Happy New Year!
Makes 10 Blintzes
2 large pasteurized eggs
1/2 cup milk (skim to whole, your choice)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup (65 grams) all-purpose flour, measured by fluffing, scooping and levelling
2 pounds cottage cheese (brand matters - use one that tastes sweet and delicious to you!)
2 ounces light cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons powdered sugar, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large pasteurized egg, whisked (instructions for regular eggs follow)
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, for frying
3 cups blackberries
3 cups raspberries
2 cups blueberries
1/3 -2/3 cup sugar, to taste
dash cinnamon, optional
1 teaspoon cornstarch, optional
For the very best results, you'll want to make the filling far enough in advance so that it will be cold when you fill and fry the blintzes. You can also make the wrappers a few days ahead, if you like. If you want the berries softer and sweeter, make them in advance, too. At the very least, you want to make the berry topping at least 1-2 hours ahead of serving, especially if using blackberries, which have very firm center cores.
For the blintz batter, place the eggs, milk, salt , and sugar in a food processor bowl. Process until well blended. Add the flour, all at once. Process for 5 seconds to blend the ingredients. Scrape down the bowl and pulse for 3 more seconds to blend well. Transfer the batter to a storage container. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, and up to 3 days.
To make the filling, you'll need to drain and press the moisture out of the cheese. I've tried cheesecloth, the traditional method, but find it messy and inefficient. I find that the easiest way to do this is in a knee-high stocking. Cut off the top 3 inches of the stocking, and then put it in a tall glass with the top of the stocking cuffed over the top of the glass so that it will stay in place when you fill it with the cheese.
Before starting the blintz wrappers (crepes), have a piece of parchment paper near the stove onto which you will flip the crepes. Remove the blintz batter from the refrigerator and stir it. Heat a small nonstick pan over medium to high heat (depending on your stove and pan), until a droplet of water rolls around in the pan ( you can also use a carbon steel crepe pan, but you'll need to lightly butter it). Ladle about 3 tablespoons of batter (a scant 1/4 cup) directly into the center of the pan. Immediately pick up the pan and swirl the pan around and around so that the batter widens out to fill the whole pan with batter. By the time you do this, the crepe will almost be finished cooking. Set it back down on the burner to finish cooking any spots that still look shiny. As soon as the entire surface is dull, the crepe is done.
To get the crepe out of the pan, start the edge with a fork and then just turn the pan upside down over the parchment. Once the edge is raised you'll be able to grab it and pull, and the whole crepe should come down onto the parchment paper. You want this side of the crepe to be nicely browned, but not too brown or burned. Adjust the burner accordingly. On my heavy-duty gas range with an All-Clad pan, I start off medium-high and then need to turn it down to medium-low, but each stove will be different.
For my taste, the crepe on the left hand is too light, while the one on the right is just a bit too dark. You can stack the crepes one on top of the other, and fill them as soon as they are all done, or cover them with wrap and refrigerator for several days before using.
Make the berry topping, sometime before you start filling the blintzes, either within 2 hours or ahead.
In a small pot, combine 1 cup washed blackberries and 1 cup of washed blueberries**. Place the remaining washed berries in a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon sugar to the berries in the pot and 1/4 cup sugar to the berries in the bowl. Let both sets stand for 10 minutes. Mash the berries in the pot with a potato masher or fork.
Place the cornstarch in a small bowl and stir in 2 teaspoons water. Bring the berries to a boil, reduce the heat and let the mixture cook for 4 minutes. Stir in the cornstarch mixture, bring it back to a simmer and let the mixture cook for 1 minute or until it goes from being cloudy to being clear. Let the cooked berries cool for 1 minute, and then strain them over the berries in the bowl.
Toss the berries with the cooked mixture until everything is well coated. Set aside at room temperature for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally, or transfer to a covered storage container and refrigerate until ready to serve (we like the berries at room temperature but you can eat them at any temperature you like).
When ready to assemble the blintzes, preheat the oven to 200 degrees if you've used pasteurized eggs and to 300 degrees if you've used regular eggs in the filling. Take the wrappers and cheese out of the refrigerator. Set one wrapper on a piece of parchment or work surface with the browned side up. Place about 2-1/2 tablespoons of the filling on the crepe, just downward of the center in a mound that is about 1-inch x 3-inches.
Most instructions call for folding over the bottom edge first and then the sides, but I think they are easier to make if the sides are folded in first, and then the bottom. If done this way the crepe will stick to itself and you won't be fighting with it trying to get the sides to stay in.
Fold the bottom part over the filling and then continue to roll the blint up into a cylinder.
Add 1 tablespoon butter to a large frying pan (I use cast iron), and heat until the pan is hot and the butter has started to brown. Add half of the blintzes to the frying pan and cook for a few minutes on each side until they are brown on both sides.
Serve the warm blintzes with a bowl of sour cream and the berries.
**You can use any mix of berries that you like, but don't mash raspberries unless you are fond of the seeds. Even if you strain them, lots of the raspbery seeds will get into the sauce (to strain raspberries you need a fine mesh strainer, a food mill or a chinois). If you are using only blackberries, you can skip the heating process. Just mash 1/3 of the berries, add back into the remaining sugared berries and let them macerate for 1-2 hours or overnight.
Enjoy the berry sauce on pancakes, waffles, blintzes, cottage cheese or ice cream.