Ingredients

  • 5 glasses cream or whole milk
  • 1⅛ glasses semolina
  • 1 lb nuts
  • ¾ glass sugar
  • 2–3 rusks
  • ½ glass jam
  • (add, if desired, ½ glass fruit or berry jam)

Method

Scald 1 lb walnuts or hazelnuts and 10–20 bitter almonds with boiling water. Remove their skins and finely chop, adding water. Pour 5 glasses cream into a large, flat saucer and set before coals, skimming off into a dish the rosy skin that forms. When enough skins have accumulated, pour 1⅛ glasses semolina into the remaining cream and boil into a rather liquid porridge. Stir the ground nuts and sugar into the hot semolina. Make a rim of dough on a platter and fill the center with alternate layers of milk skins and semolina. Sprinkle the top with sugar and rusk crumbs and bake for a short time in the oven. To serve, decorate with jam. Layers of fruit and jam may be interspersed in this kasha.

*It is believed that this dish was invented by Count Dmitri Alexandrovich Gur’ev (1751–1825), Tsar Alexander I’s Minister of Finance, to commemorate the Russian victory over Napoleon in 1812. (Goldstein, A la russe, 114; Pokhlebkin, O kulinarii, 50.) According to another version of the story, however, the dish was an inspiration of the chef of Count Alexander Dmitrievich Gur’ev, who was governor of Odessa from 1822 to 1825. (Zakharova and Tolchinskaja, Puteshestvie v stranu Kulinariju, 79–80.)

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