Sweet krupenik: Russian millet dessert with pumpkin and citrus scent (RECIPE)

Make a traditional Russian dish to impress your family with a juicy millet pudding!

Make a traditional Russian dish to impress your family with a juicy millet pudding!

Yulia Mulino
Cooked cereal is probably the most traditional Russian meal. Healthy, nourishing and easy to make. Maybe too casual for some people, however. Well, check out this recipe to learn how to cook millet in a festive manner. You will be surprised with delight!

Classic krupenik is a cereal savory pudding based on quark and eggs. Normally, buckwheat or semolina is used as the main ingredient. The word krupenik derives from the Russian word ‘krupa’, (cereal). It may be served as a side dish with a meat stew or separate with sour cream.  

However, this dish also has sweet variations. One is krupenik with millet. In fact, there is a special sweet pudding, pshennik, which contains millet (psheno in Russian) but without quark and eggs. Combination of these two traditional Russian dishes is a great solution to utilize leftovers of millet porridge and create an exquisite dessert. Modern presentation in a shortcrust pastry transforms krupenik into a festive treat. 

Pumpkin instils seasonal flavor and color, but you can use apples and raisins. Don't forget to enrich the taste by adding lemon zest into the dough and orange zest to the cake filling. Sweet krupenik is served with sour cream or yogurt. 

Ingredients: 

For a filling:

  • Millet - 100 g
  • Creamy (soft) quark - 250 g
  • Eggs - 2 pcs
  • Sugar - 120 g
  • Butter - 25 g
  • Pumpkin (cleaned and peeled) - 200 g
  • Salt
  • Orange zest
  • Vanilla

For a dough:

  • Flour - 150 g
  • Butter (cold) - 75 g
  • Egg - 1 pc
  • Sugar - 60 g
  • Baking powder - 1/2 teaspoon
  • Lemon zest

Extra for the dough:

  • Baking form, 18 cm
  • Baking paper
  • 1kg of dry beans or peas

Cooking: 

1. Combine all the ingredients for the dough (shortcrust pastry) in a processor and mix everything till you get a homogeneous mass.

2. Prepare the form (18cm) by putting down baking paper and buttering the side.

3. Spread the pastry evenly in the baking form in order to create a base for the cake. Put in a fridge while you prepare the filling for a cake.

4. Wash millet, add 300 ml of water, add a bit of salt, and cook for about 15-20 minutes until the millet becomes soft.

5. Meanwhile clean, peel and cut the pumpkin in cubes.

6. Melt butter in a pan, add the pumpkin cubes and sugar (20 g). Stew until soft for about 10 minutes. Take off the heat, add orange zest and let it cool. 

7. By that time the millet should be ready. Also, let it cool.

8. Take the form with the pastry out of the fridge. Wet the baking paper and squeeze it gently to remove the water. The paper becomes flexible. 

9. Put it inside the pastry and pour the beans so they fill the form. That makes sure that the pastry does not melt when we pre-cook it. Put the form with the pastry in the oven at high temperature (220°C). Let it bake for about 10 minutes. That’s enough to pre-cook the base for the cake.

10. While the base is in the oven, combine the millet and pumpkin.

11. Mix quark, eggs, sugar (100 g), vanilla and add this to the millet and pumpkin mixture.

12. Take the form with the pre-cooked base out of the oven. Carefully remove the paper with the beans and pour in the filling.

13. Ease the heat in the oven to 180°C and put the cake to be cooked for about 30 minutes. Lower the heat to 150°C and bake the cake for another 30 minutes. The middle should rise.

14. Let the cake cool.

15. You may serve it warm (not hot) or cold with cream or kissel.

16. Enjoy!

READ MORE: Savor Russian 'Charlotte' made from dry bread with plums (RECIPE)

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