The plyushka pastry – a warm, fluffy, and doughy dessert – is one of Russia's oldest culinary traditions. They are similar to cinnamon buns, with less spice and frosting, and more buttery sweetness.
Plyushki originated during pagan times and was utilized in sun rituals during the harsh, frozen winters. Through the generations, plyushki transformed from a largely ritualistic and traditional delicacy to a more common family tradition. It is also cheap, and easy to make.
The term plyushka is rumored to have originated from the name of an old bird during pagan times. The plural form, plyushki, is the commonly usage, because no one ever just makes (or eats) one plyushka.
Plyushki are a great pastry for any holiday event or celebration. It's a cozy way to spend time together in the kitchen – baking with your babushka.
The doughy pastry is usually twisted into the shape of a heart. However, they can be twisted into any shape you like. Bows or birds are also popular.
Plyushki are often topped with a generous amount of cinnamon or sugar. This is where the pastry collects the majority of its sweet and savory flavor. But some choose to get creative with their toppings. Fruit jams, syrups, and even cream cheese are used to mix things up. The most traditional way to enjoy plyushki is with a glass of warm milk, tea, or coffee.
There are two routes to take when preparing plyushki. The first involves less than a handful of ingredients and very little time. This was the most used recipe in Soviet times. The other is a more extensive method that adds more ingredients. If you have a lot of time on your hands, or if you want to impress someone at the next family gathering with your culinary expertise, take the more involved route. But, no matter what, plyushki are delicious!
Below is a great recipe for a more extensive version of plyushki from The Moscow Times. Simpler recipes are easy to find through a Google search.
Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.
73 Main Street, Suite 402
Montpelier VT 05602