My mother-in-law gave me two dessert recipes for us to enjoy (actually, I begged for them myself :D). They are both her signature desserts. I loved the way the recipes felt when I read them. Yeaaah, I can imagine the dish or the dessert just by reading the recipe! :) The first one was “Black Cake” – I will post the recipe of it sometime next week. The second recipe was this one.
Here is my first take on the “Cottage Cheese and Sour Cherry Pie”. I will tell you all about what when wrong with my version and where I modified the recipe to suite my taste.
WARNING: before you attempt to bake this pie, ask yourself if you like the combination of sour cherries, cottage cheese and sour cream :D
What went wrong:
This recipe has a top layer of meringue, which, I suppose, should be like any meringue one can think of. But once I was done beating the egg whites with sugar, I forgot the batter on the kitchen island. Before I could remember it, there was a layer of liquid underneath of it and meringue itself became like a bubble bath gone mad. I immediately understood that there are most likely multiple factors involved:
- Eggs were not the best of the best (although some argue that the older the eggs the better is the meringue)
- I did not whisk it enough
- Left the meringue on the counter
Oh, well! I did not want to waste it anyways. So, I quickly used it up as you will see for yourself in my step-by-step guide below. I’ll tell ya one thing though, it came out pretty darn good. Not crunchy but a little chewy. We like chewy :D Next time I will pay more attention.
I also altered the ingredient list and cooking time. Let me remind you that the cottage cheese I use is a little different than the regular cottage cheese in supermarkets. I use Russian style cottage cheese A.K.A. “tvorog”. It can easily be done at home. If you do not have it, substitute with regular cottage cheese.
I also did not have enough of sour cherries and thought that adding some blueberries would not hurt. Tadaaa!! I was right. Since this pie is not very sweet, blueberries added just the right amount of pleasant sweetness.
I buy sour cherries from multiple locations. They are canned and could be found in Russian stores, Persian and Korean markets here in Denver. If you cannot find sour cherries, opt for regular canned cherries in your grocery store. Here is what mine looks like:
If you have any questions regarding this recipe, please let me know! Meanwhile let me start on the other ingredients and directions.
- 4 egg yolks
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup sugar (divided in three quarters)
- pinch of salt
- 0,5 cup of sour cream (Russian “smetana”), if the sour cream is too think ad just a little amount of milk
- 120 gr (1 stick+2 tbsp) of unsalted butter (melted)
- 2 to 2,5 half cups of flour
- 2 cups of cottage cheese (if you are not much fond of cottage cheese, downsize to 1,5)
- 2 cups of sour cherries or the substitute
- 1 cup of blueberries (optional)
- 1 cup of ground walnuts
Preheat oven to 300 F.
In a medium bowl whisk the egg yolks with 1/3 of the sugar, add melted butter, sour cream and pinch of salt. Mix everything well. Add the flour and kneed the mixture to incorporate a nice, not-sticky to the touch, soft dough. Cover the dough and put it into the refrigerator until the rest of the steps are ready. In a small bowl whisk cottage cheese with half of the sugar left until smooth ribbon is formed. Keep it in the refrigerator until you are done with whisking the meringue.
In medium bowl, on medium speed, whisk egg whites until the batter doubles in size. Start adding the remaining sugar 1 tbsp at a time every 2-3 minutes until stiff peaks form. Do not dump all of the sugar at the same time, it will ruin the meringue. Use super fine sugar for this process, if you can. This process should take about 10, at most 15 minutes.
Take out the dough from the fridge and using a rolling pin roll it up to the size of the baking pan you are using. I usually use the bigger ones for this type of pies. Top it up evenly with ready cottage cheese mixture. Put cherries (and/or blueberries) on top of that. Sprinkle the ground walnuts and evenly place the meringue over everything. Do you see that bubbly meringue of mine? I hope yours turned out just fine! Even if it didn’t, the end result is still going to be great!
Not to burn the meringue and to give enough time for the bottom to bake well, put the baking pan on the bottom rack of your oven. Bake for about 45 minutes. Watch out not to burn the meringue. Apparently, some people slightly bake the bottom level first and then add the rest of the ingredients. If you think that is a better idea, go for it.
Once the time is up, remove the pie and let it cool for an hour before you serve (if you like it warm, hot, etc., help yourself). Just cut out the desired amount in little squares and enjoy!!!