Thursday, May 06, 2010

I knew by the aroma that it was my mother's blintz recipe

I knew by the floury, eggy smell when I whisked the crepe batter that this was really my mother's blintz recipe that I was making. The smooth, bland and very thin mixture was made from just water, flour, and an egg -- as called for in the recipe that you can see at left, in my mother's handwriting. (Click on the picture to see a larger image.)

I've had this recipe for many years, but for some reason, I have never tried making blintzes until today; I've watched my sister do it (pictures here: Blintzes), but never have made them on my own.

On Tuesday, a friend invited me to watch as another friend of hers made a large batch of blintzes in anticipation of the Jewish holiday Shevouth, which is in a couple of weeks. (They planned to freeze the blintzes until that date.) The recipe was different in several ways from my mother's recipe, as the friend uses a French crepe recipe with milk in the batter. When I finished watching (and helping a bit to make the crepes), I decided that I finally had to do it.

Today I started at the grocery store, where I was able to buy the only difficult-to-find ingredient: Farmer's Cheese, which is a sort of dry cottage cheese. The other ingredients are mainly pantry/refrigerator staples: flour, eggs, oil, sugar, cream cheese, sour cream.

My mother had no electric appliances such as food processors or blenders, so she beat the batter with an egg beater and blended the filling with a wooden spoon. I preserved this tradition, making the batter with a wire whisk, and making the filling with a wooden spoon.

My ingredients:

My mother used Crisco for greasing the pan, which in her case was a small, well-seasoned cast-iron skillet. I admit that I used a no-stick frying pan greased with a bit of butter to make the crepes. My mother called these very thin skins bletlech, their Yiddish name, which I guess means little leaves. I tried to make thin ones by tilting the pan as I poured in the batter. I think my mother and sister could make them thinner -- I need practice. Usually, you only cook one side, because you fry them again after filling them and folding them "like envelopes" -- says my mother's recipe.

Here are my bletlech, with a blob of filling, ready to fold:

Here are the finished blintzes, after I fried them in more butter:

Look good?


Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I've never tried making blintzes; my grandmother was the blintz queen in our family, and yours look exactly like hers.

Carol said...

It turns out that the best place to get Farmer's Cheese is the Russian grocery store. It's called tvorog, and there are different varieties - some more dry and some creamier. I made blintzes (my grandmother's recipe) with the creamy kind and they were superb.

Story Time said...

I'm glad you finally made them! Your way is much more authentic than mine. I finally made some last winter with pot cheese from our Russian store, but decided that I actually prefer Molly Goldberg's recipe that includes half cream cheese, half small curd cottage cheese instead. Your sister, Elaine.

Cynthia Bertelsen said...


Jeanie said...

I've never had a blintz, but they look to die for! Don't you love those family handwritten recipes? I just love having them!