Blintzes are an iconic and beloved Eastern European Jewish food — thinly cooked pancakes (crepes) filled with potato, vegetables or cheese. There is no shortage of ways to make them — sweet, savory, classic and nontraditional. But sweet, cheese blintzes are most popular during Shavuot when dairy dishes are traditionally enjoyed.
I know, I know — making crepes can certainly seem daunting if you’ve never made them. And I will be honest — it does take some practice. But the sweet, creamy result is worth the effort. This video served as a great tutorial:
A few tips for making the crepes and serving:
- Add oil to your pan using a pastry brush like this — you don’t want to add big globs of oil. It should just be lightly greased.
- Don’t add too much batter — you actually want a small amount, and working quickly, swirl the batter in the pan using your wrist. You should pick the pan up off the burner while doing this.
- If your batter seems too thick, add a touch more milk or water to thin out.
- When you are ready to flip, try using a chopstick or thin offset spatula to carefully lift up one side. Don’t dawdle or linger — just flip it in one motion.
- You can also fry the blintzes instead of baking them in the last step. Just add oil or butter back into your pan, and fry until golden and sealed.
For the crepe batter:
- 1 cup flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/4 cup milk
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 Tbsp butter, melted
- pinch of salt
For the compote:
- 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
- juice of 1/2 orange
- pinch salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp cornstarch
For the filling:
- 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- 7.5 oz farmer’s cheese (can also use ricotta)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp fresh orange zest
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
- powdered sugar (optional)
- sour cream (optional)
- First, make the blintz batter by blending all ingredients with a whisk or with an electric mixer, for a few minutes or until all of the lumps are smoothed out. Set aside.
- Next, make the compote. Add berries and orange juice to a saucepan and cook over medium heat, for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat down if it starts to boil.
- Add the sugar, cornstarch and salt to the compote and stir until well-combined. Continue cooking for the next 10-15 minutes, and as the compote cooks, muddle the berries with the back of a wooden spoon. Set aside to cool.
- Make the cheese filling by mixing all ingredients in a bowl with a wooden spoon. Stir until it’s thoroughly mixed, and a little chunky from the texture of the farmer’s cheese.
- Heat a frying pan over medium heat and coat with a teaspoon or two butter, oil, or a spritz of non-stick spray.
- Pour 1/4 cup of batter into the pan, or enough to coat the bottom of it evenly. As soon as the crepe is slightly browned around the edges and slightly detached from the pan, carefully flip it over using a spatula and cook the other side. Cook for 10-20 seconds on the other side, and remove to a plate to cool.
- Continue until all the batter is used, stack the finished crepes in a pile. You may need to add more butter or spray to the pan.
- Butter a baking dish and preheat the oven to 375.
- Assemble blintzes. Place a crepe on a flat surface (like a large plate), and place 2 Tablespoons of the cheese filling in the lower half of the circular crepe. Fold the bottom of the circle over the filling, and then fold the two sides of the crepe towards the center, over the filling, to prevent the filling from spilling out of the sides. Then roll up the bottom of the crepe until you’ve formed a burrito-like cylinder.
- Place the blintz in the baking dish, and continue rolling blintzes until you’ve run out. The baking dish should be full.
- Pour melted butter (about 3-4 Tbsp) over the blintzes and bake for 20 minutes.
- Serve warm, sprinkle with powdered sugar (optional) and top with compote and a dollop of whipped cream.