Heavenly Farmer Cheese Blintzes
An enjoyable dinner at the new Bugsy & Meyer’s Steakhouse here in Las Vegas and the approaching Jewish High Holy Days curiously inspired us to make homemade blintzes.
We discovered that infamous Jewish mobsters Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky were huge fans of the Cheese Blintzes at Ratner’s Restaurant. Founded in 1905 and located on the Lower East Side of New York City, Ratner’s did not serve meat in deference to the kosher prohibition against mixing milk with meat. They served a Jewish kosher dairy menu with cheese blintzes as one of the most loved dishes.
Growing up, our Jewish pancakes were always stuffed with farmer cheese, but, alas, not the easiest cheese to find in modern times… As luck would have it, my friends at Lifeway Kefir make Farmer Cheese that is happily having a resurgence. It is a cultured soft cheese made from an old world recipe with a distinctive tangy flavor, and packed with probiotics. Feeling nostalgic for Jewish comfort foods from our youth, we found the perfect authentic filling for our blintzes.
We prefer our blintzes cooked in browned butter for a nuttier taste and on the slightly crispy side, always served with the obligatory sour cream and lots of other complementary toppings. Here’s our recipe….
Farmer Cheese Blintzes Recipe
Pattern: Mayfair (Bolero, Brushed Gold Trim) by WS George
Status: Discontinued. Circa: 1943
The W. S. George Pottery Company was a United States pottery manufacturer with facilities in Ohio and Pennsylvania. This collection belonged to my dear maternal grandmother, Millie.
Yield: 8 Blintzes
- 3/4 c. milk
- 1/4 c. water
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 c. sugar
- 1 c. flour
- 1/2 t. vanilla extract
- 1/2 t. kosher salt
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Let batter mixture rest 30 minutes. Pulse briefly again before cooking.
- 2 c. farmer cheese (Lifeway brand here)
- 1/4 c. powdered sugar (or more to taste)
- 2 t. orange zest or lemon zest
- 1/2 t. kosher salt
Combine ingredients in a medium bowl.
Melt about a teaspoon of butter in a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add just enough batter to thinly coat the bottom of the pan (approx. just shy of 1/3 cup) and immediately swirl the pan to coat the entire bottom with batter. Cook until bottom is just slightly golden, and center is cooked through. Remove wrapper from pan to a platter.
Repeat for a total of 8 wrappers. Separate each wrapper with a piece of parchment paper or paper towel when removing from skillet.
To assemble the blintzes, take one wrapper, cooked-side down, and place one-eighth of the cheese mixture in a rectangle shape on the lower third of the wrapper. Fold up the bottom, then fold in the sides and roll over like a flat burrito.
When all 8 are assembled, melt about a tablespoon of butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. When butter is bubbling, add blintzes, seam-side down, and cook while the butter browns and until the wrapper is a nice darkened golden brown and slightly crispy. Flip and cook the other side the same way. Work in batches, do not crowd the blintzes in the pan.
Repeat for remaining blintzes. Wipe out the pan in between batches so the butter doesn’t burn.
- sour cream (a must)
- jam or preserves
- fresh berries
- citrus zest
- toasted sliced almonds, toasted pine nuts
- mint and sliced citrus garnish
Serve hot blintzes topped with a combination of toppings. Feel free to get creative with the combinations. Such as we did:
- raspberry preserves, fresh raspberries, orange zest, sour cream, toasted almonds
- peach preserves, fresh blueberries, lemon zest, sour cream, toasted almonds
Blintz Brunch Bar
Serve farmer cheese blintzes at your next brunch gathering. They are easy to make, economical, and a real crowd pleaser. Set out all the toppings and let your guests create their own blintz heaven.