Starting at the tender age of eight or so, my parents shipped me off to camp for one week during the summer. It wasn't a particularly awesome camp. I often hear my peers speak rapturously of...
Before we sign off to enjoy our own family Christmas celebrations, we wanted to offer up one final holiday treat for you and yours to enjoy on Christmas morning: an elegant but simple solution to breakfast on the big day.
Blintzes are little more than crêpes folded around a filling of some kind. And crêpes are little more than very thin pancakes. They are somewhat delicate but not overly fussy, and they are a pure joy to eat. Children and adults alike will appreciate the little packages of crisp pancake and juicy fruit filling.
There are a few helpful hints when it comes to making blintzes that will ensure great success. Use a nonstick skillet. There are crêpe pans on the market, but really, all you need is a nonstick pan and some butter. Second, pour just enough batter into the greased pan to coat the surface (the amount you need will depend upon the size of the pan you use)--spread the batter over the pan by tilting it and letting the batter run evenly over its surface. Allow the bottom of the pancake to brown and transfer them to a plate. This is the glory of the blintz--they are just as delicate as crèpes, but you don't have to flip them.
Best of all, you can make the batter for the blintzes the night before you plan to cook them. Simply refrigerate until ready to use. You may also use whatever fruit you have on hand--any type of berry, apples, pears, bananas, or even just a ready-made fruit jam will work. Serve with sour cream, crème fraîche, Greek yogurt, or whipped cream.
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Combine in a blender or food processor until smooth:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons sugar
Pinch of salt
Pour the batter into a pitcher or other container with a pouring lip. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, or refrigerate up to 2 days. Heat a medium nonstick pan over medium to medium-high heat. Melt 1 teaspoon butter in the pan and swirl it around to coat the surface of the skillet. You will need to regrease the pan after cooking each blintz. Use 3 tablespoons batter for each blintz, but do not turn the blintzes. Instead, cook until the top is dry and set and the underside is golden.
Meanwhile, combine in a medium saucepan:
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries or other fruit of choice
Finely grated zest and juice of 1⁄2 lemon
2 tablespoons sugar
(Pinch of ground cinnamon)
Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, then continue to boil until the mixture is the consistency of jam. Add:
1 cup fresh or thawed frozen blueberries or other fruit of choice
Cook and stir for 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl and let cool to room temperature.
Spoon 2 generous tablespoons of the filling onto the center of the unbrowned side of each blintz. Fold the sides of each blintz around the filling to form a rectangular package. (The filled blintzes can be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 1 month.) Heat in a large skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium heat until the butter is melted and the bubbles have subsided:
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Add the blintzes, seam side down, to the pan and cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides. Transfer the blintzes to paper towels to drain briefly. Serve immediately.