The light, eggy blintz is as much a part of traditional Jewish cooking as the crêpe is to the French. For this rendition, fresh strawberries steeped in orange juice are served over the cheese-filled crêpes, but you could also top with blueberries or caramelized apple slices.
Cheese Blintzes with Macerated Strawberries
For the crêpes
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- 2-1/2 cups whole milk
- 2 Tbs. melted butter
- 1/4 tsp. salt
For the macerated strawberries
- 1 lb. fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 1 tsp. fresh orange juice
- 1 Tbs. sugar
For the farmer cheese filling
- 1 large egg
- 1 lb. farmer cheese
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tbs. unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/8 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
For cooking and assembly
- 2 Tbs. butter, more for the pan
Make the batter
- Put the flour, eggs, milk, butter, and salt in a blender and blend on high speed until smooth, pausing once or twice to scrape down the sides of the blender with a rubber spatula, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
Macerate the strawberries
- In a large bowl, combine the strawberries, orange juice, and sugar, and stir gently to mix. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours.
Make the cheese filling
- In a large bowl, lightly beat the egg with a whisk. Add the cheese and whisk to combine. Add the sugar, flour, and lemon zest and whisk to combine.
Cook the crêpes
- Heat a crêpe pan with an 8-inch base or a 10-inch nonstick frying pan with an 8-inch base over medium-high heat until it’s hot enough for a drop of water to sizzle. Using a folded paper towel, grease the pan with about 1 tsp. butter. The butter should sizzle upon contact but not instantly turn brown. If it does, reduce the heat as necessary.
- Using a ladle or measuring cup, pour 1/4 cup of the batter into the center of the pan while simultaneously lifting the pan from the heat and tilting and turning it in all directions so the batter spreads evenly across the bottom in a thin circle. If the crêpe has any holes in it, quickly add a few drops of batter to fill them in.
- Cook until the edges begin to dry and lift from the sides of the pan and the bottom is nicely browned (lift up an edge with a small silicone spatula or butter knife), about 1 minute. Use the spatula and your fingers to flip the crêpe over. Cook until the second side is browned, about 15 seconds more.
- Slide the crêpe from the pan onto a large plate or cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining batter, adjusting the heat and spreading more butter in the pan every two or three crêpes, or whenever the pan begins to look a bit dry. You can stack the crêpes on the plate as they’re done; they won’t stick. The crêpes will soften as they cool. (Your first crêpes may not turn out perfectly but will still be delicious!)
Assemble the crêpes
- Choose the 12 best-looking crêpes (save any remaining for another use). Spoon a heaping Tbs. of the filling into the center of each crêpe. Fold one long edge in over the filling, followed by the two short edges, and finally, the second long edge (like a burrito). Arrange the blintzes seam side down on a large plate or baking sheet. (The blintzes can be prepared several hours ahead up to this point. Keep refrigerated, covered with plastic wrap, until ready to heat and serve.)
- Melt 2 Tbs. of the butter in a 12-inch nonstick frying pan over medium-low heat. Arrange half of the blintzes in the pan seam side up in a single layer and cook until light brown on the bottom, 2 minutes. Flip and continue to cook until light brown on the second side, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined tray. Repeat with the remaining 2 Tbs. butter and blintzes. To serve, arrange two blintzes on each of six plates and top with the strawberries.