Thanks to Kenny Levine for teaching us how he makes blintzes! This is the recipe he demonstrated and it is the recipe he shared with us so we could serve them at the Jewish Food Festival.
PEARL LEVINE’S CHEESE BLINTZES
Makes 8 servings, or approximately 16 blintzes
For the crepe batter
3 tablespoons butter
3 extra large eggs
1½ cups flour ¾ cup milk
¾ cup water
½ teaspoon salt
For the cheese filling
2 lbs Friendship Dairies brand Farmer Cheese (available at Publix supermarkets, and sometimes at Whole Foods. Also available online)
3 extra large eggs
¼ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
Additional butter for frying
Blender or food processor
One 5½ or 6 inch shallow skillet or crepe pan, preferably copper, stainless steel, cast iron or aluminum. Non-stick will work, but it’s not ideal. The pan should have sloped (not rounded) sides.
One large (10 inch or larger) skillet, either non-stick or traditional.
MAKE THE CREPES.
Melt the butter slowly in the small skillet over very low heat. When melted, remove from heat. Break eggs into bowl of food processor or blender, and mix for a few seconds until beaten. Add flour, milk, water and salt. Turn on blender or processor, and slowly add melted butter through top until incorporated, scraping down sides as needed. The consistency should be similar to a smooth, very thin pancake batter. Do not wash small skillet, as the residual butter will help prevent sticking. Pour mixed batter into a large liquid measuring cup. If you don’t have a measuring cup large enough, you can pour it into a mixing bowl, and use a ladle to pour batter into pan. The batter can be made several hours in advance and kept covered with plastic wrap until use.
Heat the buttered skillet over medium heat. When the pan is quite hot (butter may turn slightly brown, but you don’t want it to get overly burned), pour about a quarter cup of batter into the hot pan. The exact quantity is not very important, it just needs to be more than enough to generously cover the bottom of the pan. Quickly turn pan in a circular motions so that bottom is evenly coated, and pour any extra back into the mixed batter. Place skillet back on the flame. The pouring of the batter will create a “tail” on the crepe along the side of the pan. Cook the crepe until the sides begin to look dry and pull away from the pan. Use a spatula to check the color of the bottom of the crepe. It should be lightly brown. When it is cooked, invert the pan over a plate or cookie sheet to release the crepe. It should fall out easily. NOTE: frequently, the first crepe sticks, or comes out an irregular shape. Not to worry, just put the pan back on the heat, and the subsequent crepes will turn out perfect. Repeat these steps until all the batter is cooked. You can stack the crepes, they will not stick to each other. Make sure the cooked side faces up on all the crepes in the stack.
MAKE THE FILLING. Mix all ingredients for filling in a medium mixing bowl.
FILL THE CREPES. Place a crepe on the work surface in front of you, cooked side up, with the tail at 12 o’clock. Place about two tablespoons of cheese filling on the crepe, about two-thirds of the way down (i.e., slightly below center). Lift the right hand side of the crepe and fold it toward the middle. Lift the left side of the crape and fold it over the filling. The two edges of the crepe should almost meet in the middle (there can be a small gap), and the edges made by the folds should be parallel to each other. Fold up the bottom of the crepe so that the bottom edge covers the filling. Then lift the filled part of the blintz and fold it up. Keep folding until the tail is wrapped around the blintz. The uncooked side of the crepe should now be on the outside of the blintz. Repeat until all the crepes are filled.
COOK THE BLINTZES. Heat the large skillet over medium heat, and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of butter. When butter is melted, add several blintzes to the pan. The larger the pan, the more you can add. Do not overly crowd the pan, so that you are leaving sufficient room to turn them. After a few minutes, check the bottom of the blintzes. When the bottom is brown, flip them over and cook the other side. Repeat until all blintzes are cooked, adding more butter as necessary. Serve hot. The blintzes can be served savory, with sour cream, salt and pepper; or they can be served sweet, with a fruit sauce of your choice and sour cream. Filled, uncooked blintzes can be frozen for up to 3 months. To serve, cook them while still frozen, but over a low heat to ensure that the filling heats all the way through before the crepe browns.