This recipe post is dedicated to my dear friend, Monica, of "Lick The Bowl Good". I know that she loves blueberries, because she sent me a jar of her homemade blueberry jam-- which I will use to make her beautiful Lemon and Blueberry Cake. I just need to find the time, but I will make it!
I have posted a few of Ina Garten's recipes from her newest cookbook "Back to Basics", and I still have a few more I am anxious to try. I discovered this recipe the same day that I decided to make her Tomato and Goat Cheese tart.
I was invited to attend an early breakfast buffet and party at my brother's house in Santa Cruz, CA. Fred throws this party during the Santa Cruz Annual Wharf-to-Wharf Race. My brother's house is right along the path where thousands of runners go by, while his band plays music.
We had to leave the our house by 6:30am, in order to arrive before the streets were closed to traffic. When I spotted this recipe, I figured that this could feed a small crowd and it sounded really good. I figured that in the 45 minutes it would take us to drive to my brother's house, the blintzes could stay warm... or, at least, I hoped they would!
I don't have my usual step-by-step photos because it was dark outside, and getting late when I finally decided to make this recipe. I am still waiting for my light box that my husband promised to make for my birthday-- ahem! Craig? However, scroll to the very bottom and I've posted the recipe in a printable format. You won't find this recipe on Food Network.
I can tell you that I made the three components-- The Blueberry Sauce, the pancake sauce, and the cheese filling the night before. I debated baking the blintzes the night before, but Monica talked me out of it. She was right-- I didn't want the blintzes to turn soggy or not taste fresh.
The only ingredient I didn't add to the pancake batter was the baking powder. I left it on the counter, to remind me to add it in the morning...like 5:30am. I was half asleep, to say the least.
I did set the oven to preheat to 350F so that I could jump out of bed and get this into the oven.
I added the baking powder and poured just enough batter to give an even coating to the bottom of the baking pan. Once it baked for 10 minutes, I poured the rest of the cheese filling.
I shot this photo with a flash, so it's not the best. I wanted you to see how I spooned the rest of the batter on top of the cheese filling.
I baked it in the oven for 35 minutes and it turned out nice and golden. I jiggled it, and it was set. It was 6:45am and time to hit the road!
I packed up the blueberry sauce and lightly covered the blintzes with foil-- and off to Santa Cruz we headed. As I had hoped, the blintzes were nice and warm when we arrived.
I lightly warmed the blueberry sauce and placed it on the buffet table-- and then took my first taste. I liked the creamy texture of the ricotta and the mascarpone cheese. The filling wasn't super sweet and I loved the blueberry sauce. I'm not a fan of blueberries, but this sauce changed my mind.
Overall, I think Ina came up with a brilliant way of making cheese blintzes without all the work of making crepes, which I have made and posted here. The pancake batter can be seen on the bottom, as well as being a light crust on top.
I think I would add a little more orange or lemon zest to the cheese filling, next time. Mascarpone cheese isn't cheap to buy, either. I did use an Italian mascarpone, but it cost $6.00 for 8 ounces, and I think that's a little pricey for some folks budgets. I'm also posting a recipe for a mascarpone substitute that I recently made, that turned out to be just as tasty.
There was a lot of food at the buffet, so I took home a few leftover pieces. The blintzes reheated, beautifully, in the microwave. The next time I make this, I could easily cut the recipe in half.
I would describe this version of blintzes as resembling an Italian Ricotta Style Cheesecake. I think this recipe is perfect to bring to a potluck buffet. It makes a beautiful presentation and it's not over-the-top sweet. Good job, Ina!
Monica, I wish I could send you a slice of this. You know I would if I could!