Nalisniki (налесники), cheese blintzes, cheese crepes, blinchiki. This Russian dish has many names, but whatever it’s called, it has remained one of the most popular in Russia. There are many ways to make them and a variety of fillings; everything from cheese to fruit and even meat! Make a batch of these and have gourmet breakfasts! They seem intimidating, but once you get the hang of it, they are fast and easy to make.
Servings: 6 to 8 (Makes 13, 9-inch crepes)
Ingredients for crepes:
½ cup lukewarm water
1 cup milk
4 large eggs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted. Plus more to sauté.
1 cup all-purpose flour (you can use 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup all-purpose)
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of Salt
Ingredients for cheese filling:
8 oz package cream cheese, at room temperature
16 oz small curd cottage cheese
1/3 cup sugar
¾ cup raisins
Powdered sugar for serving (optional)
How to Make Crepes:
1. Put all of the ingredients for the crepes (in the order that they are listed) in a blender and blend until well combined.
2. Melt a dot of butter in 2 non-stick skillets over medium heat. (2 skillets make the process go faster).
3. Pour about 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter into the skillet. I use a 1-ounce measuring cup.
4. As you are pouring into the skillet, swirl the batter to evenly coat the bottom. If you get any small gaps, you can fill them with more batter.
5. Once the bottom is golden, flip the crepe using a sharp edged spatula to easily get under the crepe. Let the other side get golden and plop the crepe out onto a cutting board.
Repeat with all of the batter, using a dot of butter each time. Don’t stack hot crepes on top of each other. Once they are just warm or room temp, they can be stacked.
Don’t panic, the first crepe in the pan never turns out nice!
How to make Cheese filling and complete Blinchiki:
1. In a colander, rinse the cottage cheese with cold water and DRAIN WELL. A cheese cloth also works well.
2. Mash the cream cheese, cottage cheese and sugar with a potato masher until well combined and creamy. Cottage cheese will still be a little lumpy.
3. Using a spatula, spread 2 generous tablespoons of cheese filling on each crepe.
4. Sprinkle with about 15 raisins.
5. Roll the crepe into a log and cut in half.
6. Refrigerate crepes that aren’t being served. It keeps in the fridge for almost one week.
Melt about 1 tablespoon of butter in a skillet and sauté the rolled cheese crepes on medium heat until golden brown on both sides. They don’t take long to sauté. Be careful not to burn them.
Dust with powered sugar (optional) and serve with sour cream or jam on the side. YUUUMMMM!