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Cherry-Cheese Blintzes

Cherry-Cheese Blintzes
Cherries fall into two main categories: sweet and tart. The most common sweet varieties are the light-colored Royal Ann and the widely grown deep red Bing. Tart varieties include Montmorency (rare in Europe but widespread in the United States) and the darker Morello. Any sweet or canned tart cherry would be appropriate in this recipe. If you prefer to use fresh sweet cherries, pit them with a cherry pitter or a small, sharp knife. Make sure they are very ripe, or poach them for 5 minutes in sweetened water. Tart cherries are rarely sold fresh.

Ingredients:

For the blintzes:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted, plus
     more for cooking

For the filling:

  • 1/2 lb. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 lb. farmer’s cheese
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup jarred sweet or tart cherries, drained
     and halved, or pitted fresh cherries
  • 4 to 5 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • Fruit jelly or preserves, such as apricot

Directions:

To make the blintzes, in a blender, combine the eggs, milk, flour, salt and the 2 Tbs. melted butter. Blend for 10 seconds, then scrape down the sides and blend for 20 seconds more.

Place a 6-inch crepe pan or a small nonstick fry pan over medium heat and brush with a thin film of melted butter. Use a ladle to quickly pour in 2 Tbs. of the batter. Swirl the pan to coat the bottom with the batter. Cook until the bottom is golden and the top is just set, about 45 seconds. Using a nonstick spatula, transfer the blintz, browned side down, to a plate; do not cook the other side. Repeat with the remaining batter, brushing the pan with more butter between each blintz.

To make the filling, in a large bowl, whisk the cream cheese, farmer's cheese, sugar, egg, lemon juice, vanilla and cinnamon with a fork until smooth. Stir in the cherries.

To assemble the blintzes, line a platter with parchment paper. Place each blintz, browned side up, in front of you, and place 2 generous Tbs. of the filling in the center. Fold the 2 outer edges toward the center so they meet over the filling. Pat gently to flatten. Fold the top and bottom in to overlap slightly in the center. Place, seam side down, on the platter. If not cooking immediately, cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours (bring back to room temperature for 10 minutes before cooking).

Preheat an oven to 200°F. To cook the blintzes, place a large fry pan over medium-low heat and melt 1 Tbs. of the butter. When the butter foams, add 4 or 5 blintzes, seam side down; do not crowd the pan. Sauté until golden, about 5 minutes. Turn and cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Keep the blintzes warm in the oven, loosely covered with aluminum foil, and cook the remaining blintzes.

Arrange 2 or 3 warm blintzes on each plate. Top with a dollop of jelly and serve. Makes about 22 blintzes.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Breakfast, by Brigit L. Binns (Simon & Schuster, 2003).