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Cheese Blintzes

Blintzes arrived in America with Jewish immigrants from eastern Europe. The crepelike wrappers can be stuffed with a variety of fillings—from mushrooms to meat—but this cheese version, served with fruit compote and sour cream, is the most popular morning choice. Club soda aerates and lightens the batter

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 cup club soda or seltzer
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 5 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 8 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. fine sea salt
  • Canola oil for cooking
  • 2 cups farmer or ricotta cheese
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Finely grated lemon zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 lb. plums, pitted and sliced
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • Sour cream for serving

Directions:

To make the blintz batter, in a blender, combine the flour, milk, club soda, whole eggs, 2 Tbs. of the butter, 1 tsp. of the sugar and the salt. Process until smooth. Let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

Lightly oil a 7-inch nonstick frying pan and place over medium-high heat until hot. Pour 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan and tilt the pan to cover the bottom evenly. Drizzle a little batter into any holes. Cook until the bottom is golden brown, about 1 minute. Flip and cook the other side until golden. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining batter, adding more oil to the pan as needed and stacking the blintzes, separated by parchment, as they are ready. You should have 12 blintzes.

Preheat an oven to 350°F. To make the filling, in a bowl, mix together the ricotta, 6 Tbs. of the sugar, the egg yolks, vanilla and lemon zest. Lightly butter a rimmed baking sheet with some of the remaining 3 Tbs. butter. Place 1 blintz, spotted side up, on a work surface. Place about 2 Tbs. of the ricotta filling just below the center of the blintz, fold in the sides, and then roll up from the bottom, enclosing the filling. Place on the baking sheet, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining blintzes and filling. (The blintzes can be prepared to this point up to 2 hours ahead, covered and refrigerated.) Brush the blintzes with the remaining butter. Bake until heated through, about 10 minutes (or a little longer if the blintzes have been refrigerated).

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine the sliced plums, the remaining 2 Tbs. sugar, and the lemon juice over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the plums are heated through, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and keep warm. To serve, place 2 filled blintzes on each plate. Crown with a dollop of sour cream and a spoonful of the plum compote. Serve at once. Serves 6.

Variation: Substitute 2 cups blueberries or pitted cherries for the plums. Or, skip the compote and serve the blintzes with a spoonful of preserves. You can also fry the filled blintzes in butter instead of baking.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Comfort Food, by Rick Rodgers (Oxmoor House, 2009).