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Baked Milk

Varenets is as rich and sweet as condensed milk. The Russians consider it a special treat for coffee, and the skin that forms during baking is prized by connoisseurs. Varenets may be served either warm from the oven or chilled. Its name comes from the Russian varit', 'to cook', the same root that is found in samovar.


2 pints (1.2 litres) whole milk

Makes 1 pint (600 ml)


Do not let the milk sit out for more than 24 hours or it will take on a bitter taste.

Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/Gas 2. Pour the milk into a large, shallow earthenware baking dish. Bake for about 2 hours, or until the milk has turned a deeper colour, occasionally stirring the skin that forms back into the milk. Leave the final skin in place.

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