Cheese blintzes, matzah balls and baked cheesecake… these are just some of the traditional Jewish foods that made up my childhood, and fill my adulthood. These food have broken religious fasts, have been enjoyed over celebrations, and have comforted during sadder times.
I still have both my grannies’ recipes for my favourite traditional dishes, and I still use the Jewish cookbook from which my mom cooked and baked – see below (you can see it’s had years and years in various kitchens).
Cheese blintzes will be bubbling in my kitchen next week ahead of the festival of Shavout (Feast of Weeks). The holiday celebrates the revelation of the Torah on Mount Sinai. On Shavuot, we traditionally eat dairy as it’s considered a symbol of the Torah.
For those who don’t know, a blintze is basically a rolled-up pancake, and is usually filled with meat, or cream cheese. While I don’t think I make cheese blintzes as well as my grannies did, the recipe I use is fairly fullproof. It comes from the Goodwill book above, and it’s pretty much the only blintze recipe you need.
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups water
- 1.5 cups flour
- Pinch of salt
- Half teaspoon Royal Baking Powder
Cream cheese filling
- 1 egg
- 500g cream cheese
- Sugar, to taste
- Sour cream, to mix with the cream cheese
Beat the eggs and water well. Add the flour sifted with the salt and Royal Baking Powder. Beat until smooth.
Heat a small frying pan well and grease lightly with oil. Pour the batter very thinly to coat the bottom of the pan. Cook until dry. Then invert the pan onto brown paper.
Mix the filling ingredients well. Place a spoonful of filling on each, and fold into envelope shape. Place in well greased pie dish (or rectangular dish). Pack closely, dot with margarine and bake at 200C until golden brown. Alternatively, fry each one in hot oil.
Serve warm. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon if you want, or jam or berries (I’m a traditionalist, and just add some cinnamon).