|Sweet cheese-filled Blintzes on homemade red fruit preserves|
For this month's ABC baking project, I asked Toni of Big Smiles and Bigger Hips to select a recipe for us, and she chose the Quintessential Cheese Blintzes. I "met" Toni through the Heavenly Cake Bakers and was very happy when she decided to join ABC. One of the things I like about Toni is her honest feedback on the goodies she bakes as part of the baking group. If she doesn't like a recipe, she'll tell you :o) She also has adorable little helpers.
Blintzes (also called Blinis and a very other names) are similar to crepes with a sweet or savory filling. My (late) Russian friend, Svetlana, made Blinis for me that were filled with ground beef. That was my first (and yummy) encounter with Blinis/Blintzes. So I was very eager to try Flo Braker's sweet filling made with farmer's cheese, sugar, citrus zest, and a little salt. I substituted cream cheese for the farmer's cheese. Other substitutes that work well are ricotta cheese and small curd cottage cheese.
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Since I was only making a 1/4 of the recipe, I made the crepe batter in the cup of my immersion blender. It took about 10 seconds to whiz everything together. After that, it went into the fridge for a few hours while I ran some errands (Flo recommends a 1-2 hour rest in the fridge).
|Crepe batter, ready for the fridge|
Making the crepes, is easy. My small non-stick pan was slightly smaller than 6" so I used 2 Tbsp of batter for each crepes and got nice thin crepes. A total of 6, to be exact.
|I cooked my crepes on both sides (sorry Flo!)|
For the filling, I used 4-6 oz of cream cheese which I had in the freezer. After thawing it out in the microwave (slowly), I added 25 grams of sugar, the zest of 1 clementine (my lemon was too sad looking for any zesting), some salt, and some vanilla. I left out the egg. I figured a 1/4 egg is not going to give me that much binding power. And since there are stabilizers in the cream cheese, I wasn't too worried about a runny filling (and I wouldn't have to worry about whether the egg inside the blintzes is fully cooked), so it's a win-win :o)
Here are some step-by-step pictures on how to fold the blintzes (it's much like folding egg rolls):
|Gently fried in a little butter for a nice crust and to heat up the blintzes|
- I wasn't so sure hubby would like it since he's not a big cheese fan. Not surprisingly, his first comment was: "This is rich!". But he kept on eating and declared it a winner, also citing that the homemade preserves paired nicely with the blintzes. He gave it a 9 out of 10.
- I loved these too. The blintzes had a thin crispy outer layer, while the filling was creamy, sweet, with a nice citrus punch from the clementine zest. I served our blintzes on some homemade red fruit preserves (made with strawberries and plums) that I heated slightly. A light dusting of powdered sugar sealed the deal :o) Thanks for another winner, Flo!
- Don't forget to check out what the other ABC bakers said about these Blintzes.