Monday, March 06, 2006
Estonian milk curd dessert with berries (kohupiimakreem)
I'm still all excited like a kid about discovering a Polish shop* nearby here in Edinburgh. Amongst other things that leave me cold (dried packet soups and ubiquous biscuits with a best before date in January 2048), they stock rather decent rye bread, vacuum-packed sauerkraut and salted cucumbers, plain and flavoured kefir, stuffed dumplings of various types, and the best sour cream in town. Though I have a nagging feeling that I'm one of the very few foodbloggers who gets all excited about a place that sells fermented milk, fermented shredded cabbage and fermented salty cucumbers:)
It also sells proper milk curd, so I can make typical Estonian desserts without having to recreate the creamy yet grainy texture with a mixture of quark and ricotta instead. Not that it'd be difficult of course, and during my seven or so years in Edinburgh I've successfully settled for the 'fake milk curd' instead. But there is something more satisfying about using the real thing, and I've already tried some familiar dishes using milk curd.
Milk curd on its own can be topped or mixed with jam and eaten as a humble weekday dessert, but when mixed with whipped cream it becomes a much more luscious pudding. Here it is served simply with berries, but it would also be a delicious filling for a simple sponge cake. One of my favourite 5-minute party cakes is a sponge layered and topped with coffee-flavoured milk curd cream, and topped with toasted flaked almonds.
Estonian farmer's cheese cream with berries
250 grams (low-fat) milk curd
250 ml whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
3-5 tsp sugar
Press the milk curd through a sieve, if it's too coarse and grainy.
Add the sugar to the cream and whip until soft peaks form.
Add the vanilla extract and curd cheese. Mix gently until combined.
Spoon into glasses (tap on the work surface couple of times to smooth the top).
Top with berries of your choice and put into the fridge until serving.
Can be made up to a day in advance.
* Bona Deli, 86 South Clerk Street, Edinburgh