Mom’s Baked Blintzes
There are so many wonderful and funny things about Mom’s baked blintzes that I don’t know even where to begin. First, let’s get some history out of the way. A blintz, also known as a blini, has its origins in Eastern Europe and is a thin pancake that is typically made without any leavening agent. Blintzes are commonly filled with cheese, fruit, or a creamy potato mixture. The Russian varieties are made with yeast and you may know them as fancier versions served with caviar, sour cream and smoked salmon and more notably, made famous by New York’s Russian Tea Room.
More beloved to American Jews, are the calorie-dense (and delicious) sweetened-cheese-filled varieties served at delicatessens (and by our moms, aunts and grandmothers) especially when a dairy meal is needed or for a typical Sunday breakfast (i.e., when 19 of your first cousins show up for “nothing special” and it takes three hours to eat). You know, the usual.
This recipe is a decadent, scrumptious, perfect dish for brunch, Break the Fast, a baby naming celebration, Bris or any other gathering where you need to feed a crowd. Frozen cheese blintzes are covered with a batter made of eggs, sour cream, orange juice, sugar and vanilla and then baked in a casserole until the blntzes puff up light and golden brown. Enough said. Somehow, they are surprisingly light. Don’t ask me how.
But more than that, this recipe comes with a story straight out of Seinfeld.
When my father was alive, we had a running joke that on a good day, my mother could possibly pronounce, let alone, spell, a good five words. I’ve since learned that all of my first cousins feel relatively the same way about their mothers (sorry to all my aunts), who happen to be my mother’s sisters, so not only is this a run-in-the-family-thing, it’s simply a matter of time before my kids say this about me. Nonetheless, it should come as no surprise that when my mother emailed this recipe to me, it came with the subject header: BLINTZERS. With an R.
When I called my mother (already laughing/crying before I hit speed dial) to find out if this was a typo (knowing of course, that it wasn’t) the first thing I did when she answered the phone was ask for my dad to pick up the other line. This is a two-person gag after all. My mother, no dummy to an oncoming assault, immediately asked, “Now what did I do?” and started laughing. “David!” she bellowed to my dad (Is there one Jewish mother who just talks to get someone’s attention who happens to be in another room?) and I could hear my father practically skipping to the phone in anticipation of the day’s episode of Let’s Torture Your Mother.
When he picked up, I said (no intro needed), “Dad, how about this? B-L-I-N-T-Z-E-R-S. Blintzers!” As he burst out laughing, really laughing (and please picture a Fred Sanford “I‘m coming for your Elizabeth” clutching the chest stance to get the full effect) he said, “Fifty years with your mother. You think it’s easy?”
To which my mother replied, ‘What’s so wrong? It’s blintzers! WHAT?“
Welcome to my family. Please enjoy.
- 2 packages frozen cheese blintzes (6 blintzes per package, I prefer Golden Blintzes)
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup orange juice (without pulp)
- fresh berries or pie filling for garnish
- Confectioner's sugar for dusting
- 2 tbsp. butter
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Melt butter and pour into 9 x 13 glass baking pan. Place frozen blintzes in pan.
- In electric mixer, beat eggs, sugar, sour cream, orange juice and vanilla until well combined. Pour over blintzes.
- Bake 45-55 minutes until puffy and golden brown. Serve with fresh berries and dust with confectioners sugar or serve with a small pitcher or heated pie filling on the side.
Note: There are so many ways to serve these and although some families would never serve cheese blintzes with sour cream and apple sauce (typically reserved for potato blintzes), I have a husband at home who loves sour cream with these), so feel free to serve bowls of both. You never know what concoctions your family will fall in love with. One of my boys will eat anything covered in applesauce, so, just some food (ha) for thought.
- Jodi Luber