Friday, January 21, 2011

Three-Cheese Blintzes with Apple Topping

A warm welcome to all the new Kissing the Cook followers!

Back in the 60’s, an enormously popular ad campaign assured us that it was ok for people of any culture to eat Levy’s Jewish Rye Bread. Today, it is in that same spirit of culinary inclusion that I give you Three-Cheese Blintzes with Apple Topping, along with my complete assurance that you can enjoy them regardless of your heritage or beliefs.

Blintzes, for anyone unfamiliar with them, are a delicious take on crepes that, although often associated with Jewish cuisine, are actually more broadly eastern  European. (You’ll sometimes even find them on good diner menus, alongside meat loaf, open-face turkey sandwiches, and 24-hour breakfasts.)  Many fillings are available but blintzes are most often filled with a sweet cheese mixture made with cream cheese and either farmer cheese, cottage cheese or, in more modern versions, ricotta. The three-cheese recipe below uses a combination of cream cheese, farmer cheese and cottage cheese. (While ricotta certainly can be used, being of Russian extraction I went with the cheeses that more directly address the blintz’s eastern European origins. My grandmother, originally from Kiev, used cream cheese and cottage cheese in hers.) It’s worth noting that my wife, who does not like cottage cheese or farmer cheese, likes these blintzes very much!

The crepes I used are the sour cream crepes I posted a while back. Click here for the recipe, or use your own favorite crepe recipe.

Aside from three-cheese filling, this recipe also varies from the usual blintz preparation in another important way. Blintzes are normally cooked twice: once to cook the crepe, and once to fry or bake the filled blintz to brown its outside. (Those recipes generally include beaten eggs in the filling, which makes the frying or baking a necessary step.) In my version, there are no eggs in the filling; the frying/baking is replaced by simply warming the finished blintzes, leaving the outside cooked, but not overly browned.  Again, it’s the way the ones I grew up eating were made. Topped with a delicious apple topping and some confectioner’s sugar, they not only can be a great dessert, but a wonderful (and just the right bit naughty) main dish as well.

A note about the topping: I selected apples because they’re available year round. If you want to make your topping with seasonal fruit, using the same general method as described below for the apples, it should work just as well. (I confess my one reservation about the apples is that they don’t add enough color to the appearance of the dish.)

The following recipe makes 6 ten-inch crepes.
Make 6 crepes, lightly cooked (see separate recipe), and set aside to cool.

For the filling, combine ½ pound farmer cheese, 1 cup low fat cottage cheese, 8 ounces softened low fat cream cheese, 3/8 cup sugar, 1/8 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp salt, and the zest of ½ lemon. Cover and refrigerate while you prepare the topping.

For the topping, put 1/3 cup sugar and the juice of ½ lemon, into a saucepan, and stir until the juice is distributed and the sugar is dissolved. Add ½ teaspoon kosher salt; a pinch of ground nutmeg; and 5 large red delicious apples, peeled, cored and chopped into ¼” pieces, and turn the heat on very low. Cook until the apples are softened but not mushy. Put the topping aside and let it cool.

To prepare the blintzes, lay a crepe out flat and put about 1/3 cup of cheese filling half-way between the center-line and edge nearest you. Fold the edge nearest you over the filling, then fold in the left and right sides, then roll the crepe away from you to form the blintz, folding the sides in again if necessary. Repeat until all the blintzes are made.

To serve, top each blintz with some of the apple mixture, then heat gently until warm but not hot. Sprinkle some confectioner’s sugar on the plate as a garnish, then put a warm blintz with apple topping on the plate. Garnish the topping with a bit of confectioner’s sugar. Serve warm.
This is special dish I really hope you’ll try and enjoy.

For a cookbook-style, notebook-ready copy of this recipe, just ask in a comment or e-mail and it will be sent from me to you!

Till next week, stay well, keep it about the food, and always remember to kiss the cook. ;-)


  1. I've never had a blintz -- but yours do look delicious!

  2. I haven't had a blintz in a long long time. Maybe I have to dust off my crepe pan....looks yummy.

  3. Thanks, Martha! I grew up enjoying the blintzes my grandmother used to make, so this was a lot of fun to put together and share with my fellow foodies.

    And thank you also, Sandra. I hope you do get out your crepe pan! I started making crepes a couple of years ago (when I got a crepe pan and recipe book for Father's Day), and since then have seen that it is possible to do pretty much anything with them.

  4. My friend Audrey used to make this so wonderfully. You have me missing them now.

  5. No need to miss them, you can make them! The filling is easy, and the crepes themselves, while needing a little bit of practice, are doable as well. All together, this can be a real change of pace from the usual.