Recipe of the Month: Blintzes With Caramelized Apples or Blueberry Sauce

Makes 10 blintzes

Blintz Pancake

1 cup milk
¼ cup cold water
2 eggs
1 cup flour
Pinch of salt
1 Tbsp sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for sauteing the crepes

Combine the milk, water, eggs, flour, salt and sugar in a blender. Blend on medium speed for 15 seconds, until the batter is smooth and lump-free. Scrape down the sides of the blender and pour in 3 tablespoons of melted butter. Blend it again for a second just to incorporate. Refrigerate the batter for 1 hour to let it rest. If the crepes are made immediately, they often fall apart.

Put an 8-inch crepe pan or nonstick skillet over medium heat and brush with a little melted. Pour 1/4 cup of batter into the pan and swirl it around so it covers the bottom evenly. Cook for 30 to 45 seconds, until the crepe batter sets. Lightly tap the edge of the pan.

Gently shake the pan to loosen the crepe; then flip it and cook another 30 seconds. The art of flipping a crepe in the air takes practice, so make sure no one is looking when you get the first one going. If this intimidates you, use a heatproof rubber spatula to loosen and flip the crepe. The crepes should be pliable, not crisp, and lightly brown. Slide them onto a platter and continue making the crepes until all the batter is used. Cover the stack of crepes with a towel to keep them from drying out. This makes 10 crepes.

Cheese Filling:

1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
4 ounces cream cheese
3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1 lemon, zested and finely grated
1 egg

In a food processor, combine the ricotta cheese, cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, lemon zest, and egg and blend until smooth. Chill the filling to firm it up a bit so it doesn’t squirt out of the blintzes.

Assembly:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Forming the blintzes is kind of like making burritos. Spoon 1/4 cup of the Cheese Filling along the lower third of the crepe. Fold the bottom edge away from you to just cover the filling; then fold the 2 sides in to the center. Roll the crepe away from you a couple of times to make a package, ending with the seam side down. Put an ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Brush with melted butter. Pan-fry the blintzes for 2 minutes per side until crisp and golden.

Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 10 minutes so the egg in the filling cooks slightly and the cheese sets. Using a spatula, transfer the blintzes to serving plates. Spoon the Blueberry Sauce on top, dust with confectioners’ sugar, and serve right away.

Caramel Apples:

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
4 apples, peeled, cored and sliced thinly
¼ cup sugar

Melt butter in a wide mouth sauté pan until it sizzles. Over medium high heat, add the dry, sliced apples and sauté until golden. Turn heat up and add the sugar. The sugar will brown and then melt into a liquid caramel. At this point you can add vanilla, cinnamon or brandy if desired.
Serve on the Blintz and Garnish with whip cream, powdered sugar and a smile. It’s fun!

OR

Blueberry Sauce:

2 tablespoons butter
2 pints blueberries
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 lemon, juiced

Combine the butter, blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice in a small pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a low boil and stir gently until the berries break down and release their natural juices. The consistency should remain a bit chunky. It will thicken up when it cools down slightly.

There are hundreds of recipes for blintzes in cookbooks and on-line. This recipe is inspired by Tyler Florence. I have been known to substitute the Ricotta with cottage cheese.

One of my dear friends used to call these little packages of love: thin dough around sweetened cheese, topped with fresh fruit. They’re perfect for brunch or anytime you want to make loved ones feel special.

Guest Recipe of the Month: Fried Eggs & Frico with Polenta