Blintzes are of Hungarian origin. Pancakes of every kind with various fillings, called “palacsinta,” are common in Hungary. This one was adopted as a specialty of Shavuot, when it is customary to eat dairy dishes. It is a magnificent sweet and one of my favorites.
For the Pancakes
1 cup flour
1-1/4 cups milk
2/3 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon oil plus more for greasing the pan
For the Filling
1 lb curd cheese (also known as farmer’s cheese)
1/2 lb cream cheese
1/2 cup or more sugar, to taste
Zest of 1-1/2 lemons
3 egg yolks
A few drops of vanilla extract (optional)
3/4 cup currants or raisins soaked in a little rum for 1/2 hour (optional)
2-3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
Confectioners’ sugar to sprinkle on (optional)
2 teaspoons cinnamon to sprinkle on (optional)
Sour cream to pass around
1. Add the milk and water to the flour gradually, beating vigorously. Add the egg, salt, and oil and beat the batter until smooth. Leave to rest for 1-2 hours.
2. Heat a preferably nonstick frying pan–with a bottom not wider than 8 inches–and grease very slightly with oil. Pour about half the pan around until its entire surface is covered with batter. The batter and the resulting pancake should be thin. As soon as the pancake is slightly browned and detached, turn it over with a spatula and cook a moment only on the other side.
3. Continue until all the batter is used and put the pancakes in a pile.
4. For the filling, blend the curd and cream cheese with the sugar, lemon zest, egg yolks, and vanilla, if you like, in a food processor. Then stir in the raisins, if using.
5. Take each pancake, 1 at a time, put 2 heaping tablespoons of filling on the bottom half, fold the edge of the pancake over the filling, tuck in the sides so that it is trapped, and roll up into a slim roll. Place the rolls side by side in a greased oven dish.
6. Sprinkle with butter and bake in a preheated 375 F oven for 20 minutes.
7. Serve hot, dusted with confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon, if you like, and pass the sour cream for people to help themselves if they want to.
For an apple filling: Peel and core 2 lbs apples. Steam in a pan with the lid on and only a drop of water. Then puree and sweeten with sugar to taste, and add 1 teaspoon cinnamon and a few gratings of nutmeg.
For a cherry filling: Pit 2 lbs cherries and steam them in a pan with the lid on. Some mix this with 1/2 cup ground almonds and 2 or 3 drops of almond extract.
From The Book of Jewish Food, by Claudia Roden. Copyright 1996 by Claudia Roden. Reprinted with permission from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.