Cheese Blintzes with Cherry Sauce – Налистники с Творогом

I grew up eating nalistniki, which are crepes or blintzes with cheese filling. Thin, delicate crepes are filled with a cheese filling that melts when you cook the blintzes in butter.

My mom would make her own farmer’s cheese, tvorog, that was such a smooth, creamy texture and the perfect amount of tanginess and sweetness. I think is so much superior to using cream cheese, which is very runny.

I found a recipe in Cook’s Illustrated for these that I absolutely loved. The cherry sauce that accompanies the blintzes is a perfect combination of sweetness with wine brightening up its flavor.

Yields: 15-22 blintzes

Ingredients:

Crepe batter:

1 cup milk

6 Tablespoons water

2 eggs

3 Tablespoons butter, melted

1.5 Tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup flour

Cheese filling:

16 oz farmer’s cheese, about 2 cups (you can substitute ricotta)

1/4 cup heavy cream

3-5 Tablespoons sugar

2 Tablespoons butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla

Cherry sauce:

1 bag (12-16 oz) frozen cherries

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup dry red wine

2-3 Tablespoons of sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoons cinnamon

Place all the ingredients for the crepe batter in a blender and combine, or whisk all the ingredients together. Refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight. If you refrigerate for a long period of time, you may need to add a few Tablespoons of additional water, since the flour will thicken more the longer it stands.  IMG_6411 Combine all the filling ingredients together in a bowl.

Adding the cream and melted butter to the cheese will make the texture of the filling unbelievable soft, creamy and will melt flawlessly. Otherwise, the cheese tends to clump up.

IMG_6431 Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Brush with a little bit of butter, using a paper towel to distribute an even amount over the skillet. When the butter stops sizzling, pour in some crepe batter (a little bit more than half of a 1/4 measuring cup for an 8 inch skillet) and tilt the skillet, distributing the batter evenly over the surface of the skillet. IMG_6466
IMG_0166 Flip the crepe over when the edges are slightly dry, about 1 min on the first side and 30 seconds on the second side.

Repeat with all the batter, putting the crepes on a round dinner plate and covering with aluminum foil while you’re cooking the next crepe, to prevent the crepes from drying around the edges.

Another trick for evenly thin crepes is to pour in more batter than you need, swirl it around and pour the excess batter out into the bowl with the other batter. Cut off the “tail” neatly and you have a perfectly thin, even crepe.

IMG_6434 Cool. Spread the filling over the crepe.  IMG_6469 Fold. You can also fold over the left and right corners of the crepe before folding it from top to bottom, which will tuck in the shaggy sides neatly. I leave mine the way they are, and then just trim the edges off and cut them in half.

To make the cherry sauce, whisk all the ingredients except the cherries in a small pot. Add the cherries. IMG_3949 Bring to a boil and cook for about 5 min, until cherries are cooked through and the sauce thickens.

IMG_3954
IMG_4147 Melt 1/2 a Tablespoon butter in a nonstick skillet. When the foaming subsides, add the blintzes. Cook until golden brown on both sides, about 2-4 min. IMG_4133 Serve with the cherry sauce or freshly whipped cream. I also love these blintzes (nalistniki) with fresh berries. IMG_4168

Cheese Blintzes with Cherry Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sweets
Cuisine: Russian
Serves: 15-22 blintzes
Ingredients
Crepe batter:
  • 1 cup milk
  • 6 Tablespoons water
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1.5 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup flour
Cheese filling:
  • 16 oz farmer's cheese, about 2 cups (you can substitute ricotta)
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 3-5 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Cherry sauce:
  • 1 bag (12-16 oz) frozen cherries
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup dry red wine
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of sugar
  • 2½ teaspoons cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoons cinnamon
Instructions
Crepes:
  1. Place all the ingredients for the crepe batter in a blender and combine, or whisk all the ingredients together.
  2. Refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight. If you refrigerate for a long period of time, you may need to add a few Tablespoons of additional water, since the flour will thicken more the longer it stands.
Filling:
  1. Combine all the filling ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Adding the cream and melted butter to the cheese will make the texture of the filling unbelievable soft, creamy and will melt flawlessly. Otherwise, the cheese tends to clump up.
Cooking:
  1. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Brush with a little bit of butter, using a paper towel to distribute an even amount over the skillet.
  2. When the butter stops sizzling, pour in some crepe batter (a little bit more than half of a ¼ measuring cup for an 8 inch skillet) and tilt the skillet, distributing the batter evenly over the surface.
  3. Flip the crepe over when the edges are slightly dry, about 1 min on the first side and 30 seconds on the second side.
  4. Repeat with all the batter, putting the crepes on a round dinner plate and covering with aluminum foil while you're cooking the next crepe, to prevent the crepes from drying around the edges.
  5. Cool.
  6. Spread the filling over the crepe and wrap the blintz: fold the sides in first, then one end and then the other end (like an envelope)
Cherry sauce:
  1. Whisk all the ingredients except the cherries in a small pot.
  2. Add the cherries.
  3. Bring to a boil and cook for about 5 min, until cherries are cooked through and the sauce thickens.
Serving:
  1. Melt ½ a Tablespoon butter in a nonstick skillet. When the foaming subsides, add the blintzes.
  2. Cook until golden brown on both sides, about 2-4 min.
  3. Serve with the cherry sauce,freshly whipped cream or fresh berries.

 
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Comments

  1. says

    You make it look so simple and scrumptious. I never have luck turning out creeps as thin and beautifully colored as yours. Looks incredible.

    • says

      Thanks Alli!
      It doesn’t only look easy, it really is. Although, I have to admit, I had an awful time making crepes before. It was so frustrating! Once you find the right batter and a great nonstick skillet, it makes things A LOT easier. I really like the recipe for these crepes. I have another recipe that I use for savory crepes, and it works just as well – doesn’t rip and cooks to perfection in minutes. Another trick that I have learned is to pour in more batter than you need and then just pour out the excess back into the bowl. You can cut off the little tail and you have perfectly thin crepes every time:)

  2. Barbara says

    Without a doubt, my favorite Russian dessert!! I have eaten way too many nalistniki over the years. I remember the excitement when “nalistniki makers” (for crepes!) were discovered and they could be mass produced. I am enjoying your website…it brings back memories of the early days when many families immigrated to our Upstate New York town from Belarus and attended our church. I still enjoy some of these foods with friends and family. Now maybe I can make some.

  3. Oksana says

    I made this cherry sauce today for my cheese nalisniki….and oh my…what a great combo! I absolutely love the touch of red wine and cinnamon…yummy! And what a great presentation when serving to guests! Thanks Olga!

  4. margarita says

    olga, im assuming these freeze well too? ive bought some from trader joes- blintze with cheese frozen- they were delish.. so im hoping to make some and freeze them too. How should i store them? in a ziplock bag or just cling wrap?

    • says

      I’ve never tried freezing them, but I’ve heard that they do freeze well. The main thing to keep in mind is that they are tightly sealed. I would store them in a ziptop bag. Maybe even put parchement paper between the layers of nalistniki. Let me know what you end up doing.

  5. margarita says

    by the way, i have a crepe maker and its made my life so much easier! only my hubby knows how to make amazing crepes on the skillet! lol

  6. says

    Did you know that Bed Bath and Beyond sells crepe maker, the cheapest one $29.99, makes my life much easier. and you get the perfect crepe like pro.

    • says

      I’ve seen crepe makers in many different stores. I’m sure they are great. I am a minimalist though, and prefer to not have extra gadgets and appliances if I can use something else to perform the same task. In my kitchen I try to implement the rule of having as little uni taskers as possible, things that only perform one function, unless I would use it A LOT:). Everybody is different though. That’s just my preference. Making creeps in a skillet is very easy for me.

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