Cheese Blintzes

A blintz is a filled, egg-based pancake, originating with the Russian blin. The pancake for blintzes is similar in texture and flavor to French crepes or Russian blini. In the Ashkenazi Jewish tradition, blintzes can be either sweet (filled with cheese or fruit) or savory (filled with meat, potatoes, or salty cheese). I learned to make blintzes as a young girl watching my mother and grandmother. I remember them using a 6-inch frying pan, each time adding a bit too much batter, pouring the excess back into the batter bowl, cooking the blintz until it was just firm, and then banging the pan, upside-down on a board to release the blintz. It was quite a noisy and dramatic scene. I've played with the pancake recipe and experimented with different fillings, but I still bang the pan hard on a board to release each blintz. The first blintz, as is often the case with the first of a batch of waffles, often sticks, so one of the kibbitzers in the kitchen gets to sample the broken pieces.

Blinis or Crepes

Beat together all ingredients (this is best done in a blender), cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours or more. Heat a 6 inch pan over high heat. Spray pan with vegetable oil spray, or grease lightly with butter, then add 2 T. batter. Quickly rotate pan to spread batter, pouring any excess back into bowl. Cook until the top is dry, then invert pan, and tap against a board to release. Carefully return the blintz to the pan, and cook very briefly to seal the other side. Cool crepes on a cooling rack. Depending upon the size of your crepes, this recipe makes between 18 and 25 crepes which is sufficient for the filling below.
Mix all ingredients. Put equal portions in each crepe, roll, fry in butter or oil, and serve with preserves or real maple syrup. Makes about 20 blintzes. Extras freeze well. Put them in a single layer in double layers of foil.
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