Blintzes are such an underrated food. They are delicate and creamy and sweet and everything you could want when your sweet tooth is calling. So when it came time to choosing a dessert for a Shavuot Shabbat I had hosted a few weeks ago, I knew that Tyler Florence’s Blintzes would make the perfect ending to my wonderful holiday meal.
A blintz is a thin pancake that is somewhat similar to a crêpe (with the main difference being the fact that yeast is always used in blintzes, but not in crêpes). Its traditionally made with a sweet cheese filling and accompanied by fresh fruit or a fruit sauce. Blintzes are especially delicious when served with whipped cream and chocolate syrup if you’re feeling naughty. But since we were observing the Sabbath, I felt it best to elude temptation.
After all, blintzes were popularized in the US by Jewish immigrants who served them on Jewish Holidays even though they have no religious tie to Judaism. And its likely that most of you reading this have never even heard of a blintz, let alone tasted one, which is why I’m proud to share its brief heritage and Tyler’s wonderful recipe with you.
Blintzes are quite versatile as they can be served for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert! And aside from cooking the actual blintz, they are fairly easy, and inexpensive to make. Like many other recipes I’ve posted, you can pretty much add anything you like whether it be a certain type of fruit or experimenting with spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg (in the blintz batter). I also tried to cut back on some of the fat and sugar in this recipe, so don’t be scared to use fat-free dairy products and cooking spray (instead of butter). I promise you won’t even taste the difference.
CLASSIC BLINTZES RECIPE (Adapted from Tyler Florence’s Recipe)
Basic Crepe Batter
- 1 cup skim milk
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Pinch salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cups fat-free ricotta cheese
- 4 ounces low-fat cream cheese
- 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- 1 lemon, zested and finely grated
- 1 egg
Making the Blintz Batter
- Combine the milk, water, eggs, flour, salt and sugar in a blender. Blend on medium speed for 15 seconds, until the batter is smooth and lump-free. Scrape down the sides of the blender and pour in 3 tablespoons of melted butter.
- Blend it again for a second just to incorporate. Refrigerate the batter for 1 hour to let it rest. If the crepes are made immediately, they have a tendency to be rubbery; when you let the batter rest, the crepes have a better texture and a softer bite.
Assembling the Blintzes
- Put an 8-inch crepe pan or nonstick skillet over medium heat and spray with fat-free cooking spray.
- Pour 1/4 cup of batter into the pan and swirl it around so it covers the bottom evenly; pour back any excess.
- Cook for 30 to 45 seconds, until the crepe batter sets. Lightly bang the edge of the pan with a heatproof rubber spatula to loosen the crepe; then flip it and cook another 30 seconds. The crepes should be pliable, not crisp, and lightly brown.
- Slide them onto a platter and continue making the crepes until all the batter is used. Cover the stack of crepes with a towel to keep them from drying out. This makes 10 crepes.
Making the Cheese Filling
- Combine the ricotta cheese, cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, lemon zest, and egg and blend until smooth.
- Chill the filling to firm it up a bit so it doesn’t squirt out of the blintzes.
Rolling the Blintzes
- Think of rolling a blintz, like you would a burrito.
- Spoon 1/4 cup of the cheese filling along the lower third of the crepe.
- Fold the bottom edge away from you to just cover the filling; then fold the 2 sides in to the center.
- Roll the crepe away from you a couple of times to make a package, ending with the seam side down.
- Then heat an ovenproof skillet over medium heat, brush the blintz with melted butter, and pan-fry for 2 minutes per side until crisp and golden (you can heat them in the oven at 350 to keep warm).
Serving the Blintzes
- Place the blintzes on one plate (family style) and lightly dust confectioners sugar on top of the blintzes.
- Surround blintzes with fresh fruit and serve!
For other spins on this classic blintz recipe, check out Tyler Florence’s Blueberry Blintzes or Ricotta and Orange Blintzes with Strawberry Sauce. Or, skip the baking all together and head to Veselka and try their classic blintzes topped with a wonderful variety of fresh fruit. Be sure to ask for extra whipped cream!