Tomorrow is Shrove Tuesday. Pancake day in our house. How quickly time flies. It doesn’t seem a year ago that I was flipping crêpes and savoury galettes for our last pancake day feast. The association of Shrove Tuesday and Pancake Day is steeped in tradition. Practically pancakes were made to use up supplies of butter and eggs. Foods forbidden to be consumed during Lent, a forty day period of fasting and abstinence in preparation for Easter. This time last year we feasted on Savoury Buckwheat Galettes With Ham, Gruyere and Brie and Sweet Crêpes With Orange and Brown Sugar Sauce for dessert . This year we also added an Eastern European variation Baked Cheese Blintzes filled with sweet ricotta and lemon to our repertoire.
We use a very simple recipe for crêpes in our house following the 1-2-3 rule. One cup of flour to two cups of milk and three eggs. These quantities make a dozen thin crepes. The recipe can be doubled, tripled and even quadrupled as long as the ratios are kept consistent. An exception to this rule applies when using gluten free flour; such as buckwheat in the galettes. In that instance the ratio becomes 1.25 cups gluten free flour-2 cups milk-3 eggs.
Following this rule produces light, tender galettes and crêpes that can be folded and dressed in any manner of ways for a delicious Shrove Tuesday feast. The recipe for the Baked Cheese Blintzes appears below with full crêpe making instructions. Click on the links to my previous posts to access recipes for Savoury Buckwheat Galettes With Ham, Gruyere and Brie and Sweet Crêpes With Orange and Brown Sugar Sauce. Whichever way you like to enjoy your pancakes, have a wonderful Shrove Tuesday.
Baked Cheese Blintzes With Sweet Ricotta and Lemon
Makes 12 Blintzes
For A Dozen Crêpes
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
SIFT the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre of the bowl.
ADD the eggs and a little of the milk. Using a wooden spoon, stir from the centre gradually drawing in the flour from the sides of the bowl.
GRADUALLY add the remaining milk. Beat well until the batter is smooth.
STIR in the melted butter and allow the batter to stand in a cool place for at least an hour.
WHEN ready to cook the crêpes give the batter a good stir. It may have thickened on standing so add a little more milk if needed. The consistency of the batter should be that of pouring cream.
HEAT a 20 cm crêpe pan over medium heat. When hot add a little butter. Swirl to coat the pan and carefully wipe off any excess with a paper towel.
LADLE 2-3 generous tablespoons of the batter into the pan, tilting the pan in a circular motion as you go to evenly coat the surface. Cook for 2 minutes or until the underside of the crêpe is golden. Flip with a spatula and cook the other side for up to a minute. Remove from the pan to a warm plate.
WIPE the crêpe pan with a little more butter and repeat the process with the remaining batter.
Sweet Ricotta and Lemon Filling
2 cups ricotta cheese
1/3 cup créme fraiche or sour cream
finely grated zest of one lemon
3 tablespoons caster sugar
MIX together all the ingredients in a bowl or food processor until completely smooth and creamy.
To Assemble the Blintzes
PREHEAT oven to 180 C and line a baking dish with non stick paper.
PLACE 2 generous tablespoons of the filling across the centre of a crepe.
FOLD the left side over the mixture, then fold the right side over so that they overlap. TUCK in the ends to make a neat envelope.
PLACE each blintz seam side down on a baking paper lined oven tray and continue filling remaining crêpes.
WHEN all the blintzes have been made and placed in the baking dish, dot the top with a little butter and bake for about 20 minutes until the filling is hot and blintzes puffed and golden.
SERVE right away with a dusting of sugar and a squeeze of lemon. They are also delicious served with fruit compote.