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Sweet Cheese-Stuffed Blintzes with Honeyed Blueberries

Manhattan may be the last place in America you would expect to find someone making artisan fruit preserves. But that’s exactly what Sarabeth Levine was doing in 1981, when she opened up her bakery and jam shop in a small storefront on the Upper West Side. Her family’s recipe for orange-apricot marmalade has since expanded into a thriving business that includes several restaurants, a bakery and a factory that makes her line of spreadable fruit.

Sarabeth’s restaurants, in particular, have long stood out as welcoming and reliably delicious retreats from the urban bustle of the city. Her cooking style presents the very best renditions of classic recipes, and patrons have become particularly enamored of her rich, plump cheese-stuffed blintzes, a flawless version of an old New York favorite.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 6 whole eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. plus 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. fine sea salt
  • Clarified butter or canola oil for cooking
  • 3/4 lb. farmer’s cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 lb. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • Sour cream for serving
  • Confectioners’ sugar for serving (optional)

Directions:

In a large bowl, whisk together the milk and the 6 whole eggs. In another bowl, sift together the flour, the 1 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar and the salt. Gradually whisk the flour mixture into the milk mixture just until the batter is smooth. Using a rubber spatula, rub the batter through a fine-mesh sieve into another bowl to remove any lumps.

Brush a 7-inch nonstick fry pan with clarified butter and place over medium-high heat until hot. Pour 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan and tilt the pan to coat the bottom evenly, pouring out any excess batter. Drizzle a little batter into any holes. Cook until the bottom is golden brown, about 1 minute. Flip the blintz and cook until golden on the other side, about 1 minute more. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining batter, adding more butter to the pan as needed and stacking the blintzes, separated by parchment paper, as they are ready. You should have 12 blintzes, with a couple of extra to allow for practice. (The blintzes can be prepared, covered tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 1 day ahead.)

In a bowl, using a rubber spatula, mash together the farmer’s cheese and cream cheese until combined. Stir in the egg yolk, the 2 Tbs. granulated sugar and the lemon zest. Cover and refrigerate the filling until chilled, at least 1 hour or up to 12 hours.

Place 1 blintz, spotted side up, on a work surface. Place about 2 Tbs. of the cheese filling just below the center of the blintz, fold in the sides and then roll up from the bottom, enclosing the filling. Repeat with the remaining blintzes and filling.

Preheat an oven to 200°F.

In a large fry pan over medium heat, warm 2 Tbs. clarified butter. Working in batches, add the blintzes, seam side down, to the pan and cook until golden underneath, about 2 minutes. Adjust the heat as needed so the blintzes cook steadily to heat the filling without getting too brown. Flip the blintzes over and cook until golden on the other side, about 2 minutes more. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with the remaining blintzes, adding more clarified butter to the pan as needed.

In the same fry pan over medium-low heat, warm the honey. Stir in the blueberries and cook just until heated through, about 1 minute. To serve, place 2 or 3 blintzes on each plate. Top with the blueberries and sour cream and dust with confectioners’ sugar. Serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Breakfast Comforts, by Rick Rodgers (Weldon Owen, 2011).