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Lemon Syrniki with Raspberry Sauce & Sour Cream

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Syrniki (pronounced sYr-nee-key, translates to little cheese cakes) are a traditional Russian breakfast food. They are small pan-fried rounds, primarily made of farmer’s cheese. They’re soft and pillowy, and only lightly sweetened, so they’re a great vessel for fruits, fruit sauces, jams, honey, Nutella, and/or yogurt. My mom passed the recipe down to me, and I updated it with a simple raspberry sauce.

Lemon Syrniki with Raspberry Sauce & Sour Cream

  • Yield: 2 servings


  • 1 7.5-oz package farmer’s cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • Zest of 1 lemon + 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. sugar, divided
  • 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract, divided
  • 5-7 Tbsp. all-purpose flour (plus more for dredging), divided
  • 3-4 Tbsp. organic canola oil or coconut oil
  • 1 6-oz package raspberries
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • Sour cream, for serving (or plain yogurt)


  1. In a large bowl, stir together farmer’s cheese, egg, salt, lemon zest, 1 teaspoon sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Gently fold in 3 tablespoons flour. Do not overmix or dough will become tough; final dough should be light but still hold together, and not sticky to the touch. Fold in another tablespoon or two of flour into the dough, until desired consistency is reached.
  2. Transfer dough onto a lightly floured surface and form into a rough 12″ log with about a 2″ circumference.
  3. Place 1 tablespoon flour into a small shallow bowl and set aside. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add enough oil to coat the bottom.
  4. Dip a knife into flour (to prevent sticking) and slice log into ¾”-thick medallions. Dredge medallions in flour bowl, shake off access flour, and place into skillet. Cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes, then flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate.
  5. While syrniki are frying, make the raspberry sauce. In a small saucepan, stir together raspberries, water, lemon juice, remaining 1 teaspoon sugar and remaining ½ teaspoon vanilla. Cover and bring to a simmer. Gently mash raspberries with a fork and simmer, covered, until sauce thickens, about 4 minutes.
  6. Serve syrniki warm, with raspberry sauce and sour cream.

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