Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cheese Blintzes

My cooking, if you could call it that, has been on the skimpy side lately. I've been in a rut of making the same things over and over again, and even my own motto of "quick and easy" has been put to the test as almost anything I could think of seemed like just too much trouble. Ever have one of those days/weeks/months? Made worse, I think, because I'm trying to lose weight, and I've been in a bit of pout because I've been off of my comfort foods.

This recipe has re-lit the spark, though! I couldn't wait to get to the library today (for the high speed internet) to upload the pictures. This is the most elaborate thing I've made in a long time, but it turned out so well, I think I'm inspired to get back some good basic cooking.

I made these cheese blintzes for Shavuot last week (that's Feast of Weeks or Pentecost) when it's customary to eat dairy foods, along with fruits and vegetables that are just now being harvested. I'd made these once before a few years ago, but I "cheated" and used bought pre-made crepes, but these I made myself from scratch, so I was quite full of myself afterward!

(this is my "real" kitchen at home--old appliances and mismatched back splashes and all)
The first thing you have to do in this two-part recipe is make the unfilled basic blintzes. A blintz is a crepe that's browned only on one side, then filled with either a sweet or savory filling, and then either fried or baked. I adapted my recipe and techniques from 1,000 Jewish Recipes by Faye Levy.
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 c milk
  • 3/4 c all purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2-3 T butter, melted

Combine the first 4 ingredients in the blender, then blend for about 1 minute, or until the batter is smooth. Cover and refrigerate at least an hour. When you're ready to cook the blinztes, add the melted butter and blend well. This makes very thin batter, that should be completely smooth.

I don't have a crepe pan, so I used a small non-stick skillet. Heat on medium high heat until a drop of water sizzles when it hits the pan. Pour 2-3 tablespoons of batter in the pan, then tilt and sort of swirl the pan until it covers the bottom of the pan.

I was a bit apprehensive of this since I've never made crepes, and even my pancakes don't turn out pretty. The instructions say to cook until the bottom is slightly browned--but how in world can you tell if the bottom is brown? Not to worry--these cook up fast, not much more than a minute--and you can tell by looking as the color on top changes slight from the outside in as they cook. The edges start to lift and pull away from the pan--I used a fork to gently slide under the edge and toward the middle-when it turned loose, it was done, and slid right out of the pan. This recipe made about 15 small blintzes.

Be sure to spread these out to cool before you stack them--you probably want to put wax paper between them after they cool if you aren't going to fill them right away.

This is what the brown side of mine looked like.

For the filling, I adapted it by combining elements of several different recipes.
  • 2 8-oz pkgs cream cheese, softened
  • 1 15 oz container ricotta cheese
  • 4 eggs (use only 2--4 makes it too thin)
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1/2 c sugar (I used Splenda)

Combine all ingredients, and stir or mix until well combined and somewhat smooth. My filling was really too thin--next time I'll only use two eggs. I also had so much filling left I added some additional sugar (in my case Splenda) and made a sugar-free cheesecake (which I'll be sharing next time!)

Place a heaping spoonful or two of filling on the browned side, then fold in the sides and roll up--kind of like making a little burrito. Many people fry their filled blintzes in a small amount of oil, turning, just until they're brown on all sides and the filling is heated through. Luckily I was planning to bake these, I think the filling would have run out in the hot oil, making a huge mess.

To bake, place them in a greased or cooking-sprayed pan, cover with foil, and bake at 350-400 about 20 minutes, or until the filling is "set". Uncover, brush with melted butter, and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the outside is lightly brown.

For some reason, this pan browned better--or at least the picture shows the brown better (!)

And then for the best part--serve with toppings of your choice. I chose blueberries and a combination of blueberries and strawberries, with sugar-free whipped topping, but you could use any number of toppings, from other fruit to chocolate or caramel syrup. This version was so delicious, light with just enough sweetness, it has definitely become my new favorite dessert.

I loved making this dish. It was easier than I had expected, but the results were "frou-frou" enough that I felt that I really made something special. Both the blinztes and the filling can be made ahead and stored in the fridge, either separately or already filled; then either bake or fry them at the last minute to add a special touch to any meal.

This post is linked to:

Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum

Just Something I Whipped Up at The Girl Creative

Meatless Monday at Chaya's Sweet and Savory

Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam

Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed with Grace

Tuesdays at the Table at All the Small Stuff
Delicious Dishes at It's a Blog Party
Make it Yourself Monday at Eat From Your Pantry

Until next time, good cooking, and good eating!

(Disclosure: If you follow the link and buy Faye Levy's cookbook, I will receive a few cents comission from Amazon)


  1. Oh man, I am craving one of those so bad right now!! They look amazing!

  2. Oh! This has my name all over it. Sounds yum!

  3. Yum! This looks very delicious!
    Thanks for linking up!

  4. Those look so delicious. The berries...oh my! I am so ready for light summer desserts!