Blintz Hints

Sweetened cheese is the classic filling for blintzes, but variations on this traditional treat are filled with blueberries, strawberries and even apples. Blintzes are versatile enough to serve for brunch, a light supper or dessert.

The wrappers are similar to crepes ( blintz comes from the Russian word for crepes, blini ), except that they are browned on only one side. After being prepared, the batter must be refrigerated at least an hour so the flour particles absorb the liquid, swell and soften. This ensures that the cooked wrappers will be light and tender.

There are pans designed specifically for making crepes, but any 5 1/2 to 7-inch-diameter omelet pan or skillet with sloping sides can be used for cooking crepes or blintz wrappers.

Heat the empty skillet until a drop of cold water dances on the surface. After brushing lightly with melted butter (Step 1), pour the measured amount of batter into the center of the pan.

Quickly tilt the pan so the batter spreads evenly over the bottom, forming a thin coating that almost immediately begins to bubble (Step 2).

Set the pan directly on the burner and cook about 30 seconds, or until the underside is lightly browned and the top surface is dry to the touch. Run the tip of a metal spatula around the edge to loosen the pancake.

Turn the wrapper out onto a paper towel (Step 3), browned side up. Continue making wrappers with the remaining batter, stacking them between paper towels.

Working with one wrapper at a time, add the filling. Place the pancake, browned side up, on a work surface and spoon about three tablespoons of filling near the center. Spread the mixture into a rectangle about 1x4 inches.

Fold the opposite sides of the wrapper over the filling, then roll up burrito fashion (Step 4), completely enclosing the filling. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.

At this stage the blintzes can either be refrigerated for up to 24 hours, or sauteed in a little butter, three to four at a time. Cook until golden brown on the underside, then turn and brown the second side (Step 5).

Keep the blintzes warm in a low oven until all are cooked. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with sour cream and fruit preserves.

CHEESE BLINTZES

2 eggs

3/4 cup milk

Melted butter or margarine

1/2 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

2 cups creamed cottage cheese

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Powdered sugar

Sour cream

Fruit preserves

Place eggs, milk and 1 tablespoon melted butter in blender container. Blend well.

In small bowl combine flour and salt. Add to liquid and blend until smooth, scraping down sides of container as necessary. Refrigerate, covered, 1 hour.

In bowl beat together granulated sugar, cream cheese, cottage cheese and cinnamon. Cover and refrigerate.

Remove batter from refrigerator and briefly blend again. Measure approximately 3 tablespoons batter into 1/4 cup measure.

Heat crepe pan or skillet until drop of cold water dances. Brush pan lightly with melted butter.

Pour batter into center of pan. With other hand, quickly tilt pan so batter spreads evenly over bottom, forming thin coating that almost immediately begins to bubble.

Set pan directly on burner and cook about 30 seconds, or until underside is lightly browned. Run tip of metal spatula around edge to loosen pancake.

Turn out onto paper towel, browned side up. Repeat procedure with remaining batter, stacking wrappers between paper towels.

Working with 1 wrapper at time, place browned side up on work surface. Spoon 3 tablespoons filling near center of wrapper and spread into 4x1-inch rectangle.

Fold opposite sides over filling, then roll up burrito fashion, completely enclosing filling. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.

Add 1 to 2 tablespoons melted butter to large skillet over medium heat. Add 3 to 4 blintzes, not touching, seam side down. Saute until golden brown on underside. Turn and saute second side.

Keep browned blintzes warm in low oven. Continue until all are cooked, adding butter to skillet as necessary.

Sprinkle blintzes with powdered sugar to taste. Serve with sour cream and preserves. Makes 10 blintzes.

Each blintz contains about:

198 calories; 341 mg sodium; 81 mg cholesterol; 14 grams fat; 10 grams carbohydrates; 9 grams protein; 0.02 gram fiber.

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