Sweet, fruity, cheesy blintzes are a great Mother’s Day treat for the Mom in your life. But let’s face it, they’re equally awesome as a weekend splurge you can make for yourself!
Breakfasts at the Nerds household are probably a lot like breakfasts at your house. During the week, we never have time to indulge in anything luxurious – it’s grab-a-slice-of-toast, open-a-yogurt, pour-a-quick-coffee time. So the weekend is when we really get to enjoy ourselves. And when it’s a special weekend like Mother’s Day, we really feel like going for the luxury option. These blintzes … well, let’s just say, if they were on the breakfast-in-bed menu at a classy hotel, I would not look at anything else. No, not the pancakes. No, not the eggs benedict. Well, maybe the eggs benedict, but I’d ALSO order a round of these blintzes. But here’s the thing – I’ve never seen them on a hotel menu, and maybe I’m going to the wrong hotels. but that’s all by-the-by because I’m making them at home now. And yes, they are as good as they look.
What is a blintz, anyway?
Blintzes, if you’re unfamiliar with them, are basically filled crepes. They’re eastern European in origin (“blintz” is Yiddish). They’re usually filled with a lightly sweetened combination of farmer’s cheese, cottage cheese or ricotta, paired with a fruit topping. Here we’ve doubled up the fruit – mixing a little of the blueberry preserves in the blintz filling itself, and then also using it as a base of a delicious sauce.
So for this recipe we wanted to use blueberries, which we both love and just happen to be in peak season right around Mother’s Day. Making a delicious warm sauce to spoon over the blintzes could not be easier: heat up jarred blueberry preserves with a few fresh blueberries, letting the fruit warm up and soften a bit, then add a little lemon juice and zest, and boom, heavenly blueberry syrup. Not for nothing, this syrup would be killer on pancakes or waffles, drizzled over vanilla ice cream, or even in a cocktail. (Oh man, that is so happening this summer.)
Making the crepes
Alright, let’s talk about the crepes. If you’re at all intimidated, don’t be. They’re way easier than you might think. You mix together (preferably use a blender) all the crepe ingredients, just until the mixture is free of lumps, and then leave it to sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour. (This step makes the finished crepes more tender.)
To cook the crepes, we used a 10-inch non-stick pan, and found that a scant 1/3 cup of batter was perfect (if your pan is 8-inches, you’ll need more like 1/4 cup. Either size pan works fine). You want a thin layer of batter that just coats the bottom of the pan when you swirl it around.
Once the batter is in it takes just a minute or so to cook the first side until it’s just golden brown. Then flip and gently cook the other side for just another minute or so. Quick tip: We found the best tool for flipping these is a fish spatula (I seriously love these things). The thin edge slides under the crepe easily, without mashing it. Yes, you have to be careful using metal with non-stick pans but just be gentle and and all will be okay. Don’t worry about browning them at this point because they get cooked again once they’re filled (and they’ll get crisp and golden brown, promise).
Make ahead opportunity #1: Once the crepes are cooked, you can stack them directly onto a plate as you go, they won’t stick together. And once cooled, you can cover the plate with plastic wrap and stick the whole thing in the fridge. Then you can fill them whenever you’re ready.
Making the filling
Okay, onto the filling which is the real star of the show. We used a mixture of whole-milk ricotta and cream cheese, because we love that creamy, sweet consistency. You can substitute cottage cheese for the ricotta, and can use mascarpone or creme fraiche instead of cream cheese. These are really adaptable. Adding egg yolks not only makes the filling a little richer, but it also helps it set just a little bit so it becomes almost like a warm, delicate pudding.
So once the crepes and filling are made, it’s time to assemble the blintzes. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the cheese filling onto the lower third of the crepe, leaving a bit of space on the edges to fold. Fold the bottom edge up to cover the filling, fold the sides in, and then flip the whole thing over to seal the package, almost like a burrito.
Make ahead opportunity #2: At this stage the blintzes can be refrigerated (up to 2 days) or frozen (up to a couple of months). If freezing, lay them flat, seam-side down in a ziplock bag, with parchment or wax paper between them. When ready to cook, let them defrost overnight in the refrigerator before you fry them.
Once the blintzes are filled, all that’s left is to heat up a pan with a little butter, and fry them for just a few minutes each side, until they turn crisp and golden brown. Then plate, top with the sauce and serve!
Though these taste like a really special treat, they’re easy enough for a fun, weekend breakfast any time of the year. And now we’re off to eat our blintzes and wistfully browse fancy hotel websites again…
Happy Mother’s Day!
Cheese and Blueberry Blintzes with Blueberry Preserves Syrup
Wild Blueberry Syrup:
- 1/2 cup Bonne Maman Wild Blueberry Preserves (6oz / 170g )
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1/2 cup fresh blueberries (3oz / 85g )
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice (10ml )
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (60g), melted and cooled slightly, plus more for brushing pan
- 1 cup whole or 2% milk
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (120g)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (1.5g)
- 2 cups whole milk ricotta (or cottage cheese) (17oz / 500g )
- 1/2 cup mascarpone or softened cream cheese (4oz / 115g )
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (16g)
- 2 tablespoons Bonne Maman Wild Blueberry Preserves (40g)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 2 large egg yolks
Make Wild Blueberry Syrup:
- Add preserves, zest and blueberries to a small saucepan set over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until blueberries soften, 4 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice and set aside.
Make crêpe batter:
- Combine crêpe ingredients in a blender and blend on medium speed for 15 seconds, until the batter is smooth and lump-free (you can also do this with a whisk). Refrigerate the batter for 1 hour to let it rest. (Letting the batter rest gives the crêpes a better, softer texture).
- Cook crêpes: Heat a 10-inch non-stick skillet or crêpe pan over medium heat. Once heated, brush pan lightly with melted butter or oil. If batter has gotten too thick to pour easily while in the fridge, you can add an additional tablespoon or two of milk or water to thin it. Pour a scant 1/3 cup batter into pan, just enough that it coats the bottom in an even layer when you swirl it around. Let cook, undisturbed, until the crêpe becomes a pale golden color underneath or at the edges. (It will brown more later)
- Flip and cook on the other side for another 20-30 seconds, then slide onto a plate to cool. Repeat with remaining batter, brushing the skillet very lightly with additional oil or butter as needed. You can stack the crêpes on top of each other even when they’re hot, they won’t stick together.
- Make filling and fill wrappers: In a medium bowl, whisk all filling ingredients together until smooth. Spoon 1/4 cup of the filling along the lower third of the crepe, leaving an inch on either side free. Fold the bottom edge over to just cover the filling; then fold the 2 sides in to the center. Roll the crepe again to make a package, ending with the seam side down, forming a burrito-shape.
- Crisp the blintzes: Heat a little butter over medium heat in a skillet until it stops foaming. Add blintzes to pan seam-side down (don’t crowd pan, cook in batches) and fry blintz until golden brown. Gently flip and brown the other side. Transfer to a plate and drizzle with Wild Blueberry Syrup and fresh blueberries, if desired.
Filled blintzes can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen between layers of parchment or waxed paper for up to 2 months.