I decided I had better include a sweet pancake recipe to just to keep my sweet-toothed friends happy, though I have to say these aren’t particularly sweet…just enough, and they make a perfect breakfast. (I know because I decided I had to have one if I was going to blog about them. It’s hard work, this blogging, makes one very hungry cropping photos and smelling applesauce in the kitchen, etc.)
Cheese Blintzes are a Jewish crepe-like pancake filled with cheese, that are then sauteed in butter (very gently) creating a lovely outer texture on the pancake. They can be filled with sweet or savoury fillings, and also freeze well…just in case you want to make lots. Just make the recipe up to the point of filling them with the curd cheese, and leave the sauteeing bit for after you defrost them.
I use to make these for my mother round about when I was 15 or 16 years old (just a few years ago!!!), and she liked them topped with sour cream and preserves. I’ve developed them a bit since then, though, it has to be said it has been a long time since I’ve made them, so I really, really enjoyed the one I had for breakfast. I also used to use cottage cheese (does that make them ‘on a diet’ friendly?…maybe), but now use ricotta cheese with a bit of mascarpone cheese put into the mix, as this makes them delectably creamy when coming out of the pan which balances very nicely with the other textures of the sauteed pancake and the crunchy nuts (praline I used in this case because I happened to have some left from another recipe in an airtight container).
We are blessed to have a most wonderful product in Kilkenny, namely Highbank’s Organic Orchard Syrup which I use in sweet and savoury dishes all the time. The best thing about it after the flavour and its versatility, is the list of ingredients : Irish Organic Apples. That’s it! Boom! Well done to Rod and Julie Calder-Potts, I take my hat off to you. I have used their syrup in the cheese filling, in the apple sauce and also drizzled on top of the pancake itself. I’m getting over a cold….I needed extra apple!! You can, of course, substitute maple syrup, but be careful…maple syrup is very sweet comparatively….maybe very sweet is what you want!!
The most predominant flavour of the cheese filling though is cardamon. Such an elegant and exotic tasty spice. I adore it. Every time I eat it, I wonder why I don’t use it more often….so if you see it mysteriously appear here with more frequency that is why. It fills your mouth with undeniable individuality of spiciness to start and then leaves your mouth feeling refreshed and clean. Love it.
This is the best I can do for you at the moment Mom…give you the recipe…unless I win the lotto this week- in which case, see you very soon xoxoxo
For the filling: 100grams Mascarpone, 250grams Ricotta cheese, 3 Tablespoons brown sugar, 5 cardamon pods, split and then seeds ground in mortar/pestle, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg, 1 free range egg (small-medium will do), 2 teaspoons Highbank Organic Apple syrup. Mix it all togethercover with clingfilm, and refrigerate while you make the applesauce and pancake batter.
For the Applesauce: Make extra….it’s great on top of porridge. 2 large cooking apples, 2 Tablespoons water, 2 teaspoons Highbank Organic Apple Syrup . (optional ** brown sugar to taste)
Peel and chop the apples, place in saucepan with the water, cover and allow to cook over medium heat until the apples go fluffy…easy peasy…I’ve never understood why people buy applesauce. Sweeten with Apple Syrup and brown sugar if it’s not sweet enough for you. I am not going to give exact measurements, simply because the taste of apples varies so much, you’ll just have to ‘wing it’.
For the Blintzes: 4 large free-range eggs, (don’t ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever [hear Matt Lucas in the ‘Wind in the Willows’ here] use a battery hen egg…just bloody well don’t)., 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup whole milk (specified the’ whole’ there just in case any of you are drinking water disguised as milk by drinking skim milk), 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 cup flour.
Whisk the eggs with the water and the milk, then whisk in the dry ingredients until all the lumps are gone and it’s light and fluffy. Let it sit for a couple of minutes.
You will also need some butter (Listen up….ONLY BUTTER), for sauteeing the blintzes.
Make the pancakes by rubbing a pancake skillet with oil such as rapeseed. Rub it in with a brush or kitchen towel (you need to do this between each pancake). Wait for the pan to be smoking hot (if it means you have to do something entirely different like make a cup of tea or coffee, then do that. First pancakes don’t have to be a disaster, it’s only because people don’t wait long enough). When the pan is smoking hot, ladle in enough batter to coat the bottom of the pan and quickly swirl it around. When those little bubbles begin to appear on the top, flip or turn the pancake over.Continue making the pancakes (stacking them on a plate), until you’ve used all the batter.
To make the blintzes, place a spoonful of the cheese filling in the centre of each pancake, fold over two sides to encase the filling, then roll up (same as a burrito) and set aside while you do them all this way.
Now melt some butter over a medium-low heat in the same skillet (cut down on the washing up ;-)) and add the blintzes, a few at a time That wee one in the centre is the ‘have to make sure it’s ok’ one…;-)
The fun part is getting closer…Transfer to a plate (In this case, my plate is from Rosemarie Durr Pottery in the Estate Yard in Castlecomer Discovery Park….thank-you Rosemary there’s a couple of blintzes on their way to you.).
Top with the applesauce, which should still be warm, a wee dollop of mascarpone (or sour cream), some chopped pecan nuts (or nuts of your choice, or indeed pecan praline), and drizzle with the heavenly apple syrup.
For some reason, I don’t think I have to tell you what to do next ;-). Hope you enjoy them as much as I do/did/will !!!