Cheese Blintzes with Fresh Berried Fruit Compote

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Yield:

    16–18

    blintzes

Appears in

A perennial favorite, creamy cheese blintzes are often arranged on Shavuot plates to resemble the Jewish Law: placed side by side, they look like the Tablets given to Moses on Mount Sinai. Or like an unfurled scroll, the Torah.

The seasonal compote here, uncooked to retain the flowery freshness of the berry trio, partners perfectly with the rich, dairy blintzes.

If you want to serve the blintzes as Tablets, arrange them atop a puddle of the compote and sprinkle five tiny parallel lines of cinnamon over each, in imitation of the Ten Commandments.

Ingredients

Blintzes

  • About 1 pound farmer cheese (two 7.5-ounce packages are fine)
  • cup cottage cheese, preferably dry-curd (pot cheese); if unavailable, use large-curd cottage cheese
  • ounces (about 5 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 recipe blintz leaves
  • Unsalted butter, oil, or a combination, for frying or baking

Compote

  • 1 cup (about 6 ounces) fresh ripe blueberries, picked over and rinsed
  • 2 cups (about 12 ounces) fresh ripe strawberries, rinsed first, then hulled
  • About 4 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup (about 6 ounces) fresh ripe raspberries

Optional Accompaniments

Method

  1. You will have to eliminate some of the excess liquid from the cheese to avoid soggy blintzes or the need for fillers. I find a lot of liquid accumulates in the farmer cheese packaging, so after I unwrap it, I drain off the water and pat the cheese dry with paper towels. Put the drained farmer cheese in a large bowl.
  2. If dry-curd cottage cheese is unavailable (it is increasingly hard to find, except at some deli counters in areas with large Jewish populations), drain the large-curd cottage cheese too. This is easiest done by draining it for 15–20 minutes through a strainer lined with a coffee filter or a layer of paper towels.
  3. Meanwhile, use a fork to mash the farmer cheese very well. Add the cream cheese and vanilla and blend thoroughly. Add the drained cottage cheese and the sugar and mash until smooth. Taste and add more sugar if desired. Beat in the egg yolks, cover, and refrigerate thoroughly. The filling will be firmer and easier to work with when cold.
  4. Prepare the compote. Put the blueberries and 1 cup of the strawberries in a bowl and smash them very roughly with a fork. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the sugar and the cinnamon and stir well. Set aside to macerate for about 10 minutes. Puree the remaining 1 cup strawberries, 2 tablespoons sugar, and the raspberries in a blender or food processor. Force the pureed berries through a fine-mesh strainer (to trap most of the bitter seeds) into the bowl of smashed berries. Stir well, cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to meld the flavors. The flavors will continue to develop and strengthen, becoming sweeter as the sugar draws out the natural sweetness of the berry juices. Taste before serving and add more sugar if you prefer it sweeter.
  5. Fill and fold the blintz leaves as directed, using 1 heaping tablespoon of filling per blintz. (I find these are best when filled and folded and then chilled again, wrapped, up to one or two days before the final baking or frying. The cold cheese filling is firmer and less likely to leak out when heated.) Bake or fry as directed.
  6. Serve the blintzes with the fruit compote, accompanied, if you’d like, by sour cream or yogurt cream and garnished with mint leaves.
  7. The blintzes are also delicious served with a fruit sauce or the Dried Fruit Compote with Fresh Pineapple, Pistachios, and Mint instead of the berry compote.

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