Like in many other countries it used to be a tradition in Russia to start baking Christmas treats in December. The smell of freshly baked cakes and cookies filled the air and enhanced the Christmas spirit.

There are different kinds of plums growing in Russia. They differ in taste and shape depending on the region. In the south of Russia, some varieties of plums ripen in July. In central Russia, fresh plums can be harvested from mid-August to mid-September. In Russian, plum is called “слива” [ßlíwa]. This moist cake made with fresh plums is a real treat.

In the European part of Russia the strawberry season begins around mid-June. Many Russians grow strawberries in the gardens of their country houses datcha or pick sweet aromatic berries in a nearby forest. In Russian, big garden strawberry is called “клубника” [klubníka] and small wild strawberry “земляника” [zimliníka]. The Russians love making (and eating) strawberry jam. But a cake with fresh strawberries is also irresistible.

Ingredients 150 g (=5.3 oz) tomatoes 150 g (=5.3 oz) cucumbers 100 g (=3.5 oz) green onion or chives 1 bunch dill 200 ml (= 0.8 cup) sour cream salt, pepper Directions Wash tomatoes and cucumbers and cut into large pieces. Clean and chop green onions and dill. Put everything in a bowl, add sour […]

Ready in minutes, this salad can be served as a simple and delicious appetizer. A combination of pickled cucumbers and mustard make it a bit spicy. The Russians usually go for salted cucumbers. For someone who is not used to them, salted cucumbers can be a little bit strong in taste. It’s best to serve it with fresh hearty black bread with butter.

In Russia, Sharlotka is one of the most popular pies. The recipe is so easy that everyone can cook it with ingredients that usually are on hand. This apple pie is very low in calories as it is made without butter.

Carrots and apples are very healthy and are prepared in countless variations in the Russian cuisine. This crisp, refreshing, vitamin-rich salad is one of the classic dishes in modern Russia and is also popular among children. There are various recipes. One can use e.g. sour cream as dressing, replace walnuts by roasted sunflower seeds or add raisins.

In Russian and Ukrainian cuisine, Vatrushki (Russian: ватрушки) are small pies with an open top usually filled with sweet quark or cottage cheese. The filling can also contain fruit, berries or jam. Traditionally Vatrushki are made with yeast dough, but it is also possible to use puff pastry. This is a recipe for sweet yeast dough and three fillings: with cottage cheese, apples and berries. Quark Vatrushki are sometimes decorated with raisins.

The stuffed buns pirozhki (Russian: пирожки) are probably one of the most famous dishes of Russian cuisine. They are made of yeast dough and stuffed with meat, vegetable or fruit filling. Usually pirozhki are baked, but it is also possible to fry them. This is a recipe for basic yeast dough and three vegetable fillings. In Russia, pirozhki are served with sour cream or melted butter.

In this recipe, white asparagus, which is rather unusual for the Russian cuisine, is combined with such popular and common ingredients as strawberries and mushrooms. Walnut oil and wine vinegar give the salad a refined touch and make it a delicious appetizer for special occasions.