I love blintzes-always have. I don’t know anyone who does not love blintzes. So how come we don’t make them more often?
Blintzes aren’t hard but if you are making both the crepes and the filling from scratch, it does take time. Now, I don’t make either from scratch-I use a mix for the crepes and a premade pastry filling either in Bavarian cream or cream cheese. That makes it easy.
Oh, and you don’t need a special pan either-an 8 or 9-inch nonstick skillet works just fine. We sell a special crepe pan and it works just fine. It has lower sides and it’s a little easier to get under the crepes and flip them but my deeper 8-inch nonstick frying panworks and it’s a great multi-purpose pan, my “go to” pan for three egg omelets.
Today we’ll share the scratch recipes but remember, life’s easier with a mix and a premade filling.
Blintzes are made up of three parts:
- The crepes
- The filling
- The topping
The traditional filling is made with cream cheese. We’ve included a recipe for a strawberry cream cheese filling. If you’re making a cherry or other filling, leave out the strawberries and add the other fruit. We’re in love with our new Chubby Cherry Topping and it makes terrific blintzes.
Instead of making the filling from scratch, use a cream cheese pastry filling or a Bavarian cream pastry filling. They are both scrumptious and they come in easy-to-use packages. Clip the corner, squeeze out what you need, fold the corner over and save the rest for up to six months. Once you start using premade fillings, you’ll never go back to making fillings and puddings the old-fashioned way.
You can use fresh fruit or a bottle topping for your blintzes. We’ve included a strawberry recipe but don’t overlook the cherry blintzes. Just use Chubby Cherry or another topping right out of the bottle.
To make the strawberry cream cheese filling:
1/2 of an 8-ounce package of cream cheese
1 cup ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1 cup cut-up strawberries
In a food processor, a blender, or with an electric mixer, blend the cream cheese, ricotta cheese, sugar, the egg yolk, vanilla, and orange zest together until just smooth. Place the filling and the strawberries in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Tip: This recipe calls for uncooked egg. If you would prefer a substitute, use the equivalent in pasteurized eggs which are usually available in your grocer’s dairy case.
To make the strawberry topping:
3 cups strawberries, washed, hulled, and sliced
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
Mix the strawberries, sugar, and juice together in a food processor or blender until the sugar is dissolved and the strawberries are mashed. Some chunks should remain. Set aside in the refrigerator.
To make the crepes:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
- Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk the milk, extract and two eggs together. Add the liquids to the flour mixture and whisk together until smooth.
- Heat a small skillet or crepe pan until medium hot. Melt some butter in the pan. Pour about a quarter cup of the batter into the preheated pan. Immediately tip and rotate the skillet so that there is a thin coating of batter over the bottom of the pan. Cook until it is light-colored on one side and turn and cook on the second side. Remove the cooked crepe to a plate. Repeat, stacking the crepes between sheets of waxed paper. Cover them to keep warm. This recipe should make 10-12 eight-inch crepes.
Tip: The secret to cooking crepes is to rotate the pan to spread the batter as soon as it hits the hot pan.
To assemble the blintzes:
- After the three parts are staged, the blintzes are assembled and refried. Though this is not difficult, if you have never made crepes before, practice on the family before you invite company over. Your family will love you and with one experience under your belt, you’ll be ready for company.
- Place a heaping tablespoon of filling and a heaping tablespoon of sliced strawberries or other fruit on the bottom half of a crepe. Fold the bottom up. Fold the sides in. Then, roll the crepe up to form a rectangular packet. (See illustrations.) Repeat with the rest of the crepes. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to cook your blitzes.
To fry the blintzes:
- Melt two tablespoons of butter in the skillet or crepe pan. Place enough of the assembled blintzes in the pan seam side down to fill the pan. Fry for about two minutes on each side or until golden and crisp. Keep the blintzes warm in the oven set at 250 degrees until ready to serve.
- Serve with more topping.
Dennis Weaver is the founder of The Prepared Pantry. He is the author of How to Be a Better Baker, a 250 page book about the art and science of baking.
You can download a free copy of How to Be a Better Baker here.