cheese-blintz Recipes

cheese blintz

Today, it’s time to correct one of the greatest oversights of the last 7.5 years on this website — sorry, no, not the grammar or excesses of commas and em-dashes, oops, there I did it again — we’re going to talk about cheese blintzes. I mean, really, what have I been waiting for? I’ve got all of the bases covered that would prequalify me for a cheese blintz proclivity: I love crêpes and Eastern European food, I’m Jewish, married to a Russian, had a deep cheese blintz addiction* when I was pregnant, and our little half-Russkie predictably cut his teeth on grandma’s homemade cheese blintzes (and Salad Olivier). And with this, I think we can isolate the real reason I’ve never made cheese blintzes for you: I don’t have to, because my mother-in-law makes them for us.

blending the crepe batter
my crepes always have funny moon shapes

But, I had an excess of farmers cheese in the fridge after I ran out of time to make these (unbearably good) Crescent Jam and Cheese Cookies before the end of the year, an intense hankering for a dessert crêpe to drizzle last week’s Dulce Manna over, it’s late in the coldest January I can remember and I’ve had it just about up-to-here with kale-tinged resolutions — cheese blintzes didn’t just make sense, the situation demanded them.

crepe don't stick to each other, so stack 'em up

farmers cheese is on the firm side
farmers cheese, sour cream, zest, vanilla, sugar

Comprised of such near-universal foods as a thin pancake and sweet cheese filling, I imagine that cheese blintzes are one of these foods that you could connect via dotted line to dozens of others in other countries and cultures. But, as the word “blintz” comes from blintchik or blini, which are Russian words for pancakes, let’s orient ourselves today toward the theirs. First, you make a batch of crêpes. For blintzes, I tend to use a slightly thicker one that’s easier to make; they rarely tear; you can stack them right on top of each other hot from the pan and they won’t stick to each other; you can make them a day or two in advance and they’ll be as good as day one when you reheat them. These crêpes are magic.

step one: line up a little filling in the centerstep two: fold one side over the fillingstep three: fold the sides instep four: finish your russian egg roll

The typical filling is farmers cheese or quark, but seeing as not everyone can find these where they live, cottage cheese and ricotta are nearby cousins, and work too. Some sugar is added, and flavorings, if you so desire (I like a little vanilla extract and lemon zest). An egg yolk can be added for richness; a whole egg for firmness (more helpful with softer cottage cheeses and loose ricottas) and from there, not everyone does this but you can bet that I do, something extra rich too. Some people use cream cheese, but I often mix in a little sour cream, marscarpone, creme fraiche, just a spoonful or two per cup of curd cheese, just enough to smooth things out and make them more luxurious. I’m not sorry.

fry them in butter. just do it.

And then they’re fried in butter and served with sour cream (yup, more dairy, just do it) or a fruit sauce. Don’t fight it. Cheese blintzes are about cold winter comfort; this is no time for half-measures even if you, like me, couldn’t resist swapping some whole-wheat flour in for the children. They hail from places where the snow seems to go on forever, places where our Polar Vortexes would seem comparatively weak, places that know how to fill bellies with warm to hold you over until it’s fun to go outside again.

cheese blintz with loose strawberry jam

* Whatever you do, do not — I mean promise me that you will not ever — go to B&H Dairy on 2nd Avenue for cheese blintz because upon going there, you will learn that they deep fry them, like a Russian Egg Roll and this is dangerous knowledge as they are deeply perfect and aggressively addictive. I had at least two a week when I was pregnant; don’t let this happen to you.

One year ago: Egg Salad with Pickled Celery and Coarse Dijon
Two years ago: Lasagna Bolognese
Three years ago: Mushroom and Farro Soup
Four years ago: Ricotta Muffins
Five years ago: Bittersweet Chocolate and Pear Cake
Six years ago: Key Lime Cheesecake
Seven years ago: Icebox Cake

Cheese Blintz

This recipe is flexible enough that you can adjust it to your tastes and what you have around while hopefully not being so flexible that you’re unnecessarily worried about which way to get started. (Hint: Just do what sounds best.) If you have a crêpe recipe you like best, go ahead and use it here instead, but if you’re a crêpe newbie, I think you’ll find this one remarkably easy. Use a small skillet if you have one; I think 6 to 7-inch is the ideal crêpe size for blintz, but am limited to 8- to 9-inch crêpe due to the skillets I have. As for fillings, you can use no egg or yolk, or, you can add a yolk or two for richness (great with more dry cheeses) or a whole egg for firmness (great with wetter fillings, like a loose/watery cottage or ricotta cheese). You can add more sugar (up to 1/4 cup) to the filling if you like a sweet blintz; I prefer just a tiny amount, since we always use sweet toppings and I prefer a taste contrast.

Favorite toppings, from the archives: This Sour Cherry Compote, this Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote, this Strawberry Coulis, this Blackberry Sauce, or, if you, like me, canned a copious amount of strawberry jam that never set last summer, this is the most heavenly place to enlist it.

Yield (with 8-inch crêpe and 3 tablespoons of filling in each): 12

Wrappers
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup milk (fat level shouldn’t matter, but I use whole)
4 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour (I swap 1/3 to 1/2 regularly with whole wheat, and did so here)
Few pinches of salt

Filling
2 cups farmer’s cheese, quark, a thicker cottage cheese or ricotta
6 tablespoons sour cream, mascarpone, creme fraiche or softened cream cheese
2 tablespoons granulated sugar (or more to taste, see Note up top)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (if desired)
Few gratings fresh lemon zest (if desired)
2 large egg yolks or 1 large egg (optional, see Note up top)

Make wrapper/crêpe batter: Combine wrapper ingredients in a blender, or in a bowl with an immersion blender, or whisk by hand until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or up to two days.

Cook wrappers/crêpes: Heat a medium skillet or crêpe pan over medium-high heat. Once heated, brush pan lightly with melted butter or oil. If batter has gotten too thick to pour thinly in the fridge, you can add an additional tablespoon or two of milk or water to thin it. Pour 3 to 4 tablespoons batter into skillet, just enough that it coats the bottom in an even layer when you swirl it around. Let cook, undisturbed, until the crêpe becomes a little golden underneath or at the edges. (We can cook these more pale than dessert crêpe, because we’re going to cook them again before serving.)

Here’s my crêpe-flipping technique: I use a small offset spatula (my first kind of favorite spatula) to loosen the edges and get underneath the crêpe enough to lift it. Then, in the lifted space between the crêpe and the skillet, I put a flexible fish spatula (my second favorite kind of spatula) further underneath, remove the “lifting” offset spatula, and then use the bigger one to flip it in one movement. If it lands off-center, just shimmy the skillet until it goes back into place.

Cook the crêpe on the reverse side for another 20 seconds, then slide onto a plate to cool. Repeat with remaining batter, brushing the skillet with additional oil or butter as needed. You can stack the crêpe on top of each other even when they’re hot; they will not stick.

Either use the crêpe right away, or cover the plate with plastic wrap and use them in the next 2 days.

Make filling and fill wrappers: Mix all filling ingredients together until smooth. Place 3 tablespoons or so filling across the center of the top wrapper/crêpe in your stack. Fold the bottom part of the wrapper up and over it; fold the sides in over the bottom and filling, then fold the pancake up to form an egg roll-like shape filled pancake.

You can use these blintz right away, or refrigerate them for up to 2 days or freeze them between layers of waxed paper for up to 2 months.

Serve the blintz: Heat a pat of butter over medium heat in a skillet. Fry blintz until browned on both sides. Transfer to a place and serve with sour cream or a fruit sauce or jam or your choice.

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172 comments on cheese blintz

  1. These remind me of what my mum used to make for us as kids. She would mix cottage cheese with jam and fill pancakes with them. Thanks for bringing back such happy memories :)

  2. Anna

    I’ve not had much in the way of Russian food, but I will be making a Russian feast for the Olympics opening ceremony next week: little blini with smoked salmon and caviar, potato pelmeni, beef stroganoff and your black bread. My mom is in charge of drinks (so basically just vodka), and my sister is doing dessert. I may nudge her in this direction.

  3. rachel

    Am I really first? That mau have only happened once before on this site. Anyhow, Deb, do these, other than the sweet potato differ much from the ones in the book. Just wondering if these are the 2.0 improved crepes. Are you revisiting kugel next?

  4. Roxlet

    You trying to kill me here? I haven’t had blintzes in years. I used to get them down on the Bowery, but I have no idea if that Jewish Dairy deli even exists anymore. These look fabulous. It’s my kind of blintz. You are a bad, bad person! I am trying to stick to soup, and then you wave this at me. I will try hard, and probably futilely, to resist.

  5. Steffany

    Can’t wait to try this recipe ! I have always loved cheese blintzes. I made crepes over the weekend, but didn’t have any farmer’s cheese.

  6. Deanna

    You haven’t completely held back on the blintzes as I love the recipe for Jacob’s blintz in your book. If farmers cheese is unattainable would you recommend draining the cottage cheese for a bit before using it? That’s what I’ve done in the past to mimic farmers cheese (namely in this recipe since excess moisture and gratins are no bueno: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/squash-gratin-with-poblanos-and-cream which is AMAZING. I would assume it’s excellent for surviving another polar vortex, but I have no authority on the matter living in California).

  7. Julia

    Do you ever make a salty version of these instead of sweet? My family would replace sugar/vanilla/lemon with some salt, and then eat them for dinner!

  8. Those crepes DO look like magic. I guess all of those eggs are what keep them from tearing at all? I’m intrigued by substituting some whole wheat flour for AP flour in the crepe batter, too… I’m definitely bookmarking this to try it. I made blintzes from scratch for the first time this past fall, and they are worth it!

  9. Sarah

    This makes me so so homesick for my Russian family! I walked by the Odessa diner on A last night and thought I should stop there for some blintzes, but I changed my mind and made your arroz con leche instead. This post is inspiring me to make my own blintzes instead of purchasing the next time a craving hits!

  10. Brody

    First of all, thank you. Not only for the recipe, which looks amazing, but for the info about B&H Dairy. I’m going to be in NYC next month, and that is now my first planned stop. And probably my last planned stop as well. Cheese blintzes are truly a food of the gods.

  11. These look heavenly! I’ve never actually had a cheese filled blintz. Crazy, right? My heritage is French — and we’ve had our share of crepes — both savory and sweet, but never in blintz-form. I’m going to have to add this to my bucket list of must-makes!

  12. Yum! I too make my crepes via a blender and do a cream cheese filling. I’m definitely interested in adding another type of cheese too the way you did. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Amy

    My question echos Meg’s: for what course are cheese blintzes designed to be served? I made my first ever batch of cheese blintzes for dinner the other week–I wish I’d had this recipe at the time!– and my husband questioned their dinner-worthiness… Any recommendations for toppings for a savory version (w/o the sugar mixed in), or does that defeat the purpose of making cheese blintzes? Clearly I’m a blintz newbie!

  14. This is such perfect timing! I am hosting an Olympics opening ceremonies party in 2 weeks and had already planned on making blini. (For the last Olympics, we did fish and chips, so now I’m committed to the nationally-themed food.) I hadn’t started looking for a recipe yet and now this one appears (and looks fab.) Are there other classic fillings I should be aware of? I’d like to give people options. I’m vegetarian, not opposed to meat fillings for others but I wouldn’t make them myself.

  15. anne

    Deb, we are on the same wave length. Last week, I made caramel sauce only to see moments later that you had made it too. I also made crepes last week as I had left over beer ( my recipe from Jeff Smith, c.1987) and what to do but make blintzes! Thanks for reading my mind.

    BTW, what is that fantastic pan you used in the above photos? I don’t have one of those.

    Thanks.

    Anne in SF

  16. This is being forwarded to my mom and sister ASAP. I miss a good blintz and I must say that my favorite version was at a place in Nashville called the Pancake Pantry when I lived there. I visit delis out here in California hoping that they’re good, but they always disappoint. Thank you for our newest brunch menu addition!

  17. Jessica

    @Deb: You’ve done it again! These look so good I swear I can smell them. I wonder if I can convince my husband to produce these twice a week for the next eight (or so) months… ;)

    @Diane: The ones at the Pancake Pantry are soooo good! I work across the street; I might need to make a run later today to satisfy the craving.

  18. Heidi

    I think just about every culture has some kind of flat bread with stuff inside. The crepe/blintz family is one of my favorites! These look awesome!

  19. Priscilla Brenner Beaulieu

    I love your recipes! I remember when I was young my Grandmother Bella Brenner made delicious blintzes. You brought back great memories!

  20. Deb – thank you for a great recipe! This is very similar to how I make my blintzes. I like to play around with the filling, mixing in things like raisins and/or orange zest. I did want to point out that flipping the crepe can be optional, since it does get cooked again once filled. In my family, we just cook the crepe on one side, then put the filling on the cooked side, with the pale side facing out, and that’s the side that then gets fried.

    To respond to the questions about when to serve cheese blintzes, in Russia the distinction between breakfast food vs. lunch vs. dinner is a lot more blurry than in the US. When I was growing up, my mom usually served blintzes as a light dinner (dinners in Russia tend to be lighter than lunches). She typically made a big batch so leftovers could become breakfast or a part of lunch the next day.

  21. Susie

    “Make them [the crepes] a day in advance” — bingo! The magic words! Decades ago I used to make blintzes, but by the time I served them I had been working too long, and when people would swoon over their goodness, I’d snarl and say things like “they’d better be good.” Eventually I decided that was no way to be cooking for others. But look at you! Once again offering us new ways to think about old treats. I’m on this.

  22. oh my golly, this is reminding me of all my blintz breakfasts at Vaselka’s back in the day! I think I’m going to have a recreation weekend come Saturday… Thanks!

    1. deb

      When to serve blintzes — As Irina mentioned, the meal demarkations in Russia and Eastern Europe aren’t always as clear as ours here. So, here they may be breakfast food, or breakfast-for-dinner food. My kid only wanted oatmeal for breakfast for like 3 years so we heat them up for lunch once or twice a week. I’d serve them with a smoothie (banana, other fruit, dollop of yogurt or coconut milk, etc.) to assure myself that he was also getting some vitamins and whole foods with his meal. ;) I also made him the Sweet Potato and Cheese Blintzes with Cranberry Syrup that are in the SK cookbook, for more nutrients, again.

      Re, other flavors of blintz — Potato are popular too. For a more clever take, I saw David Tanis recently had a chicken-mushroom dinner blintz recipe in the Times that might be of interest. I imagine that you could do a savory ricotta one with spinach…

      Re, veselka — I am great fan of their cheese blintz (although they are crazy expensive; I swear 2 now run like $16 or something wild); I find the filling to be quite lovely and creamy. So, I bought their cookbook to get the secret, but it’s not in there. They say to use straight farmers cheese. I began adding the creamier ingredients (sour cream, mascarpone, cream cheese, etc.) in an attempt to get my filling closer to theirs.

      Irina — Thank you! First, I totally forgot to mention that I don’t think my MIL flips them, for that reason. (I’ll double-check and update accordingly when I do.) And the meal blurring is definitely always confusing (I get the same questions with noodle kugel.).

      Brian — Ha, I hadn’t either until my MIL made them for us the first time. I was all, you can MAKE these? You don’t buy them frozen?! And she looked horrified. The same way Russian grandparents look when you say you’re going to get a babysitter. But that’s a whole other story. :)

      ann — Wait, you put beer in blintz? Because that sounds fascinating.

      Re, the skillet — I just bought the skillet and was using it for the first time to make these crepes. It’s a blue steel crepe pan, I bought the 9.44-inch size but wish I’d gone smaller (I already have a 9-inch crepe pan). I’d heard a lot about them and how well they work and was curious. You absolutely must season them before their first use but it’s nothing as time-consuming as seasoning a cast iron. (It took 20 minutes, tops; there’s an online video that makes it easy.) And then it’s supposed to work like a nonstick. It’s too early for me to know for sure, but I did find that the finish was great and I barely needed to brush the pan with oil or butter between crepes. However, my gas stove kind of sucks, the flame is really just in the center, and this didn’t seem to spread the heat well enough that the crepes didn’t keep scorching in the middle, rather than evenly browning.

      Deanna — Thanks, I’d almost forgotten about the book ones. I don’t know how. You could drain off some liquid, I know some brands are wetter-seeming than others. However, with blitzes, I don’t think it matters if the filling is a little wet or spills out once sliced because the crepe holds it for cooking. But an egg is a common ingredient to help make it more firm.

      rachel — They’re not very different. I use the egg yolk in the sweet potato ones, but the wrapper here should be mostly the same.

  23. Thanks for a trip down memory lane. Although we are not Jewish or Russian, my dad was the blintz maker after having received lessons from a friend who had survived the Holocaust.

    He used to make a load of blintzes and freeze them. They defrosted and cooked well.

  24. Aluette

    Mmh yum! In Austria we call them Topfenpalatschinken. Topfen is Quark and Palatschinken the wrapper. We fill them with all kinds of stuff like apricot jam, plum jam, poppy seeds, nuts and chocolate. I love them for dinner!

  25. Naomi Morse

    As I look out on the many feet of snow in my yard here in Michigan, just thought of making this recipe is giving me true comfort! Homemade cheese blintzes were always in our freezer growing up, and I hope to fill my freezer after making these wonderful looking blintzes!

  26. Alyssa

    I love making cheese filled crepes (usually cream cheese and blueberries, yum), but I have never tried FRYING them! Will have to do that next time, sounds decadent.

  27. Ruth

    These look perfect and remind me of my Russian Jewish landlady (downstairs) from 40 years ago who always had the crepe and filling batter ready whenever I stopped by. She filled the crepe as the second side was cooking, folded and rolled them in the frying pan, then transferred them to the second pan of sizzling butter so all happened without another dish. This brought back many happy afternoons at her kitchen table. Thanks!

  28. Martha

    I am deeply confused as to exactly what is ‘farmers cheese’. I love cheese; know and indulge in many but am stumped. Cottage, ricotta, chèvre? What is it? Is it because I’m Canadian?

  29. It’s been a very long time since I have made crepe and then blintzes. The fact is I love them. You have spurred me on to think about getting out my crepe pan and having a go at it. :-)

  30. Sarahb1313

    Oh god… I looooove cheese blintzes. With sour cream and a little sugar.
    Used to go to the coffee shop near my house as a treat to get them because… THEY FRY THEM! At home now I will bake the frozen ones, or nuke defrost and pan fry them with a little butter… Good too :-))

  31. David

    Also meat blitzes! Ground up cooked pot roast, lots of sautéed onions (in schmaltz), garlic, paprika, salt, & pepper. Like a kreplach filling, but better cause they get crispy when sautéed.

  32. shira

    These remind me of my Sapta! (Grandma) When she moved to the U.S. in her 80s (previously Israel and before that, Poland), she stayed with us for a few months. I’d come home from school and she would ask if I wanted a blintz – “You will a blintz?” Recipe is almost exactly like yours, but without the lemon zest. And she would add raisins. Only difference is she wouldn’t brown them in butter afterward – she would make a tray and bake them in the oven.

  33. I’ve loved these forever, but never once considered making them myself. They were just a happy surprise when I’d find them on a menu somewhere, which kept me from eating them very often. Now, I can have them any time I like. Thanks?

  34. Susan

    Cheesecake in a crepe! That’s what they taste like to me. I love’em! Ellie Krieger has a wonderful, simple blueberry compote that’d be perfect on these. can’t wait to try this! I love the idea of using some mascarpone in with the cheese and I just happen to have some…

  35. Alice

    Deb, these look divine! What do you think of using goat cheese in place of farmer’s cheese/ricotta? I’m currently obsessed…

  36. anne

    Deb, here is the beer crepe recipe. The idea behind the beer is that it adds a malt-y-ness to the concept. I don’t know. I have been making them this way for ages and ages (well, since ’87) so I am going to try yours and see what exactly the difference is. I was so amazed when I first got the recipe that I just stuck with it and found no reason to look for another. It works.

    The pan is in my cart. Thanks a million. Looks like great fun for crepes. Not that I think a “special” pan is needed, I’ve been using a 10 inch nonstick LeCreuset for ages and it works just fine. I also have a crappy apartment stove that shoots flame (at least it’s not electric) into the center of the pan (oh what i would give for a double ringed flame of the professional Wolf or Viking range) but the sirens call of new cookware forever beckons. I am curious to know what you think of the “beer” crepes, if you are inclined to try it.

    2 Eggs
    2⁄3 c Milk
    2⁄3 c Beer
    2 Pinch of salt
    1⁄2 t Peanut oil
    1 c flour
    1. Osterize 30 seconds.
    2. Scrape batter down from sides of container.
    3. Osterize one more minute.
    4. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
    5. Refrigerated batter keeps up to one week.
    6. If batter turns thick, thin it with a little more milk.
    7. This batter should be the consistancy of unwhipped whipping cream.
    8. Preheat omelet pan. For 9-inch pan use ¼ cup batter.
    9. For 6-inch pan use two tablespoons of batter.
    10. Cook over medium-high burner till golden brown on bottom and dry on top. Turn. Brown otherside *if* it is to be used unfilled.
    11. As crepes are cooked, stack them on a covered pie plate.

  37. anne

    Oops. Copied previous recipe post from a web page. Didn’t look right, so I got the ladder out and climbed up and got the book. Here is the correct version (that 1/2 C. of oil looked suspicious.)

    2 eggs, at room temp
    3/4 c. milk
    2/3 c. beer (flat or not, no matter)
    1/4 tsp. salt
    1 c. flour
    2 Tbsp. oil (oil is for pan, does not go into blender)

  38. Laura Haywood

    My own Jewish grandmother taught me to make these. She insisted I use Crisco (yuck, but I do it) and Wondra flour. So I keep those products on hand for blintzes only. She died in 1980 and I’m still making them!

  39. Julie

    I am currently living in Finland. I have seen so much quark at the grocery store but I didn’t know what to do with it. There are many varieties but I think I will start with the natural version, no flavors or sugar. My kids have been begging for crepes lately too. Your timing couldn’t be better. I am happy you waited until now to post this.

  40. Susie

    I love cheese blintzes and have been looking for a good recipe for a very long time. I could never identify the cheese used and then learned it was quark. Quark is very easy to make, but extremely hard to find. I live in NE Illinois near the Wisconsin border and have not found any place that even knows WHAT it is. I thought that some German communities in Wisconsin would know, but NO. My daughter found some at a cheese shop near Milwaukee for $5.99 lb. outrageous.

    I’d happily post my method of making it had my main computer system not been hacked. Once I am able to get back into those files – I’ll post the recipe. I haven’t made it in a long time but it’s basically milk with buttermilk added and allowed to sit for up to 24 hours, then drained. there is more to it but offhand I don’t remember.

    For now? thank you for the recipe! I have only found good blintzes at a little Polish Deli north of Chicago and another Polish buffet (which has now closed) where I would always buy some to take home.

    ON the subject of Quark? it’s the cheese used in German Cheesecake. Wonderful!

  41. Jacquie

    You shock me! Blintzes are an essential food item in all Jewish homes but they are especially served at the festival of Shavuot, which is seven weeks after passover. No winter warmth required then, even in Mother Russia!

  42. Kathe

    Oh! I’m sitting here in tears. You’ve brought back my Russian grandmother, Olga, who was a lousy cook otherwise but made wonderful blintzes. Bolshoye spasibo.

  43. Vicki B

    I’ve loved blintzes for forty years courtesy of the one fabulous Jewish deli/cafe that sadly no longer exists. It was the busiest cafe in town. Thank you so much for this recipe. Since it comes from you, I know it is not only possible to make them but will be delicious as well.

  44. Susan

    This post is not only making me hungry, but makes me a little sad (in a good way!) Reminds me of my Aunt Ida, who was the family cook–she used to make blintzes by the gazillion (both cheese and potato) for everyone, and she taught me how to make kreplach (after I spent years begging.) I pretty much won’t eat kreplach anywhere at this point, because hers set the standard! (And yes, she was of Russian/Polish descent as well!) But those blintzes . . . I can practically taste them! The first time I made them myself, all I wanted to do was achieve that taste memory. Deb, I think I’ll be trying these pretty soon . . . thanks for the recipe!

  45. These sure bring back memories of childhood when my Bubbe made blintzes regularly. But, alas, I am now gluten-free. Do you think gluten-free AP flour would work? Would they need a pinch of xanthan gum? I’d really love to make these. Thanks!

  46. Victoria

    Hello Deb,

    I was born in Russia and now I am liviing in Germany.
    I love your blog!

    My Father made cheese blintz, when I was a child. I love them!
    Thank you for the recipe!

  47. Stu Borken

    This farmer’s cheese recipe will show you how easy it is making your own fresh white cheese at home. This recipe uses plain milk, requires no special equipment, and produces a homemade cheese that’s a cross between cream cheese and a ricotta.

    Makes 1 Cup of Fresh Farmer’s Cheese

    Prep Time: 05 minutes

    Cook Time: 20 minutes

    Ingredients:
    • 2 quarts whole milk (use pasteurized, instead of ultra-pasteurized, if available)
    • 2 cup buttermilk
    • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
    • 1 1/2 tsp salt
    • cheesecloth, rinsed

    Preparation:
    In a heavy-bottomed pot, over low heat, slowly heat the milk up, stirring often, until it is just about to simmer (about 180 degrees F). Stir in the buttermilk, and then the vinegar, and turn off the heat. Very slowly stir until you see the milk separating into curds (the solids) and whey (the liquid). Leave undisturbed for 10 minutes.

    Line a large strainer with 2 layers of cheesecloth, and place over a stockpot to catch the whey. After the 10 minutes, ladle the curds into the cheesecloth, and allow the whey to drain for 10 minutes. Gather up the edges of the cheesecloth, and tie a string around the top to form bundle. Tie the string to a wooden spoon or dowel, and hang the cheese curds over the stockpot and continue draining for 30 minutes.

    After draining, remove the cheese from the cloth, and transfer into a container. Stir in the salt and refrigerate. This fresh cheese can be used for up to 5 days. Use as a spread, or as you would use cream cheese, or cottage cheese.

    1. deb

      Stu — Thank you. My MIL makes it this way often.

      Connie — You might just try a gluten-free flour mix here instead. Or, if you have GF crepe recipe that you like, you can use it here instead.

      Alice — I think it would be good, but a little intense in such a large filling. Maybe cut it with some ricotta.

      Janice — I think it would be delicious, but if making buckwheat crepes for the first time, I might start with just a 1/3 volume swap before nudging it up in future batches, just to make sure they don’t get too hard to manage (and bend).

  48. Mark

    I LOVE Blintzes. My Mom, may she rest in peace, made fantastic blintzes and so does my wife. The only blintz that I do not like is a packaged, frozen one! Your recipe looks perfect and the photos are helping my diet.

  49. Deb; did you think 1 recipe could evoke so many memories. My older daughter became a Bat Mitzvah on Shevuot, the dairy holiday. I made 170 cheese blintzes for the brunch we hosted for the following day. My mother taught me how to make them and never flipped them, so I do not either.
    Have not made them in forever…guess now is a good time to give my grandchildren another taste of their heritage.
    Todah Rabah…for the kick start.

    ISM

  50. Binsy

    Hi Deb! I’ve never had a blintz before (I know, how can I be your loyal reader, right?) But you are right, many cultures have a take on a crepe filled sume yummy goodness. Ours (from South India) is to fill with freshly grated coconut that has been mixed with sugar and a tiny bit of cardamom. Try it out!

  51. Hanna

    My absolute favourite. You have inspired me to make them outside of our usual Shavuot food fest where blintzes take centre stage and I gorge myslef on them until I can take no more…… Thank you for cheering up a gloomy London day!

  52. Hillary

    Perfect timing! We are on our second no-school day here in the Chicago suburbs, and many of us natives are trying to recall what we did in sub-zero weather when we were growing up. One of the things that came to mind, just before seeing your post today, was how we’d take the school bus home for lunch during elementary school and take turns visiting the neighbor’s homes for homemade lunches. Having blintzes was a weekly event, and we considered them homemade because someone had to buy them, reheat them, and plop the perfect condiments on top for a warming “re-start” before boarding the bus back to our afternoon classes. It never occurred to us that these were frozen imposters because all of our Russian relatives (we all had at least one authentic bubbe at the table) devoured them with us. It brings back thoughts of a time when school lunches and family lunches were the same thing, and variations (like whole wheat flour) were only conceived out of necessity or creativity rather than a mindful vanity. Thanks for refreshing my memory. I owe it to my last of four children, scheduled to return to the polar-vortex-delayed second half of 12th grade tomorrow, to make honest homemade blintzes so she can connect with her ancestors and the cold times they faced between Russia and here. Thanks for sharing the bridge to our mutual past. I love your site and your stories and your old-fashioned spirit.

  53. gs

    This is really the sort of dish I consider our regional (I’m Polish) treasure and I don’t understand why this ultimate comfort food isn’t more popular. For us it’s usually with raisins and no lemon zest, but no one said the dish shouldn’t evolve.
    If I could recommend a different filling, try cottage cheese, mashed potatoes and fried onions. You may already have heard about this as it’s a standard pierogi filling, but it’s so good I’d feel bad not to try and mention it. I don’t think I’m wrong when I say that almost everyone here eats it and loves it.

  54. Marie M.C.

    Perfect! As usual. Exactly my Russian mother’s recipe. (Father was Jewish, not Russian, though.) I’ve never thought of deep frying them. Hmmmm.

  55. if you live in a culinarily challenged place like I do, where pot cheese or farmer cheese is not available, try this substitute. Large curd cottage cheese set in a strainer over a larger bowl. I rinse the cheese with a spray of water (saving the liquid for my border collie who loves the strained juice). Then I put the bowl, uncovered, in the fridge for 3-4 days. The frost free fan that blows in the fridge helps to dry out the cheese even more. Give the additional juice that drains off to the dog (this is an excellent reason to GET a dog!) and use the drained cheese in place of pot or farmer cheese.

  56. Paige Bakes

    Hi Deb, these look fantastic. So I checked out your link to the blue steel crêpe pan. I love that they are so inexpensive. I wanted to point out to you – sorry I did not read most prior comments so maybe somebody has already pointed this out – that there is a note that states these pans are for use only with induction. Perhaps this could explain some of the uneven heating issues you are experiencing? I guess you will soon see how long this pan will last with a gas stove!

    1. deb

      Paige — Are you kidding me? I cannot believe I missed that. (Total palm-to-forehead here.) This definitely explains the scotching. Perhaps I should give it away? I have zero plans for an induction cooktop in my future. It does look like it’s not just me, nevertheless, it’s a great cook surface (definitely nonstick post-seasoning!) but not an even heater.

      june2 — That’s awesome. I don’t think I have ever been so eager to go to a spa in my entire life. :)

      Phyllis — There’s a “Print” link at the bottom of each post before the comments begin that will take you to a printer-friendly template.

      Lizzie — I’m laughing like a hyena. I think it’s time for me to take a short break from the internet!

  57. Becci

    I made these last night, and divided the cheese mix into two and made one round of savory blintz and one sweet, as described. Mixed spinach and mushrooms, with shallots and sauteed onions into the cheese, and cooked as described. Probably not Russian in nature, but good for the polar vortex nonetheless! And the dessert versions were delicious with just a bit of maple syrup too!

  58. Kate

    Another thing that is great in crepes is chestnut flour–mixed with plain flour is probably most practical. It has a bit of natural sweetness/spiciness which might be very nice with the filling.

    I assume this cheese is similar to what I can get in the Polish shops here so I’m looking forward to giving it a try!

  59. These remind me if a trip to Riga I did a year ago. There would be shops selling Blintz-like pancakes stuffed with either cheese, curd or apples and with a gazillion of topping (favorite: kefir and chives) everywhere. Would ne perfect for chilly German weather right now. Thanks for cozy thoughts, Deb!

  60. I had never heard of such a thing and now I can’t wait to give them a go! I have to admit I’m not a big fan of cheese in desserts but you totally made me curious and the little “pockets” in your pics simply look too delicious not to give them a chance!

    xo, Elisa

  61. Amy P

    My mouth is watering. I had never had blintzes until I recently when made your sweet potato blintzes and while they were amazing (and rich), they were also a lot of work for the filling. I like my comfort food to arrive quickly! :P Next I’ll try these and see if I can’t get them in my belly faster! Although I guess then I lose out on the ‘healthy vegetables included’ feature…ah well.

  62. Amy P

    Also, I love the phrase ‘aggressively addictive’. It makes it sound less like my fault that I can’t stop eating delicious things and more like there’s a blintz chasing me down the street insisting that I eat it. Which is about right.

  63. Katerina

    Dear Deb,

    as a Russian who reads your blog religiously and has been saved by it on more than one occasion (well… on more than one hundred occasions, really) I thank you from the bottom of my heart for including recipes like this one and thus promoting the best of Russian cuisine :):):)

  64. Sara

    Deb,
    I have a question about your favorite fish spatula: can you use it on any type of pan? Nonstick? Ceramic? I really want one but am worried about damaging my favorite cookware.
    Thanks!

  65. Helene

    Oh my, blintzes! My mom was a terrible cook – i mean really awful. We never looked forward to dinner. Except for 2 things that she excelled at. One was spaghetti sauce (tomato sauce). She was Jewish. My dad was italian. She learned how to make it for him and it was outstanding! And the only other thing she made that we would have killed for was her blintzes (it wasn’t till i was an adult i realized the singular was blintz, not blintza – one blintza, two blintzes….but i digress).
    my mom made them with a cup of milk, a cup of cornstarch (!) and an egg, whisked in a pyrex 4 cup measuring cup. She made them in the med-small revere frying pan. the first one was always a disaster (she greased the pan, but the first one was always for throwing away). She never had a problem with the rest. She swirled the batter in that pan, poured the excess back in the pyrex, waited howerer long it took and used a very pointy knife to ease the edge away. Of note, she never!!!!!!flipped them. They were only cooked on one side. When she turned them out onto a plate (stacked up just like yours. they didn’t stick to each other. The filling was farmer cheese, 1 egg and some sugar sprinkled on top. Only mixed in one fiestaware bowl (that i still have that is some horrid shade of beige, i suspect it was yellow in the early 60s). When it was time to fill, she placed it cooked side up and filled it. Then it was as you say fried in butter on the “raw side” that’s how the second side got cooked. The bletlach (that’s what she called the crepes) were light and delish and crispy. But here’s the crazy part. She always had too much bletlach so she filled them with whatever she had leftover from teh week – our favorites were the mashed potatoes or the PB&J (!!!). fabulous. and only served with sour cream. there was never a sweet topping. Sorry to have gone on so long, this is one of the best memories of my entire life and my mother who i miss so much.

  66. Fran

    Looks great! In the spirit of hosting brunches but doing ahead as much as possible, can these be fried in advance and then reheated in the oven? Or would you put into a casserole dish un-fried and bake or broil to get the whole pan ready at once?

    1. deb

      Fran — You can do either. I’ve always been charmed by blintz casseroles where fruit sauce is draped (prettily) across the top. If you’re not using an egg, everything is already cooked inside, so it’s mostly about warming it and getting the edges some texture and color.

      Sara — I never use special utensils on my one nonstick pan; I’m just careful. As nothing sticks, nothing needs to be scraped from the bottom anyway.

  67. Barbra

    Blintzes were a Saturday night supper. Some of us like them savory, others somewhat (never very) sweet. Sour cream is absolutely required. Jam, cinnamon and sugar, applesauce, salt and pepper are options. I learned to make them at my mother’s knee. My mother learned to make them from my grandmother. I taught my daughter. Our family has never flipped them for reasons noted by others, our routine: The fryer turns the pan upside down over a board to release the blintz cooked side up, and, in a two person relay, a second person fills it while the first person spreads batter in the pan for the next go round. Nice memories.

  68. Kathryn

    Topfenpalatschinken here in Austria – as somebody already noted. Often served (to my complete horror) as a main course in our company canteen (… a sweet main course???…) As a dessert OK, but a main… The other popular one is “Topfenknödel” also served with some kind of fruit compote and advertised as a veggie option main course

  69. Vivush

    My mother BAKED her blintzes, I would imagine in a 350 degree F oven, until the tops brushed with some oWesson oil — butter would be better but my dad had a butter phobia — turned slightly crisp, a method that has several advantages: You can have lots of hot blintzes at once and feed a crowd, with less fat and less work than pan-frying them.

  70. anne smith (@annestarct)

    Do you know, I never knew what a cheese blintz was until I read this? Oh how I have been missing out! We dont have farmers cheese or quark in South Africa, but we definitely have ricotta, so I will be making these this weekend with that!

  71. Emily

    My Aunt Bertha made the most delicious cheese blintzes and (paper thin brown-edged cookies). She did not add sugar to the filling, and I always ate them with salt & pepper. She, like so many others, did not flip the crepes in the pan, but she turned them out onto a brown paper bag.
    I am lucky enough to have a handwritten copy of her recipe that she sent me when I was in college so that I could try to make them on my own. She ended her letter with this line: “I think if you watch me make some when you are home you can get the drift of same.” I will never forget the time I spent in the kitchen with her.

  72. Christine

    This recipe sounds delicious. I only have one question: how well do the wrappers freeze? It would be nice to have ready-made wrappers on hand if, one morning, I decide to make blitzes for breakfast-which I may have to do very soon! :)

  73. m o o n marked

    Consider using a cast iron heat tamer/heat diffuser to spread out the flame for even heat. It’s also useful for cooking beans/rice/milk dishes that have a tendency to stick and then burn. I have one from the 30s that I got at a yard sale for a quarter—it’s great.

  74. candice

    I make crepes with 8″ cast iron and french steel pans; they come out about 6″ in diameter. They are slightly trickier to get under the edge but altogether easier to handle than the big ones.

    The small frying pans are also great for vegetable side dishes which don’t reheat well.

  75. Wendy

    Hi!
    I noticed in this recipe and in your cookbook that it says to refrigerate the batter for an hour. What happens if you don’t let it rest?
    Thanks!
    Wendy

    1. deb

      Wendy — Crepe batters benefit from rest in the fridge; the batter absorbs the flour better; the crepes are easier to lift and flip without tearing. You can have success without resting the batter but it’s easier if you.

  76. Kimberly

    Thanks so much for this, Deb! We enjoyed them this weekend while watching (another) 8 inches of snow fall.

    I am not a very good crepe-maker, I usually fall into my groove just before the last crepe. However, since the ends of the crepes in this recipe are folded in and hidden from view, this is an excellent recipe for crepe newbies.

  77. Milda

    Wow! These look amazing! My childhood food, as I’m originally from Lithuania. AND I’m also pregnant and if it wasn’t Sunday night, I’d make them right away!!! Thanks for a reminder – I’m totally blaming you for a new craving! :)

  78. Tracy

    I have always wanted to try blintzes but have never had the chance……until now! How easy this recipe sounds. I will post another day, after making, and let you know how my first time went!

  79. Masha D

    As a soviet immigrant myself, I am very fond of blitzes and crepes in every form possible. I would say sweet blintzes are a breakfast food or an afternoon “snack”, also called “poldnik” in Russian, to tide you over from a late lunch (“obed”) at around 2 to supper which is around 7 or 8 (“uzhin”). Another favorite of mine growing up and to this day is a savory meat blintz. The crepe is made the same way as it is for a sweet one. The filling is ground cooked/boiled beef (not cooked ground beef) mixed with salt, pepper and sautéed onion. The saltiness and savory filling is a great counterpart to the slightly sweet and delicate crepe. Thanks Deb for sharing and carrying on these traditions!

  80. Samantha M

    Ahhh these were heavenly. I made these tonight for my husband and children an they loved them. Next time I make them, I may chop bacon and use that as a topping, in lieu of chopped strawberrys.

  81. Deborah

    I am assuming that these can be fried AND THEN frozen – is this correct? I am making about 80 for a brunch and want to be able to warm them up in the oven on day of brunch but only for a short time. Any thoughts?

    1. deb

      Deborah — I think they could be, but I’ve never done it. You’d lose some the crisp-ness, and they might seem overcooked. I freeze them filled but un-fried, and then once they’re defrosted, brown them in a pan right before serving.

  82. Lisa M.

    I bought a ton of cherries last summer and made cherry jam except that one batch didn’t set and it’s more like syrup. I think I finally know what I am going to use it for. Thanks!

  83. j u l i a

    Thanks, Deb! I just made the filling with ricotta, egg and a bit of sour cream – filling was too wet, even after frying for a few min on each side (i also chilled it in the freezer, but it still spilled out of wrapper). With wet ricotta, I suggest half as much or incrementally adding sour cream/mascarpone/whatever you use.

  84. Miriam F

    this recipe is fairly similar to my mother’s. she puts a couple of tablespoons of sugar in the crepe batter. the ratio of milk to flour is slightly higher as well. whenever we had pancake worthy milk, we’d make blintzes instead.
    if you’re looking to buy these fresh, like the nostalgic restaurant you referenced, they’re fairly ubiquitous in the kosher pizza stores of brooklyn, namely in the boro park or williamsburg neighborhoods. and they cost significantly less than 16 bucks a duo.

  85. God knows I’m a hug fan of all pancake variations, but I never really thought of anything like this. They look delicious and I will definitely try to make some for my family one of these days, besides they can be eaten as a breakfast food or an in-between meals snack. Pancakes are like the all-embracing dish of the world, anyone and everyone loves them! Many thanks for discovering this glorious recipe that I have never heard of, you have a great blog, I always go here for inspiration when I’ve no idea what to cook.

  86. Diane Johns

    My Jewish Russian-immigrant grandma used to make blintzes from scratch (and no recipe) and I never learned how to make them. Our local gourmet meat-&-grocery market in the little northern Illinois town where I now live has been providing delicious frozen cheese blintzes for years (purportedly made by the Amish, but that may be a myth). I had just been telling a friend about them and said it would be terrible if that store stopped carrying them, and lo and behold, when I went in last week for some I got the sad news that they have been discontinued. I realized that it is now time for me to learn how to make them myself, and I was so glad to find your recipe and all of the helpful posts. When I was a child, we used to eat our blintzes with sour cream and applesauce, but my preference lately (as a result of a serious Swedish pancake addiction) is to go with sour cream and lingonberries. Thanks for sharing your recipe!!

  87. Kris

    I agree with Julia (#145). I had leftover ricotta and some cottage cheese and used these (both whole milk) and the filling was so runny and wet I couldn’t even get the crepes folded fast enough. Even with sitting overnight in the fridge and adding more cream cheese. Had to scrap the entire batch. Maybe draining the cottage cheese would have helped. Any other ideas?

  88. Myra

    Hello,
    Love, love, love your site! I want to make this for company and I don’t have time to do it last minute. Can I stuff and fry the cheese blintzes a day ahead and put them in a baking dish to be reheated before serving ?Do you have any suggestions on how to do it? Or will they be totally wasted done this way?
    Thanks so much!

  89. Kori

    I just went to B&H Dairy on your recommendation and had the cheese blintzes. Omg, the filling was amazing. It didn’t even need the accompanying sour cream. Next time, I’m trying the strawberry blintzes! Thanks Deb.

  90. jerome

    My late granny Sarah used to make these sweet cheese blinis and i remember they also called them something that sounded like “sultanosses”
    Needless to say they were outstanding !
    :)

  91. Phyllis

    Made them for company and they were a big hit…should have made more. Loved the idea of whole wheat flour & white flour as the blintz cooked beautifully and held the filling together perfectly. Thank you so much for this great receipe

  92. Phin

    My favorite crepe shop has a seasonal fruit and warmed nutella topping… I bet that would work great with these. *ponders upcoming Fathers’ Day dinner”

  93. Lord have mercy!! My favorite of ALL time! Morning, noon, night, midnight-YES!! I don’t know if I can pull this receipe off alone-time to call in the talent! (my boyfriend) :)

  94. Donna Meir

    Hi:)
    I love your blog!
    There is no farmers cheese where I live:(
    What can I substitute it with? What do you think of goat ricotta?
    Thank you!

  95. Hi Deb and all, I asked a Polish friend whose grandfather was known for making the best bintzes in that area. She said that he used kefir for the batter and left it outdoors for hours. Unfortunately, no one in her family learned how to make them. Does anyone know anything about kefir in blintzes?

  96. Debby

    Deb, I only fry my crepes on one side, until they are fairly dry on top. I place the filling on the cooked side, and then the second fry is on the previously unfried side. I also add a little almond extract to my filling. Yours look delish!

  97. Karen

    You might want to check Leo Rosten’s The Joys of Yiddish. He states that “blintz” is “Yinglish” and that the (Yiddish, obviously) singular is “blintzeh.” My late in-laws were native Yiddish speakers and NEVER said “blintz” (and incidentally, my MIL’s were the best I’ve ever had and like you, she always used farmer cheese).

  98. Candice

    Wow. I’ve enjoyed cottage cheese as a crepe filling but never took it to this fabulous level until today. This was amazing. I used 1% cottage cheese, cream cheese and egg. Didn’t add sugar as I wanted to use golden syrup (my usual) as a topper. I’ve always heard of blintzes but never really knew what they were – this will be in my regular rotation. I’m looking forward to the endless creativity for toppings!! Thank you!!

  99. Camille

    I’ve been eyeing these since you posted them, and finally got around to making them this morning. I was surprised by how easy it was to make/flip the crepes, glad I tried them out! They were delicious with a cranberry sauce you posted ages and ages ago. I’ve never had blintzes before, so I have no frame of reference, is the filling supposed to be firm/set once you fry them?

  100. Sarah M

    This is actually about Jacob’s Sweet Potato Blintzes from the book… So I see above what I can substitute for farmers cheese (after googling I went for goat cheese, which was fantastic!). In the recipe you say “4 medium sweet potatoes”… do you have a rough weight for that? I think mine were probably on the small side as the filling didn’t stretch as far as it should have…

    Also, at one point I think you mentioned possibly setting up a space where folks could ask book related questions. Is that still in the works? It sounds awfully onerous, so I understand if not :)

    ps– Jacob’s Blintzes were GREAT!

    1. deb

      Sarah — I did not get a weight for them because I remember feeling like it was flexible — if they were a little big or small, the recipe should still work. We had initially hoped to set up a place for book questions but to be honest, realized it would be a logistical nightmare if I had a whole extra forum to maintain. I am struggling just to stay on top of the comments on these 1000 recipes these days. Happy to answer any questions you have, however and will definitely revisit the idea of a Q&A space for the new book.

  101. Elizabeth

    I love your blog generally, and these non-stick pancakes are magic! They worked okay even without chilling, to my surprise (I had a hungry guest). Put a little cinnamon in the wrappers, used the lemon in the filling, and had some with a complex, floral honey and tea–a different kind of beautiful than with jam! Warning for others- we used the creme fraiche substitution with ricotta, and it was delicious but extremely runny, almost liquid. I always find farmer’s cheese blitzes grainy and cottage cheese bitter (supertaster, alas), but will stay completely Italian cheese and use creme fraiche only for a topping in future.

    Thank you so much for sharing– especially the mushrooms!