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Guriev Kasha

Darra Goldstein, A Taste of Russia: A Cookbook of Russian Hospitality / October 2009

For 4 servings:

• 6 3/4 cups light cream (or half whole milk and half heavy cream)
• 3/4 cup farina (or traditional Cream of Wheat)
• 3/4 cup plus 2 tsps. granulated sugar
• 1 1/2 tsps. pure vanilla extract
• 1/8 tsp. salt
• 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
• 1 cup walnuts or hazelnuts, coarsely chopped, plus more for garnish
• unsalted butter (for bowls)
• 3/4 cup brandied fruit, drained and coarsely chopped, plus more for garnish

  1. Bring cream just to a boil in a deep saucepan; reduce heat to medium-low; slowly add farina, stirring constantly to keep lumps from forming; cook, uncovered, until thick; stir in 1/4 cup sugar, vanilla, and salt; remove from heat; reserve (keep warm).

  2. Heat 1/2 cup sugar and juice in large skillet, stirring constantly, until sugar turns brown and syrupy; stir in nuts to coat; remove from heat; spread out on baking sheet to cool; reserve.

  3. Butter 4  8-oz. glass serving bowls; place layer of farina in the bottom of each; top with layer of nuts; add layer of brandied fruit; repeat layers, finishing with layer of farina; decorate top with a few nuts and fruit; sprinkle each with 1/2 tsp. sugar; caramelize under the broiler or with a torch.

What to drink: Champagne or sweet white dessert wine
Author's Note: Traditionally, the layers of guriev kasha are separated by skins formed from cooked milk. To make the skins: mix 3 1/2 cups each light cream and whole milk in large, shallow baking pan; cook in 400°F oven until a skin forms. Carefully remove skin; place on buttered plate; continue cooking to make 4 or 5 skins. Add more cream to the remaining liquid to make the amount needed to cook the farina. Assemble dish in large baking dish, separating skins of milk with layers of farina, fruit, and nuts.