Apple-Cranberry Blintzes with Maple-Ricotta Cream and Sugared Walnuts

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Yield:

    16–18

    varenikes

Appears in

Every place you go, act according to the custom of that place.

—LADINO PROVERB

These tantalizing blintzes are an unabashed ode to the Diaspora. Autumn-scented apples and cranberries form the sweet and tangy filling. For the luscious cream topping, simply sieve ricotta sweetened with maple and vanilla. Finish with a crunch of lightly sweetened toasted walnuts.

Ingredients

Apple-Cranberry Filling

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • About cups flavorful apples, peeled, cored, and cut into small chunks (use sweet, local, seasonal, varieties with lots of character, like Gravenstein, Gala, Braeburn, Jonathan, Stayman Winesap, and the heirloom Golden Russet, which will contrast nicely with the cranberries)
  • ⅓—½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup cranberries, washed and picked over
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries (optional)
  • Salt

Maple-Ricotta Cream

  • cups (about 11 ounces) whole-milk ricotta cheese (you can use part-skim, if desired)
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional)

Sugared Walnuts

  • ¼ cup walnuts, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon maple or white sugar
  • 1 recipe blintz leaves
  • Unsalted butter, oil, or a combination, for frying or baking

Method

  1. Make the apple filling. Heat the butter over medium-high heat in a large, heavy skillet until sizzling. Add the apples and sauté for about 5 minutes, lifting and turning them as they begin to turn golden. Sprinkle with cup brown sugar and the cinnamon and mix well to coat the apples evenly on all sides. Add the cranberries, optional dried cranberries, and a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring, until the cranberries have popped and the apples are very tender. Let the fruit cool in the pan, then taste and add more sugar, if necessary, depending on your preference and the sweetness of the apples.
  2. Transfer the fruit to a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for at least 20 minutes or up to 24 hours.
  3. Meanwhile, make the maple-ricotta cream. Push the ricotta through a fine-mesh strainer, rubbing with the back of a spoon. Using an egg beater or electric mixer, beat in the maple syrup, vanilla, and nutmeg, if using, until smooth and light. Cover and refrigerate to allow the flavors to marry. Rewhip briefly just before serving.
  4. To prepare the walnuts, coarsely chop them with the sugar.
  5. Fill the blintz leaves with a heaping tablespoon of filling for each blintz (don’t overfill), and bake or fry them.
  6. Serve the blintzes hot, topped with maple-ricotta cream and sprinkled with sugared walnuts.

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