Russian Cabbage Pie

How to make Russian Cabbage PieThis much Russia knows: the chilly, early days of spring go hand-in-hand with cabbage. Throughout the countryside, rows of cabbages can be found poking through the ground even as the last freeze thaws. The tough, squeaky heads are impenetrable to all but the peskiest of creatures, but give them some attention with a sharp knife and persistent flame and you’ll see why cabbage is the pride of Russian home cooking.

How to make Russian Cabbage Pie

From cabbage rolls to borscht, Russian cookbooks are fat with ideas to use up the spring harvest – and at a mere $2-$3 per head at the market, it’s tempting to attempt them all. But if I had to pick just one, cabbage pie seems to shows off the humble vegetable’s truest potential.

"Serebriakova cabbage-village-neskuchnoye-1909" by Zinaida Serebriakova - http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/zinaida-serebriakova/cabbage-village-neskuchnoye-1909. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Serebriakova_cabbage-village-neskuchnoye-1909.jpg#/media/File:Serebriakova_cabbage-village-neskuchnoye-1909.jpg

Cabbage. Village Neskuchnoy (1909). Painted by Zinaida Serebriakova (1884-1967), one of Russia’s great female artists, known in part for her depictions of the Russian countryside.

Cook it up with little more than butter, a smattering of onion and lay it between sticky spoonfuls of sour cream batter… bake, then slice into neat squares and you’ll have a feast fit for any potluck. (We took it over to our neighbor’s potluck party; the casserole was cleaned out in mere minutes!)

The ingredients are simple enough…

Ingredients:

For the filling:

1 head cabbage (medium), cored and chopped
1 large onion, sliced thinly
3 tablespoons butter
3 eggs (hard-boiled)
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 egg (raw)

For the batter:

3 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 cups flour
pinch salt

How to make it. 

Personally, I like cabbage pie with character, which means two things: First, take the time to really soften the onion and cabbage in the pan – that’s where the flavor builds…

How to make Russian Cabbage Pie

… second, season generously with salt and pepper (a little extra pepper adds welcome bite). Think of this way: scrambled eggs without a good shake of salt and pepper are terrible. The same goes with cabbage pie, especially since there’s a few hard-boiled eggs in the mix.

How to make Russian Cabbage Pie

Once the filling is cooked and seasoned, the sour cream batter comes together with a few turns of a spatula…

How to make Russian Cabbage Pie

Spread a little batter on the bottom of the pan, add the filling, and then spoon the remaining batter on top. Use the back of a spoon or spatula to spread evenly across the top. The coating might seem sparse but it puffs as it bakes and turns out to be just right. How to make Russian Cabbage PieWait a few minutes before slicing – the pie holds together better that way.

How to make Russian Cabbage Pie

Enjoy on a chilly spring day – warm or at room temperature.

Remember – there’s great joy in sharing a table with your loved ones.  Take the time to make your meals into adventures… into memories worth reliving.

"Zinaida Serebryakova (1914) At Breakfast" by Zinaida Serebryakova ; Серебрякова - http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2963882390037029906CkKXLW. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Zinaida_Serebryakova_(1914)_At_Breakfast.jpg#/media/File:Zinaida_Serebryakova_(1914)_At_Breakfast.jpg

“At Breakfast” (1914) by Russian painter Zinaida Serebryakova.


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Russian Cabbage pie is a casserole worthy of any potluck. Take the time to wilt the cabbage down fully and season well for best results. Russian Cabbage Pie
Servings Prep Time
12people 15minutes
Cook Time
80minutes
Servings Prep Time
12people 15minutes
Cook Time
80minutes
Ingredients
For the filling:
For the batter:
Instructions
For the Filling:
  1. Cook the cabbage and onion in butter over medium-high until softened. A large wok works best. Season the cabbage with salt and pepper as you work (if it's bland now, it'll be bland later!). The wilting process takes about 20 minutes. You may need to reduce the heat as you go to prevent burning. Stir occasionally.
  2. Set the hot mixture aside to cool. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 375F and grease an 11x9-inch baking dish.
  3. Once the filling has cooled to luke-warm, stir in the chopped hard-boiled eggs and the raw egg to bind.
For the batter:
  1. Add the eggs, sour cream, and mayonnaise to a medium bowl. Stir until smooth, then add the dry ingredients.
To assemble and bake:
  1. Spread a little less than half the batter evenly over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Spoon on the filling.
  2. Top the casserole with the remaining batter, adding it in dollops evenly across the surface and smoothing it with the back of a spoon or spatula to cover the entire surface.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and shiny. Let cool at least 15 minutes before slicing so that it holds its shape.
  4. Serve room temperature or warm. It'd be lovely with a bit of sour cream on the side.
Source:

Recipe Copyright Sasha Martin, Global Table Adventure. For personal or educational use only.

8 Comments

  1. That sound GOOD! One is always hearing how bland Russian food is. But when I ask the one so stating if they have ever had Russian food, the answer is 99% “no”. When I was visiting in Russia, I found the meals to be incredible.

    • Sasha Martin says

      Definitely, Teri. As they say “Don’t knock it ’til you try it.”

  2. Susan T-O says

    I made this as a side dish for dinner tonight. My husband & I both loved it. So easy to make, too. Will definitely make it again–maybe pair it with corned beef for a twist on the traditional St. Patrick’s Day meal.

    I served it with almost-Skoudehkaris using your recipe. (I say “almost” because I made it once before & my husband didn’t care for the lamb at all, so this time I used stewing beef instead & added some salt since beef isn’t as strong a flavor as lamb. This time he practically licked the plate clean). I’m thrilled to have found your website & look forward to trying many more of your recipes.

  3. LarryC says

    I dated a Ukranian girl back in the mid-80’s. Her father was an excellent cook. His cabbage pie – baked in a round pie pan – was msopt excellent! Sweet and full of flavor. My mother’s father was from Ukraine, and she taught me many ethnic dishes.

  4. Peter says

    This is identical to Mark Bittman’s recipe, which l have made for many years. Delicious, and doubles beautifully when l have my Christmas party every year.

  5. I was not too enthused about the idea of eggs and cabbage together but I am intrigued wit the crust. Could this be used successfully with other pot pie fillings?

  6. Victoria says

    Indeed, we make this pie here in Russia. But normally we use kefir (yogurt) instead of mayonnaise (apprx 2 cups), whip eggs before add them into batter and add ) 0.5 p0under of butter & 2 table spoons of sugar.

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