Blintzes

Cream cheese pancakes

blintzes

Reprinted from The Book of Jewish Food, published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.

Blintzes are of Hungarian origin. Pancakes of every kind with various fillings, called “palacsinta,” are common in Hungary. This one was adopted as a specialty of Shavuot, when it is customary to eat dairy dishes. It is a magnificent sweet and one of my favorites.

Ingredients

  1. Sour cream to pass around
  2. 2 teaspoons cinnamon to sprinkle on (optional)
  3. zest of 1 and 1/2 lemons
  4. 1/2 cup or more sugar, to taste
  5. 1 lb curd cheese
  6. 1/2 lb cream cheese
  7. 2-3 Tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  8. Confectioners' sugar to sprinkle on (optional)
  9. 3/4 cup currants or raisins soaked in a little rum for 1/2 hour (optional)
  10. A few drops of vanilla extract (optional)
  11. 3 egg yolks
  12. 1/2 Tablespoon oil plus more for greasing the pan
  13. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  14. 1 egg
  15. 2/3 cup water
  16. 1 cup flour
  17. 1 1/4 cups milk

Directions

Add the milk and water to the flour gradually, beating vigorously. Add the egg, salt, and oil and beat the batter until smooth. Leave to rest for 1-2 hours.

Heat a preferably nonstick frying pan–with a bottom not wider than 8 inches (20 cm)–and grease very slightly with oil. Pour about half a ladleful of batter into the frying pan and move the pan around so the entire surface is covered with batter. The batter and the resulting pancake should be thin. As soon as the pancake is slightly browned and detached, turn it over with a spatula and cook a moment only on the other side. Continue until all the batter is used and put the pancakes in a pile.

For the filling, blend the curd and cream cheese with the sugar, lemon zest, egg yolks, and vanilla, if you like, in a food processor. Then stir in the raisins, if using.

Take each pancake, 1 at a time, put 2 heaping tablespoons of filling on the bottom half, fold the edge of the pancake over the filling, tuck in the sides so that it is trapped, and roll up into a slim roll. Place the rolls side by side in a greased oven dish. Sprinkle with butter and bake in a preheated 375 F (190 C) oven for 20 minutes.

Serve hot, dusted with confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon, if you like, and pass the sour cream for people to help themselves if they want to.

Variations

For an apple filling: Peel and core 2 lbs (1 kg) apples. Steam in a pan with the lid on and only a drop of water. Then puree and sweeten with sugar to taste, and add 1 teaspoon cinnamon and a few gratings of nutmeg.

For a cherry filling: Pit 2 lbs (1 kg) cherries and steam them in a pan with the lid on. Some mix this with 1/2 cup (75 g) ground almonds and 2 or 3 drops of almond extract.

From The Book of Jewish Food, by Claudia Roden. Copyright 1996 by Claudia Roden. Reprinted with permission from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.

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Claudia Roden is one of England's leading food writers. Her works include the James Beard Award winning The Book of Jewish Food and A Book of Middle Eastern Food.

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