I love blintzes. They’re luscious. I don’t like how long it takes to make them. So, we set off to make them faster, easier.
Here are five hacks that will cut your time in half, maybe more. They’re easy. Blintzes just became practical, something you can do on a busy day.
Part One: The Five Hacks
Hack #1-Use a mix.
Chances are, you have a bag of pancake mix in your pantry. It’s quick and easy and you don’t have to dig around for all the ingredients. For all the same reasons, use a crepe mix.
Again, save a ton of time. Chances are, you can buy the premade fillings for less than the cost of the ingredients.
These fillings come in two-pound squeeze bags. Clip the corner off and squeeze what you need onto each blintze.
Store the remainder in the refrigerator for up to six months.
Hack #3-If you’re going to use strawberries, get a slicer.
Using a slicer will cut the strawberry prep in half and you’ll have prettier desserts.
You’ll still have to hull the strawberries, get the stems out. Use a straw. It’s quicker, neater, and you’ll have less waste. Push the straw through from the tip of each strawberry.
Hack #4-Use a premade fruit filling.
You can use toppings, pie fillings, or pastry fillings. Or make your own—which is easy. But this is a hack that will save you time.
Pastry fillings are more intense than pie fillings. Because pastry fillings are more concentrated, you can use less of it. It’s what they fill pastries with in the bake shops. They come in two-pound squeeze packs also.
The cherry blintzes at the top were made with Chubby Cherry filling
Hack #5-Cook them in the oven all at once, instead of one at a time on the griddle.
This is a time saver. Smear butter on a large baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Before putting the topping on the blintzes, position them on the buttered baking sheet. Bake them for 20 to 30 minutes or until they are heated through and the blintzes are just beginning to brown.
Remove the pan from the oven and place the blintzes on serving plates. Put the topping on the blintzes along with optional whipped cream if you desire. Serve warm.
Part Two: How to Make the Crepes
Oh, and you don’t need a special pan—an 8 or 9-inch nonstick skillet works just fine. We sell a special crepe pan and it works just fine. It has lower sides and it’s a little easier to get under the crepes and flip them but I have a multi-purpose 8-inch frying pan that works and it’s a great multi-purpose pan, my “go to” pan for three-egg omelets-and crepes.
- Heat a small skillet or crepe pan until medium hot. Melt some butter in the pan.
- Pour about a quarter cup of the batter into the preheated pan.
- Immediately tip and rotate the skillet so that there is a thin coating of batter over the bottom of the pan.
- Cook until it is lightly colored on one side and turn and cook on the second side.
- Remove the cooked crepe to a plate. Repeat, stacking the crepes between sheets of waxed paper. Cover them to keep them warm.
The secret to turning crepes is to slip a thin-bladed spatula under the crepe and “roll and turn” instead of “flip” like you do pancakes. It’s much easier to do than to describe.
Turning the crêpe just takes a little experience. Slip a thin spatula or a pallet knife under the crêpe and lift so that it hangs like a wet towel. Then with a roll of your wrist, turn the crêpe uncooked side down into the crêpe pan, much like flipping a rather floppy pancake.
Tip! The key to cooking crepes is to to tip the pan from side-to-side to spread the batter as soon as it hits the hot pan.
If they don’t come out perfectly or to learn more: See “Troubleshooting Crepes”
Part Three: How to Make Blintzes
There are three parts to blintzes:
- The crepes
- The filling
- The topping
Make all three parts and then set them apart for assembly.
How to Make the Filling
The traditional filling is made with cream cheese. If you’re making a cherry or other filling, leave out the strawberries and add the other fruit. We’re in love with our Chubby Cherry Topping and it makes terrific blintzes.
Instead of making the filling from scratch, use a cream cheese pastry filling or a Bavarian cream pastry filling. They are both scrumptious and they come in easy-to-use packages. Clip the corner, squeeze out what you need, fold the corner over and save the rest for up to six months. Once you start using premade fillings, you’ll never go back to making fillings the old-fashioned way.
To make the strawberry cream cheese filling:
1/2 of an 8-ounce package of cream cheese
1 cup ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1 cup cut-up strawberries
In a food processor, a blender, or with an electric mixer, blend the cream cheese, ricotta cheese, sugar, the egg yolk, vanilla, and orange zest together until just smooth. Place the filling and the strawberries in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Tip: This recipe calls for uncooked egg. If you would prefer a substitute, use the equivalent in pasteurized eggs which are usually available in your grocer’s dairy case.
How to Make the Topping
To make the strawberry topping:
3 cups strawberries, washed, hulled, and sliced
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
Mix the strawberries, sugar, and juice together in a food processor or blender just until the sugar is dissolved and the strawberries are lightly mashed. You should have a chunky mixture.
Set aside in the refrigerator.
How to Cook and Assemble Your Blintzes
To assemble the blintzes:
- After the three parts are staged, the blintzes are assembled and refried. Though this is not difficult, if you have never made crepes before, that’s okay. The images will show you how.
- Place a heaping tablespoon of filling and a heaping tablespoon of sliced strawberries or other fruit on the bottom half of a crepe. Fold the bottom up. Fold the sides in. Then, roll the crepe up to form a rectangular packet. (See illustrations.) Repeat with the rest of the crepes. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to cook your blitzes.
To cook the blintzes:
Melt two tablespoons of butter in the skillet or crepe pan. Place enough of the assembled blintzes in the pan seam side down to fill the pan. Fry for about two minutes on each side or until golden and crisp. Keep the blintzes warm in the oven set at 250 degrees until ready to serve.
You can bake them in the oven all at once instead of frying them as explained in Hack #5.
Serve with more topping.