Pancakes are popular in many countries, and most Americans will think of flapjacks when they hear the world. But Syrnyky are different; These are Ukrainian cheese pancakes also eaten for breakfast, and served with fruit jam.
One of the more popular Ukrainian breakfast dishes is Syrnyky. These are sweet little cheese pancakes usually served with jam, sauce, or syrup. As a traditional food you can find them in plenty of restaurants, although they always seem to taste better when grandma makes them.
Because I’m all about using fresh ingredients when possible, I usually pair my syrnyky with whatever fresh fruit is in season. For this recipe I’m going to show a very simple blackberry syrup, but the technique works with almost any fruit.
If you live in Europe all of these ingredients will be pretty easy to find. However the cheese might be difficult if you are in America. In Ukraine we just call it syr (hence the name of the dish) because it is the most basic type of cheese in the country. It also goes by the name ‘farmer’s cheese’ or home cheese.
If you cannot find this cheese, not to worry. You can substitute in a dry quark just fine. You can also use fromage blanc or cottage cheese, but just know you will have to add some more flour since those cheeses are quite watery.
600 grams Cheese – The easiest might be to find dry quark if you do not live in Eastern Europe
2 large Eggs
120 grams (1 cup) Flour – this is mostly an estimate since I usually add a tbsp at a time while mixing until I get the desired consistency. If your cheese is quite wet then you will need to add more flour. See following pictures for a consistency reference.
3 tbsp Sugar – Syrnyky are a little sweet, but they aren’t as sweet as American pancakes. Most of the sweetness will come from the syrup or jam you use when eating them.
1/2 tsp Salt
Sunflower Oil – for frying
Blackberry Sauce Ingredients
250 grams Fresh Blackberries
3 tbsp Sugar
2 tbsp Water
How To Make Ukrainian Syrnyky
Syrnyky are traditionally made in a bowl using your hands. However I often use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Just add all the ingredients to a bowl and start mixing. If you find it is quite wet, add more flour a tbsp at a time.
The picture above is showing the syrnyky after one cup of flour. As you can see, it looks a little bit wet still so I had to add another 2 tbsp of flour to make it perfect. So, back into the stand mixer it goes until everything is well incorporated.
Mold the syrnyky dough into thick disks. I try to get them at least a 2 cm thick so they stay light and fluffy after cooking. They are kind of like soft cheesy pillows. I also dust the surface of the syrnyky with flour so they are easy to remove from the parchment.
In a pan add just enough oil to coat the bottom, and then add another glug for good measure. Let the oil get hot and carefully lay down the syrnyky. Fry in batches. Cook each side until golden brown (about 1-2 minutes). Remove from the pan and place them on a paper towel lined plate. This is kind like like if you were making fritters… since in a way these are just cheese fritters.
You can make the sauce while they are frying in a different pan. Or you can make the sauce before you even start so you can chill it in the fridge while you cook. It really is a personal preference if you want your sauce or syrup to be hot or cold. If you don’t want a fruit topping, you can use smetana which is a very popular Eastern Europe sour cream that people also put on syrnyky.
Quick And Easy Blackberry Syrup For Syrnyky
In a pan on medium heat add the blackberries and the sugar. Give the pan a shake and then add the water. Stir the pan every so often and to assist the blackberries breaking down.
After about five minutes your pan should look like the picture above. If your berries have not burst open due to the heat go ahead and break them with a fork or spoon. This syrup can be served chunky like a sauce, or you can strain it out for a thinner version.
Syrnyky (Ukrainian Cheese Pancakes)
- 1 Bowl can use a stand mixer if desired
- 1 Fork if using a stand mixer, ignore this too
- 1 Pan for frying
- 1 Parchment Paper
- 600 grams Syr Cheese The easiest might be to find dry quark if you do not live in Eastern Europe
- 2 large Eggs
- 120 grams Flour this is mostly an estimate since I usually add a tbsp at a time while mixing until I get the desired consistency. If your cheese is quite wet then you will need to add more flour. See following pictures for a consistency reference. (1 cup)
- 3 tbsp Sugar Syrnyky are a little sweet but they aren't as sweet as American pancakes. Most of the sweetness will come from the syrup or jam you use when eating them.
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- Sunflower Oil for frying
- 250 grams Blackberries fresh
- 3 tbsp Sugar
- 2 tbsp Water
- In a bowl (or a stand mixer) add all the syrnyky ingredients and mix them thoroughly. If the mix is still wet and sticky add more flour a tbsp at a time until you get an easy moldable mixture. See pictures in article for reference.
- Grab a ball of the dough and shape into a disk around 2 cm tall. Dust each side with flour and place on a piece of parchment while you make the rest.
- In a pan add some oil and bring up to medium-high heat.
- Place the syrnyky in the oil and fry each side until golden brown, about a minute per side. Remove and place on a paper towel lined plate. Do this in batches if your pan isn't huge because you don't want to crowd them together.
- This syrup can be done at any time, before, during, or after making the syrnyky.
- In a pan on medium high heat add the berries and sugar. Add the water and stir the pan around. After about five minutes the blackberries should have broken down into a chunky sauce.
- You can strain the sauce for a pure syrup, or keep it chunky. It can be served hot or cold depending on your preference.
Syrnyky (Ukrainian Cheese Pancakes)
Popular Ukrainian Recipes
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