These cheese blintzes combine a sweet cheese filling with a pan-fried crepe, making them a terrific dessert but an even better breakfast. Just sweet enough, with a touch of vanilla, they’re filling and oh-so satisfying.
There are a lot of people with very strong feelings regarding the best cheese blintz recipe. We’re not going to tell you this blintz recipe is better than your Bubbe’s. We’re just saying this recipe turns out a damn fine cheese blintz. The secret—one of them, anyways—is that the filling contains farmer cheese rather than ricotta or cottage cheese. As for the other secrets, you’ll just have to try these and see.–Renee Schettler
Cheese Blintz FAQs
Clarified butter has had the milk solids removed, making it less likely to burn. To make clarified butter, melt 2 sticks of butter in a saucepan over low heat. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand for 2 minutes. Skim and discard any foam from the surface. Pour the clear, oily-looking butter into a container, discarding the milky residue from the bottom.
Due to their texture, they can be made ahead of time and frozen before use. Just complete all of the steps up through filling them, but make sure to skip frying. When you’re ready to enjoy them, fry them in butter while still frozen.
We caution you to not use just any cheese in this recipe–you won’t get the intended results. If you can’t find any, you can try making your own--it’s pretty easy to do. Otherwise, the only thing that would be acceptable is dry-curd ricotta.
For the cheese filling
- Two packages farmer cheese
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the pancakes
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups cold water
- 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/3 cup clarified butter
Make the cheese filling
- Combine the cheese, egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate.
Make the pancakes
- In a bowl, combine the eggs and water and blend thoroughly. Beat in the flour and salt. The mixture will be runny but should have no lumps. (If there are lumps, strain the pancake batter.)
- Pour 2 tablespoons of batter into a hot, generously buttered 7-inch omelet pan or similarly sized skillet over medium-high heat. Rotate the skillet so the bottom of the pan is covered evenly.
- Cook for 3 or 4 minutes on one side, or until golden. It may be necessary to reduce the heat to medium. Flip the pancake onto a plate, uncooked side down, and repeat this process using all the batter, adding more butter to the pan or skillet as necessary. Stack one pancake on top of the other, uncooked side down. At this point, the pancakes are ready to be filled.
Assemble the blintzes
- Working with one pancake at a time, place it on your work surface, browned side down. Place 2 heaping tablespoons filling on 1/2 the unbrowned side of the pancake. Fold the pancake over once to cover the filling. Fold in the sides of the pancake. Continue rolling the blintz. Set it aside and repeat with the remaining ingredients.
- Warm the remaining clarified butter in a skillet over medium heat. Place a few blintzes, seam side down, in the skillet, and sauté until golden on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining blintzes and serve hot with sour cream.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
These cheese blintzes were very easy to assemble and made a delicious dish. The heat was always medium and I buttered the pan after each pancake. I used a 9-inch pan and had a dozen pancakes.
This cheese blintz recipe is definitely a winner! Although blintzes are time-consuming to make, they’re definitely worth it. If you’re short on time you can always make the bletlach (pancakes) one day, refrigerate them, and then make the blintzes the following day. I’ve also made the bletlach and frozen them, layered them with sheets of waxed paper between the pancakes, and then defrosted them when ready to make the blintzes. And I have also made blintzes to the point of assembling them and then freezing them raw and then defrosting and cooking them. Whichever way you do it, you’ll be happy you made them and wish you had made more.
If you’ve never made crepes before, the first few can be somewhat frustrating, and probably the first 1 to 3 will be throwaways, but once you get into the rhythm of it you’ll be amazed at how simple it is. Using a Teflon-coated pan can make a big difference, also. I started my pan on medium-high heat but then turned it down to medium-low and each one took about 3 minutes.
The same thing applies to rolling the blintzes—once you get the hang of it, it goes very quickly. The filling was excellent. I took the author’s suggestion and mixed half a cup of raisins with 3 tablespoons cinnamon and added it to the filling. As a well-known TV personality would say, yummo! My frying pan held 4 blintzes at a time, which were cooked on medium-low heat for about 4 minutes each. (By the way, my stove is gas so it’s difficult to tell the exact heat but everything was done at approximate medium heat).
I served them with plain sour cream. I did not use clarified butter; instead, I used regular unsalted butter. It’s important that there are no lumps in the batter. Some suggest straining the batter if there are lumps. Also, the batter for the bletlach works better if you refrigerate it for about half an hour before using it. I’ve also made them using a filling of ground beef and sautéed onions, which my family calls “melintzes.”
Originally published November 28, 2015