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Delicate shortcrust pastry and fluffy Italian meringue are combined in these Russian sweet baskets. They are not only tasty, but also a visual highlight and were not without reason so popular in the Soviet era. The Russian shortbread tarts with meringue filling taste fluffy, light and simply heavenly delicious. Here I show you how to make them yourself. You can find a detailed korzinochki recipe with exact quantities and step-by-step instructions here at the very bottom.
Korzinochki is what they are called
In Russia, the sweet tarts are called korzinochki. Translated, the word means “little basket”. Why the tarts were so named is probably clear. They have the shape of small baskets, which are made of shortcrust pastry and filled with some jam and Italian meringue.
Sweet seduction from the distant Soviet Union
As if eating a cloud – korzinochki taste heavenly light and airy. The fluffy Italian meringue combines perfectly with the sour jam and the crispy tender shortbread that practically melts in your mouth. The tarts are also a hit in their own right visually. As soon as you see them, you want to eat one of them right away – a sweet temptation that no one can resist. No wonder, then, that the shortbread baskets with meringue filling were so popular in the Soviet era. You could buy them on every corner – in pastry shops, bakeries or canteens. Not only adults, but also children loved korzinochki. For many former Soviet children they are a fond memory of their childhood – the taste of their childhood. Although you can still buy the shortbread tarts with meringue filling in Russian pastry shops or supermarkets now, they don’t come close to the original from the distant Soviet Union in terms of taste. So we simply make the tarts ourselves!
Eye-catcher at every party or how to decorate korzinochki
In the form of small, sweet, filled baskets, Russian korzinochki are an eye-catcher on any dining table. Golden shortbread baskets and snow-white meringue in combination are a visual highlight par excellence. Additionally decorated with fresh berries and peppermint leaves, the tarts are an ideal dessert for any party. You can also color the meringue with food coloring, fill it into a piping bag and decorate the tarts as you like. Use different nozzles and inject flowers, leaves or stars from the cream into the baskets. Correspondingly colorfully decorated korzinochki are also perfect for a child’s birthday party. In the Soviet Union, the shortbread baskets filled with “mushrooms” and green “leaves” from the cream were very popular. To do this, bake very small round cookies from the leftover dough, which then serve as mushroom heads. From the meringue you inject feet for the mushrooms into the shortbread baskets and put the heads on them. Color some of the meringue green and pipe leaves around the mushrooms. To do this, put a leaf piping nozzle on the piping bag. I decorated some of my korzinochki the same way. Get inspired by the pictures here.
Alternatives for meringue filling
In the Soviet Union, shortbread baskets were available not only meringue filling. Often they were filled with buttercream. You can also make Russian korzinochki with buttercream. For this purpose, you whip soft butter together with sweetened condensed milk or with powdered sugar to a creamy mass. Your buttercream for the shortbread tarts is ready. By the way, if you add some cocoa powder, you will get a chocolate cream for korzinochki.
Alternatives for jam filling
Classically, korzinochki were filled with a small amount of jam. You spread some of it on the bottom of the shortbread basket and then drizzle the Italian meringue on top. A sour and firm jam is best for this. The sour flavor combines perfectly with the sweet meringue filling. In summer, you can fill your tarts with fresh fruit instead of jam. Put some berries, for example fresh raspberries, blackberries or blueberries into the shortcake basket and then drizzle the cream on top. Note that such tarts with fresh fruit have a shorter shelf life and are best eaten immediately after preparation.
What can I make in advance for shortbread tarts with meringue filling?
Although making shortbread tarts with meringue filling is a bit time-consuming, you don’t have to do it all in one day. You can bake the shortbread baskets the day before and let them cool overnight. The next day, just make the Italian meringue and fill the baskets with it. Your tarts are ready!
In which baking pan do I bake the shortbread baskets?
For baking the shortbread baskets there are small stainless steel tartlet baking pans. They are about 7 cm in diameter at the top and 5 cm at the bottom and are perfect for Russian korzinochki. I had used exactly such baking pans for baking my shortbread baskets and got 30 tarts with them according to the recipe here below. But if you don’t have such baking pans, you can alternatively use ordinary muffin cups.
Russian shortbread tarts with meringue filling are
- with a crispy bottom,
- heavenly delicious,
- a classic from the Soviet era,
- to be made from common ingredients,
- an eye-catcher on the dining table,
- perfect for dessert with coffee or tea,
- ideal for any party.
How to make shortbread baskets with meringue filling: the recipe
The exact quantities and step-by-step instructions to make the Russian shortbread tarts with meringue filling yourself can be found here below in the box recipe.
For the korzinochki recipe you only need a few common ingredients. The preparation requires some time, but in the end it’s worth the effort, because you’ll be rewarded with the delicious and pretty tarts.
For the shortbread baskets you will need
- soft butter,
- powdered sugar,
- yolks of eggs,
- baking powder
- and vanilla.
How to make the shortbread baskets: this is how it works
Beat butter with powdered sugar and vanilla. Add the egg yolks and beat until homogeneous. Stir in flour with baking powder and knead briskly to a soft dough. Chill the dough for 15 minutes, then roll out thinly, cut out circles and fill the baking pans with them. Bake the baskets at 180 °C for about 15 minutes and let them cool down.
For the Italian meringue you need
- egg whites,
- and some citric acid powder.
How to make the Italian meringue: this is how you proceed
Dissolve sugar in water, bring to a boil, add citric acid and simmer until sugar syrup reaches 118 – 120 °C. At the same time, beat the egg whites until foamy. Slowly add the sugar syrup in a thin stream to the egg whites and beat for about 10 minutes until a firm cream.
To fill the Russian baskets, you will need some more jam. It should be firm so it doesn’t flow out or soak the bottom of the baskets. Also, a sour jam combines perfectly with the sweet meringue filling.
How to fill the baskets
Pour some jam into each shortbread basket and spread the Italian meringue on top. Done!
How to make Russian korzinochki yourself: tips and tricks
How to make the shortcrust pastry
- The amount of flour given in the recipe may vary. Add flour gradually to the rest of the ingredients until the dough has the necessary consistency. It should be very soft, not dry, and not mushy either.
- Do not knead the dough too long. Once it has a homogeneous consistency, it is ready. When adding flour, you can first use a wooden spoon for mixing and only at the end knead the dough briefly with your hands.
- To bake the baskets, you will need tartlet baking pans or muffin cups.
- Do not press the dough too tightly to the baking forms, so that you can easily get the pastry out of the forms after baking.
- You don’t need to grease the baking pans beforehand, as the shortbread dough contains enough butter.
- Pierce the basket bottoms with a fork to prevent air bubbles from forming.
- The shortbread baskets are done baking when their edges have turned a light golden brown color.
- Let the baskets cool in the baking pans and then take them out carefully, as they are very tender.
This is how it works with the meringue filling:
- Proportions are very important with this cream. You should weigh all the ingredients carefully. Proceed as follows:
- Take 3 eggs and separate egg whites from yolks. Use egg yolks for the batter.
- Weigh egg whites from 3 eggs.
- Now weigh out twice as much sugar as you have egg whites.
- Divide the amount of sugar by 3 and weigh out as much water in ml.
The egg white weighed 96 g for me. Accordingly, I had to take 192 g sugar and 64 ml water.
- When you separate egg whites from yolks, make sure that none of the yolks end up in the egg whites. Otherwise, your egg white mixture might not set. Also, both the mixing bowl and the whisk in which and with which the mixture is whipped must be clean (definitely not greasy) and dry.
- The temperature of the sugar syrup, to which it must be cooked, is equally important. The consistency of the egg white cream depends on it. The temperature must not be lower than 118 °C and higher than 120 °C. To get the right temperature, it is best to use a kitchen thermometer.
- Add the sugar syrup to the egg whites slowly, in a thin stream, and never too quickly.
- The egg whites must be whipped to a froth when you add the sugar syrup. It should not be too little, so that it is not yet frothy, but it should not be too firm either.
- After you add the sugar syrup to the egg whites, it’s important to whip the cream really well. This will take about 10 minutes with the amounts listed in the recipe using a food processor on maximum speed. After adding the hot sugar syrup to the egg whites, the mixing bowl will be hot. When you’re done whipping, it barely needs to be warm. This will give the cream a very firm consistency.
- By the way, the Italian meringue is very good for decorating various cakes.
This is how it works with the tarts
- Do not fill the shortbread baskets with the Italian meringue while they are still hot.
- I filled my baskets with the help of a piping bag. You can also do it with a tablespoon.
- Use solid and not liquid jam to fill the baskets. The tarts taste best when the jam is sour.
- Instead of jam, you can fill the shortbread baskets with fresh berries.
- Store the korzinochki in the refrigerator. They will keep for about 2 – 3 days. After that, the meringue filling gradually dries out and no longer tastes so airy, but a bit hard on the outside.
Video for the korzinochki recipe
By the way, on my Youtube channel you can find a short video for the Russian shortbread tarts with meringue filling. There you can watch exactly how to bake the baskets and cook the Italian meringue. If you don’t want to miss any more videos from me, feel free to subscribe to my channel.
Have you made korzinochki yourself using this recipe? I’m looking forward to your result, your star rating and your comment on the recipe below, how you succeeded and tasted the tarts.
Fancy more popular sweet pastries from the Soviet era? Try also:
- Sochniki – recipe for popular curd cakes from the Soviet era
- Shortbread rings with peanuts – this is what Soviet childhood tasted like
- Choux pastry rings with curd – Russian curd rings with French background
- Puff pastry horns with Italian meringue – taste highlight from the Soviet era
Korzinochki (Russian shortbread tarts with meringue filling)
- stainless steel tartlet baking pans or muffin tins
- piping bag
for the dough
- 200 g butter (room temperature)
- 130 g powdered sugar
- yolks of 3 eggs
- approx. 350 g flour
- 4 g baking powder
- 1 pinch of salt
- flour for the work surface
for the Italian meringue
- egg whites of 3 eggs (weigh, 96 g for me)
- approx. 192 g sugar (twice as much as egg whites)
- 64 ml water (1/3 of the amount of sugar)
- 1/4 tsp citric acid powder
for the filling
- firm jam
Preparation of the dough
- Beat soft butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt for about 4 - 5 minutes until a creamy white mass.
- Add egg yolks and beat until homogeneous.
- Add flour with baking powder postionally and knead it quickly and briefly to a soft dough. (Note my tips and tricks for this here at the top of the post.) Cover the dough in the mixing bowl and chill for 15 minutes.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and roll it out to about 0.5 inches thick. Using one of the tartlet baking pans or a suitable drinking glass, cut out circles from the dough and fill the baking pans with them.
- Pierce the bottom of each basket several times with a fork and bake the shortbread baskets in a preheated oven at 180 °C top and bottom heat for about 15 minutes until they have a light golden brown edge. Let them cool in the baking pans and then take them out.
Preparation of the Italian meringue
- Weigh egg whites from 3 eggs. Now weigh out twice as much sugar as egg whites. Divide the amount of sugar by 3 and weigh out as much water in ml.
- Put the water and sugar together in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, making sure the sugar has dissolved before boiling.
- Once the sugar syrup boils, add citric acid, stir briefly and simmer over low heat (stop stirring) until the syrup reaches 118 - 120 °C.
- In parallel, start whipping egg whites with food processor at medium speed.
- Once the sugar syrup reaches 118 - 120 °C, take it off the heat and immediately add it slowly in a thin stream to the whipped egg whites, continuing to whip the egg whites. Just before the sugar syrup reaches the necessary temperature, you can check if the egg whites already have a foamy consistency. If it is not, you can briefly turn the food processor on maximum speed. However, the egg whites must not be whipped into a solid mass when you add the sugar syrup. After you add the sugar syrup to the egg whites, continue to beat the mixture at maximum speed of the food processor for about 10 minutes, until the cream is firm and the mixing bowl with the cream is barely warm when you touch it from the outside.
Filling the shortbread tarts
- Spread some jam on the bottom of each shortbread basket.
- Put the Italian meringue in a piping bag and use it to fill the shortbread baskets, piping the meringue on top of the jam.
- Do not knead the dough too long. When adding flour, first use a wooden spoon to stir and only at the end knead the dough briefly with your hands.
- Do not press the dough too tightly to the baking pans, so that the pastries can be easily taken out of the pans after baking.
- Accurately weigh all the ingredients for the Italian meringue.
- Measure the temperature of the sugar syrup accurately. It must not be below 118 °C and must not exceed 120 °C.
- Add the hot sugar syrup to the egg whites slowly, in a thin stream.
- After adding the sugar syrup to the egg whites, whip the meringue really well.
- Note the detailed tips and tricks for DIY shortbread tarts with meringue filling at the top of the post.