Apricot Jam

Wash 500 g/1 lb 2 oz of apricots, remove pits, put into a pot with 1 cup of water, cover the pot, and put it on the stove to cook. When apricots are cooked — mash them through a sieve. Add 400 g/14 oz of sugar to the apricot puree, mix and return to the stove. Cook stirring all the time until jam thickens.

Apple Jam

Wash 500 g/1 lb 2 oz of apples, cut each apple in half, core it, and bake in the oven. Rub baked apples through a sieve. Add 400 g/14 oz of sugar to the apple puree, mix and cook on the stove stirring all the time until the jam thickens (5-10 minutes). Remove from heat and cover pastries or cake whit jam while it is still hot.

Buttercream

Ingredients:

200 g/8 oz unsalted butter
1/2 cups milk
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
or 2-3 tbsp liqueur

Mash sugar with eggs, add milk, and cook until on the stove until the mixture almost comes to boil, mixing all the time. Remove from heat and cool the mixture down. Whip butter until white, and while whipping, add cooled milk mixture to the butter. Add vanilla or liqueur to the cream.

Custard

Ingredients:

1/2 l/1/2 qt milk
4 eggs
or 5 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp flour
1/2 vanilla extract

Mash eggs or egg yolks with sugar, add flour, mix to incorporate, add cold milk, then put everything on a stove and cook mixing all the time. When the cream comes to boil — remove it from heat and add vanilla extract. If custard is not used instantly, transfer it to a ceramic bowl, smooth the top and put pieces of butter (to prevent forming of crust) or sprinkle with sugar.

Vanilla Keks (Quick Bread)

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
1/2 cup milk
30 g/1 oz yeast
1/2 cup sugar
100 g/4 oz butter or margarine
2 eggs
50 g/2 oz raisins
50 g/2 oz walnuts or almonds
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Dissolve yeast in warm milk in a mixing bowl, add salt and flour and mix a stiff dough, collect it into a ball, make a cut on the top, put the dough into a pot with warm water (2 – 2 1/2 qt), cover the pot and leave in a warm place to rise. Beat egg with sugar and vanilla until the mixture becomes white, add softened butter and beat everything together until it is fluffy. When the dough doubles in volume take it out of the water with a skimmer, put into some other bowl and knead it, then add egg and butter mixture, knew it again until it becomes smooth and pulls away from the walls of the bowl, mix in raisins, and, if desired, walnuts or almonds. Put the dough into a mold (it should reach 1/2 up the walls of the mold), cover with a napkin and leave in warm place to rise. When the dough rises 3/4 up the walls of the mold, put it into a preheated oven for 30-50 minutes.

Take baked keys out of the mold, sprinkle with powdered sugar and transfer to a plate covered with a paper napkin.

Lemon Keks (Quick Bread)

Ingredients:

2 cups sugar
150 g/6 oz butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
5-6 eggs
75 g/3 oz raisins or candied fruits
zest of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract

Beat butter with sugar until all the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is fluffy, add egg yolks, a couple at a time, and beat until the mixture is white, then add lemon zest, flour, raisins or dried currants or candied fruit, and mix well. Finally, fold in gently egg whites whipped into a foam. Transfer batter into a buttered and sprinkled with flour or breadcrumbs and put into a preheated oven to bake for 30-50 minutes (depending on the thickness of batter).

Keks can be baked in small molds (for 15-20 minutes) — metal or paper.
Sprinkled baked keks with powdered sugar.

Shortbread Pie with Berries

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
150 g/6 oz butter or margarine
3 tbsp sugar
2 eggs
500 g/1 lb 2 oz strawberries
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
For Jam:
250 g/9 oz apples or apricots
200 g/8 oz sugar

Sift flour through a fine sieve, pile into a mound on a work surface, make a well in the middle of the mound and put into the well sour cream (ed.note — ingredient not mentioned in any shortbread pastry recipe, including this one.), egg, sugar, softened butter, vanilla extract, make the dough and leave it for some time in cold place. Roll the dough out on a work surface sprinkled with flour 1/2 cm (1/5 in) thick and transfer to a baking sheet. Put large plate over the dough and cut around the plate using a knife, then remove the plate leaving the dough on the sheet. Gather trimmed dough into a ball and roll it out again, then cut into strips 2 cm (4/5 in) wide. Put these strips along the edge of the circle, brushed with egg, and pinch them to shape ridges.

Brush the dough with beaten egg yolk and put into a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.

When the dough becomes lightly brown — lower the heat and continue to bake for 5-7 minutes, then take it out of the oven. Cool the pie shell without taking it off the baking sheet. Fill the shell with strawberries and pour apple or apricot jam over berries. Transfer pie to a serving plate, sprinkle the edges of the pie with powdered sugar and serve. Pie can also be made with other different fresh and canned berries and fruits.

Sponge Cake Roll

Prepare sponge cake dough (see recipe), pour it out on a baking sheet (greased with butter and sprinkled with flour) in thickness of 1 cm / 0.4 in. Put sheet in medium-hot oven. As soon as sponge cake becomes caramelized and will start separating from baking sheet, immediately put in on a table and wash with a thin layer of jam or preserve (250 g / 9 oz), then fold it into a roll and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
When the roll cools, slice it diagonally, place on a plate and serve.
You may add vanilla to the dough for aroma and flavor.

Pastry with Whipped Cream or Custard

Ingredients:

1 cup flour
100 – 125 g / 3.5 – 4.5 oz butter or margarine
4-5 eggs
1 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup cream
2 – 2 1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla or 1-2 spoon liqueur

Pour one cup of water into a pan, add butter, salt and bring to boil. As soon as the water boils, add all the flour, stir and cook on low heat for 2-3 minutes while stirring. Then remove from heat and add eggs, one by one, thoroughly mixing. As soon as dough starts stretching, stop adding eggs. Make small buns out of the dough, place them on a baking sheet about 3 1/2 – 4 cm / 1.4 – 1.6 inches apart. Put in a hot oven for 15-20 minutes. As soon as buns become caramelized and increase in volume, reduce heat and bake until buns are ready.
Cut prepared buns lengthwise, crack them open and fill the inside with cream that has been whipped with sugar, vanilla or liqueur. You may also fill them with custard or cream filling (see appropriate recipe). Then sprinkle with powdered sugar, put on a plate and serve.