Desserts are usually served with spoons rather than forks in Russia. They are invariably escorted with black tea, which is considered as Russia’s national beverage. Though vodka is popular among many Russians, black tea is common in all households.
Types of Russian desserts
Russian desserts can be placed under three categories namely, the ninth century Slavic desserts, desserts from European influence and newer desserts of the Soviet period. All of them are popular and simple to make.
Kissel, the oldest dessert of Russia is made by cooking oats to release its natural malts for sweetness, and honey is occasionally used to enhance the sweetness. Pryanik comprises spiced bread, made with equal quantities of honey and rye flour, and spices from India which made their way to Russia in the 12th century.
Pastilla is a candy made from honey and baked apples, though sugar is used as a substitute for honey. Charlotte a la Russe of the 18th century consists of lady’s finger lined mold with Bavarian cream filling and fruit puree topping. It is the most popular Russian dessert invented by Chef Marie-Antoine Careme. The Napoleon cake consists of 12-15 sweet dough layers that are very thin, filled with vanilla custard.
Major ingredients used in Russian desserts
As Russia is in the midst of forests, wild foods have been popular for several centuries. Some of the wild varieties include blackberries, honey, mushrooms and herbs such as parsley, mint and dill. Tea was introduced to Russia by Mongolians. Grains are important ingredients of Russian bread, pastries and pies. A typical meal course consists of an appetizer, a soup, the main dish, and finally the dessert with fruits, tea or coffee. Chocolate mousee, pastries, Russian fruitcakes and pancakes are popular among the many desserts of Russia. Paksha is Russia’s popular Easter dessert.
Russian Apple Dessert—an easy recipe
It is a simple recipe, made using half-cup each of granulated sugar and chopped nuts; one cup each of flour and brown sugar; one third cup of butter and sliced apples. A buttered pan is filled with the mixture of sliced apples and granulated sugar. The remaining ingredients are mixed and sprinkled on the apples. After baking for thirty minutes, the dessert is served with lemon sauce.
Most of the Russian desserts comprise easy and diverse recipes introduced in the 18th century, after the country was exposed to European influence by Peter the Great. Popular French and German chefs brought a significant change in the country’s cuisine.