you need to do is spoon some in a bowl and pour milk over it in the morning.
Low calCalories 97kcal
Low fatTotal Fat 1g
sat-fat FreeSaturated Fat 0g
chol FreeCholesterol 0mg
carbsTotal Carbohydrate 20g
Serving size108gCalories from fat9kcalFiber3gProtein4gSugar0g
Pick and rinse buckwheat. Place all ingredients in a rice maker and cook on a white rice setting.
The stuff my husband brings from farmers markets nowadays makes me want to shake the winter hibernation off with some fresh healthy recipes. I know, right? What’s happening to me?! Well, I guess all the things green and juicy and flavorful, and not kale are quite inspiring. Plus they are reminding that there is a slight (very slight, but…) chance of sunny days on the horizon, and low possibly (but still a possibility!!!) of a t-shirt-kind of day, and that perhaps we should get into a t-shirt appropriate shape!
Here is something healthy and delicious to celebrate the spring!
We, Russians, like to take our time with everything (I can see my husband nodding here). This year it includes Easter celebrations. Russian Orthodox Easter is on the 5th of May. Naturally, I’m taking my time to publish this traditional recipe. Last year I was a bit unprepared, and paskha didn’t look anything like it supposed to; but I’m well equipped now. If you like cheesecake kind of substances, here is a delicious no-bake dessert!
Another traditional Russian Easter dish, a symbol of joy and blissful eternity.
fatTotal Fat 7g
sat fatSaturated Fat 4g
carbsTotal Carbohydrate 13g
Serving size43gCalories from fat63kcalFiber0gProtein6gSugar11g
300g low-fat farmers cheese
300g low-fat sour cream
1tspvanilla bean paste
Mash fresh dry farmers cheese through a strainer. Add sour cream and mix to incorporate. Fold a cheese cloth 2-3 times and place the farmers cheese mixture in the center. Make a bundle and tie it above the sink or a deep dish for 12 hours.
After the whey is strained, add the remaining ingredients. Mix to incorporate.
Line the paskha mold with a thin layer of fresh cheese cloth. Fill it in with the farmers cheese mixture. Press a weight on top of the mold and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
Carefully remove the mold and peel off the cheese cloth. Garnish with fresh berries, raisins, chocolate or caramel. Traditionally a candle would be placed on top of paskha.
To add some zing to the flavor, soak raisins in rum for about 30 minutes. Drain before adding the raisins to paskha.
Ladies, happy International Women’s Day! Let it be the most beautiful spring day filled with many smiles! My daughter and I are totally prepared to be admired and cherished for the next 24 hours! No doubt the husband and the son are ready to deliver! Wink-wink!
As always, feeling a bit nostalgic this day, I’m putting together a recipe from my homeland. OK, I posted it before, but my mom informed me there is a low fat version that works just as well! So, here is a low fat Russian farmers’ cheese. It could be enjoyed on its own, sprinkled over your salads, stuffed into huge dumplings, baked with, and the list goes on and on.
Don’t be intimidated by the word “cheese”. It’s very easy to make, and requires only about 15 minutes of hands-on time!
This homemade cheese is used in so many Russian dishes, there would be enough to fill a cook book. Its consistency is very similar to goat cheese, but the flavor is much milder.
2tbs low-fat sour cream
Combine milk and sour cream in a large jar (I used 3 Liter glass canning jar). Leave at a room temperature to ferment for 12-24 hours). Cover with a lid but don’t clamp it.
When the milk turns into a clabber of hair-jell-like consistency, the cheese is ready to be made.
Fill a large pot 1/2 way with water and warm it up on the stove.
When the water is almost boiling (about 180° F /approx. 80º C or higher) carefully place the jar with clabber into the pot. It’s ok if the water is below the sour milk level. Let it heat up for about 10 minutes. The milk will start separating into curds (solid) and whey (liquid).
Line up a large colander with a large cheese cloth folded twice. Carefully dump the milk mixture into it and drain. You may have to use a spoon to empty the jar. Tie a knot with a cheese cloth and hang it above a dish or your kitchen sink for a couple hours.
If you don’t fully drain it, the farmers cheese will be very soft and tender, ready to eat.
A drier farmers cheese is perfect for cooking.
Keep an eye on your fermentation process. Try a little bit of the clabber – it should have a pleasant slightly sour taste. Too long of a fermentation could cause bitter clabber; the cheese made with it would have an unpleasant taste.
The farmers cheese should be stored in the fridge for a few days, and could be frozen for up to 1 month.
Privet! My name is Anastasia. I was born and raised in Russia, and moved to the States in my early 20s. I am a stay-at-home mom of two beautiful babies and a wife of their wonderful dad. I’m living the dream, loving my family to pieces, and getting lost in books when I’m not busy chasing the kids around the house!