October 5, 2008

Blintzes, and Blintzes and More Blintzes...oh my!

That's right, 135 blintzes to be exact. I spent today with my great Aunt Shirley and my cousins Pam and Erin, making piles and piles of blintzes for the upcoming Yom Kippur break-fast meal. Ironic, no? We bake and cook furiously for a day of fasting. Gotta love it! People will almost always have a light dairy meal after breaking the fast, because even though you're beyond hungry, you can't eat nearly as much as you wish you could. It's the classic Eyes Bigger Than Stomach problem.
I had a blast learning how to make blintzes, but by the end of the day, I felt like I had butter and Crisco all over me and my clothes. I guess this is how a short order cook feels at the end of a shift!
If you've never had a blintz, then you're missing out! It's similar to a crepe, but made in a totally different manner. The basic blintz is a thin pancake filled with a variety of fillings - sweet cheese, blueberries, strawberries, really anything your little heart desires.
I don't have my Aunt Shirley's recipe, so I grabbed a very similar one off the internet. The batter is a simple mixture that you can whir up in your blender quite quickly. Don't be intimidated by the idea of making crepes; it's really quite easy once you get the hang of it. Warning, this is NOT a WW friendly recipe!

3 large eggs
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons, approximately, sweet (unsalted) butter

A stick of butter for buttering the pan

Sweet Cheese:
1 1/2 cups farmer cheese
2 cups cottage cheese
1/4 cup sugar
cinnamon to taste
2 TBS flour (optional)

For fruit fillings, you can just use a basic preserves with big pieces of fruit. Blueberry is my personal favorite, but anything tastes good in a blintz!

Put all the batter ingredients into a blender and whiz together until well-blended. Transfer to a large bowl. Line your countertop with a clean dishtowel.
Heat a small skillet (8-inches) over medium-low heat. When it's hot, grease the bottom of the pan with a thin layer of butter (or you can use Crisco).
Pour 1/4 cup of the batter into the hot pan, swirl it around so that the batter covers the whole bottom, and then pour the excess back into the waiting batter bowl. The batter should be thin enough to almost see the pan through it before it sets.
After a minute or so, slowly loosen the edges of the pancake to see if it's browned on the bottom. If not, let it cook for another minute.

Once the pancake is set, turn the pan over the dish towel so the pancake comes out, browned side up. Repeat until you have used all the batter. The pancakes cool very quickly and you can stack them up without sticking.

Making the Filling:
In a food processor, process the cheeses and sugar until smooth. If too liquid, add the flour to thicken.

Stuffing the Blintz:
Take the pancake, browned side up, and spoon a generous spoonful of your filling onto the edge. Roll up the filling, twice, and then tuck in the sides. Continue rolling as if it were a burrito, and place on a waiting baking sheet.

If you want to freeze them, they will keep well for a few months, even up to a year if you do it correctly. Line a baking sheet with foil and lay them on it, not touching. Put them in the freezer overnight until they are frozen, and then you can pack them in bags or plastic containers.

Cooking the Blintz:
Some people let them defrost, some people just put the frozen ones right onto a pan. It's really up to you! Grease a skillet with a little bit of oil or butter, and cook them until they are golden brown and crispy on each side. Treat them very very gently when cooking them, b/c the pancakes tear easily. Serve with sour cream, apple sauce, or anything else you think will taste good.
Seriously, the possibilities are endless! Traditional blintzes are sweet cheese, but its fun to be creative: blueberry with lemon sauce, apple cinnamon with caramel sauce, cherry with sour cream....mmmmm....


Cara said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

We always break fast with blintzes too! Though we cheat and use the frozen ones and turn them into blintz souffle (they are covered with an egg and orange juice mixture and baked). yours look great!