Festive Breakfast: Part Eight

I was introduced to blintzes while I was in college. Light, airy crepes folded around sweet, cheesy filling to make perfectly delicious pockets of culinary joy. While I had them plain, with just a dusting of powdered sugar over them, my favorite renditions involved fruit sauces spooned over a few on a serving plate. Blueberry and cherry sauces tied at the top of my favorite list. Now, just in time for Christmas, this favored treat makes another appearance.

How fitting to blend a Christian holiday with a Jewish culinary tradition for a special holiday brunch. You can, of course, opt to serve the blintzes just dusted with powdered sugar or a different kind of fruit sauce, but I thought that a bright red cherry sauce seemed fitting for Christmas morning. Add a batch of Eggnog Muffins and some Baked Eggs and you've got a fantastic menu for your holiday morning. Seasoned Greetings, everyone!

Cherry Cheese Blintzes

For the Crepes:
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Filling:
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) cottage cheese
  • 1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Cherry Sauce:
  • 1 pound fresh or frozen pitted sweet cherries
  • 2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon water, divided
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

In a small bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and melted butter. Combine the flour and salt in a measuring cup; add the flour mixture to the milk mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate the crepe batter for 2 hours.

Heat a lightly greased 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat; pour about 2 tablespoons of the chilled batter into the center of the skillet. Lift and tilt the pan to evenly coat the bottom. Cook until the top of the crepe appears dry; turn and cook the crepe for 15-20 seconds longer. Remove to a wire rack. Repeat this process with the remaining batter. When cooled, stack the crepes with waxed paper or paper towels in between. Wrap them in foil and refrigerate.

In a blender, process the cottage cheese until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl; add the cream cheese and beat until smooth. Beat in the sugar and vanilla. Spread about 1 rounded tablespoonful onto each crepe. Fold the opposite sides of the crepe over the filling, forming a little bundle. Place them, seam side down, in a greased 9 x 13-inch baking pan.

Bake the blintzes, uncovered, at 350° for 10 minutes or until they are heated through.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring the cherries, 2/3 cup water and sugar to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until heated through. Combine the cornstarch and remaining water until smooth; stir the cornstarch mixture into the cherry mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until the sauce is thickened. Serve with the blintzes.

  • Yields: 9 servings
  • Preparation Time: 40 minutes (not including chilling time)

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