I came across some pastries on Pinterest that looked very interesting. After lots of searching I was able to find out that these Russian pastries were made with Tvarog which is a dry cottage cheese. Tvarog is the Russian name for the cheese, in the rest of Eastern Europe it has different, but similar, names. It is also known in some places as Farmer’s Cheese. Quark is also a common name for it too, I think.
As the dough is rolled and then folded it resembles, to some extent, a goose’s foot so that is where the name comes from.
Having looked at several recipes and watched a few videos I decided that this would be something that would taste very good. It is similar in some respects to Kouign Amman a French pastry, though that is made with puff pastry, and is probably sweeter too.
The recipe is very simple indeed and doesn’t have many ingredients, and for those who cant find tvarog, curd cheese, farmer’s cheese or quark a good substitute would be dry cottage cheese, or indeed any very crumbly but moist cheese.
Having made a dough it simply has to be chilled and then rolled out into rounds which are coated on one side with sugar, then folded and coated again. The folding happens at least three times, and for mine I did four folds, into a triangle shape that might resemble a goose’s foot.
Then they are baked for about 20 minutes and the resultant pastry should taste delicious.
Mine turned out very well, crisp and crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. Very good indeed, with a buttery taste that was not overly sweet. I think these would be an ideal mid morning or afternoon snack with tea or coffee.
- 180g(scant 1 1/2 cups) plain flour
- 200g(7 oz) curd cheese(I used a Polish version of Tvarog)
- 100g (6 tbsp) melted butter
- 5g(1 tsp) baking powder
- 5ml(1 tsp) vanilla extract
- 100g granulated or caster sugar(you shouldn’t use all of it)
- Mix the flour and baking powder together.
- Place the curd cheese and the melted butter into a large bowl and mix together until combined and creamy(I used my hand mixer).
- Add the vanilla extract and 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix to combine.
- Add the remaining flour in two additions and mix until everything starts to clump together.
- Use your hands to pull the mixture into a soft dough, without overmixing.
- Form into a log or disc and wrap in plastic wrap, then chill for at least an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/375 F .
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces.
- Roll each piece into a circle, between 6 and 7 inches(15-17cm).
- Place the sugar onto a large plate.
- Place the piece of rolled dough onto the sugar, to coat one side.
- Fold the dough piece in half, with the sugar on the inside of the fold. (1st fold)
- Press the folded dough onto the sugar again, and fold once more, with the sugar on the inside (2 nd fold).
- Press the folded dough onto the sugar again, and fold once more, with the sugar on the inside(3rd fold).
- You can do one more fold if you wish, using the same technique.
- Then simply press one side of the folded dough onto the sugar and place it, unsugared side down, on the baking tray.
- Repeat for all the dough pieces.
- Bake in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes until the pastry has cooked and has coloured well.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a couple of minutes on the baking tray, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.