Shavuos of my youth was synonymous with palacsinta. For those without Hungarian heritage, this is a blintz, and ours in particular were filled with sweet cheese.
Blintzes are made from a thin crepe filled with either sweet or savory fillings and rolled up tightly. Although to me blintz making feels so daunting, my grandmother would whip up fresh batches for us for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
I was fortunate enough to learn many cooking tips and techniques from my Bubby Maierovits, and she shared with me the secret ingredient to delicious cheese-filled blintzes — it’s as simple as some fresh lemon zest, which adds such depth of flavor to the humble cheese filling.
Making these blintzes takes about an hour from start to finish, and the results speak for themselves.
YIELDS 16 CREPES
- 6 eggs
- 2 heaping Tbsp sugar
- 1⁄2 tsp salt
- 21⁄2 cups milk, divided
- 21⁄2 cups flour
- 3 Tbsp melted butter, for frying
- 1 lb (450 g) farmer’s cheese
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp vanilla sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- zest of 1 lemon
To make the crepes:
Beat eggs, sugar, salt, and 1⁄2 cup milk. Continue beating while alternately adding remaining milk and flour. If the batter is lumpy, strain it through a fine mesh strainer.
Allow the batter to rest while making the cheese filling.
In a bowl, mix all filling ingredients well with a spoon.
Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Brush with melted butter.
Pour 1⁄4 cup of batter into the center of the pan and immediately swirl the pan so the batter fills the entire pan. Watch it carefully. As edges begin to dry, flip over and fry for another 30 seconds. Turn the crepe onto a plate. Brush the pan with fresh butter and repeat the process until all your batter is used up.
As the crepes cool just a bit, you can start to fill them: Put 1 heaping spoonful of cheese filling in the center of the crepe. Smear it out, leaving a wide border. Fold the bottom of the crepe up over the filling. Fold both sides in towards the center and roll up tightly.
When all the crepes have been fried, add some fresh butter to your pan and fry the rolled blintzes until nicely browned in each side.
Serve with sour cream or fruit sauce/pie filling.
This crepe batter is not overly sweet, so it works well for both sweet and savory fillings.
Blintzes freeze beautifully! Follow all the steps until the blintzes are rolled. Fry them when you remove from the freezer.
The key to making uniform-sized blintzes is the pan size. I find a 7-inch (18-cm) pan to be perfect. A pan with low sides makes flipping your crepe much simpler. You don’t need an expensive pan; I bought my favorite one for $11 Canadian (almost free in US dollars!).
(Originally featured in Family Table, Issue 692)
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