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Jewish Recipes --> Recipes --> Blintz

Apple-Cranberry Blintzes with Maple Ricotta Cream and Sugared Walnuts
Recipe from: The Gefilte Variations
by Jayne Cohen
"Every place you go, act according to the custom of that place." -- Ladino proverb.

These tantalizing blintzes are an unabashed ode to the Diaspora. Autumn-scented apples and cranberries form the sweet and tangy filling. For the luscious cream topping, simply sieve ricotta sweetened with maple and vanilla. Finish with a crunch of lightly sweetened toasted walnuts.

Yield: 16-18 blintzes
Recipe Ingredients: APPLE-CRANBERRY FILLING

About 3 1/2 cups flavorful apples, peeled, cored, and cut into small chunks (sweet varieties with lots of character, like Gravenstein, Gala, Braeburn, Jonathan, Stayman Winesap, and the heirloom Golden Russet, will contrast nicely with the cranberries. If possible, search out local, seasonal varieties.)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3-1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup cranberries, washed and picked over
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries (optional)
  • salt
  • MAPLE-RICOTTA CREAM
     
  • 1 1/2 cups (about 11 ounces) whole-milk ricotta cheese (you can use part-skim, if desired)
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
  • SUGARED WALNUTS
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon maple or white sugar
  • one recipe Blintz Leaves (see below)
  • unsalted butter, oil, or a combination, for frying or baking
1. Make the apple filling. Heat the butter over medium-high heat in a large, heavy skillet until sizzling. Add the apples and sauté for about 5 minutes, lifting and turning them as they begin to turn golden. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup brown sugar and the cinnamon and mix well to coat the apples evenly on all sides. Add the cranberries, optional dried cranberries and a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring, until the cranberries have popped and apples are very tender. Let the fruit cool in pan, then taste and add more sugar, if necessary, depending on your preference and the sweetness of the apples.

2.Transfer fruit to a bowl, and chill, covered, for at least 20 minutes or up to 24 hours.

3.Meanwhile, make the maple ricotta cream. Push the ricotta through a fine mesh strainer, rubbing with the back of a spoon. Using an egg beater or electric mixer, beat in the maple syrup, vanilla and nutmeg, if using, until smooth and light. Cover and refrigerate to allow flavors to marry. Rewhip briefly just before serving.

4.To prepare the walnuts, coarsely chop them with the sugar

5.Fill the blintzes. Spread one heaping tablespoon of the filling across the middle of the cooked side of each blintz. (Don't overfill or they might explode.) Fold in the sides, then fold the bottom of the blintz over the filling, and roll, jelly-roll fashion, pulling the top over tightly. You should have a neat package. Place filled blintzes seam side down, so they don't open up. (At this point, you can refrigerate the blintzes for a couple of days or freeze them for up to one month, if you want to, and fry them just before serving. Don't bother to thaw frozen blintzes, but adjust cooking time accordingly.)

6.Fry the blintzes. Heat the butter, oil, or a combination, in a heavy skillet over medium heat until sizzling. Add the blintzes, seam side down, without crowding the pan. Cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Adjust the heat if necessary, and watch that the butter does not scorch.

7.Or you can bake them, for a slightly lighter taste. Preheat oven to 450. Melt a generous quantity of butter or butter mixed with a little oil on a baking sheet or in a shallow baking pan. Add the blintzes and turn to coat well on all sides. Spread the blintzes out seam-side down on the sheet so their sides are not touching. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown on both sides. I usually find it is not necessary to turn them; if they seem slow to brown on top, however, I flip them over for a few minutes. When preparing a large number of blintzes for company, it is usually easiest to bake them.

8.Serve the blintzes hot, topped with maple-ricotta cream and sprinkled with sugared walnuts.

Blintz Leaves (the basic "crepe")

Yield: about 16-18 blintz leaves
  • 1 to 1 1/4 cups milk, preferably whole
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • additional butter or, less preferable, a mild, flavorless oil (like avocado) for frying

1. In a blender, mix 1 cup of the milk, the eggs, flour, salt, and butter until smooth. Transfer the batter to a bowl. (To prepare the batter by hand, beat eggs and butter together in a bowl. Mix in 1/2 cup of the milk; gradually add flour and salt, whisking until smooth, then add another 1/2 cup of milk. Whisk until well-blended.)

2. Let the batter rest for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours at room temperature. If refrigerated, batter should rest at least 2 hours or up to 10 or 12 hours (overnight is fine).

3.Stir the batter well (don't rebeat it because you want to avoid foamy bubbles). It should have the consistency of light cream. If necessary, thin it with some of the reserved milk. You may have to add more milk if the batter thickens as it stands.

4. Heat a very lightly buttered 6- or 7-inch skillet or crepe pan over moderately high heat until sizzling. (A nonstick pan works particularly well, but I find you do have to butter the pan, at least for the first blintz, to avoid a slightly rubbery texture.) Pour about 2 tablespoons of batter into the hot pan (a coffee measure is good for this), and immediately tilt the pan from side to side to distribute the batter evenly over the bottom. You may find it easier both to add the batter and swirl while holding the pan off the heat. Don't allow the batter to extend up the sides of pan when tilting or the blintz edges will become too thin and crackly.

5.Cook just until the top of the blintz is slightly dry and the edges start to curl. The bottom should be pale gold, not brown. Do not cook the other side. Loosen the blintz with a spatula and turn it out onto wax paper or a large platter, fried side up. Repeat until all the batter is used up. Pile the finished blintz leaves on a platter, separating each between sheets of wax paper or a clean kitchen cloth, and keep the exposed leaves covered to prevent them from drying out. Brush the pan with additional butter or oil only if necessary, and remember to stir the batter periodically. To avoid tears, let the freshly prepared blintz leaves cool to room temperature before filling. (And the wax paper is easier to remove when the blintz leaves are cool.)

6.Blintz leaves may be prepared ahead. Let them cool to room temperature, keeping them separated by wax paper, then wrap well with foil. Refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze them for up to one month, separated by the wax paper and well-wrapped with heavy-duty foil or in a freezer-proof container. Bring them to room temperature before filling to prevent tearing them.

 

 

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Sept 2005 - 2013 - Kosher Recipes - Kosher Cooking - Jewish Cooking - Jewish Recipes - Jewish Foods