Blinchiki (or blini or blintzes, depending on who you ask) are thin Russian pancakes, similar to Croatian palačinke, though often (not exclusively) made with buckwheat flour and featuring very Russian toppings like caviar and smoked salmon. The first time I ever had blinchiki was at the house of a new friend who had recently moved from Moscow. Her mother had stuffed them with cheese and raspberry jam and were absolutely delicious, so this is the way that I prefer to make them. If you prefer to try the “salty” version with fish, I would suggest making them smaller and slightly thicker like this version. They make very cute appetizers!
- 1/3 cup of buckwheat flour
- 2/3 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1 cup of milk
- 4 eggs
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- 1 1/2 cups of fresh cheese (sometimes labeled “farmers cheese” and often found at Central and Eastern European food stores.)
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar
- your choice of jam
- sour cream (optional: you can add a few tablespoons if you find the mixture too dry, depending on the type of cheese you use)
Mix the first 5 ingredients (minus 1 egg, which will be used in the filling) together in a large bowl.
Next, melt the butter in a pan set to medium heat and then add it back into the bowl. Mix thoroughly, then add just enough batter to thinly cover the pan. Cook until the edges begin to curl, then flip to cook the other side briefly.
As the blinchiki are cooking, prepare the filling by combining the rest of the ingredients, including 1 egg and aside from the jam, in a bowl. (Sometimes I add a few tablespoons of jam directly into the cheese mixture, though you can also use it as a topping later.)
When the blinchiki are done cooking, place 2 tablespoons on one side, tuck in the edges, and roll like an egg roll. Either return them to the pan (first on the sealed side so that it doesn’t open!) and cook on both sides for a minute or so, ensuring they do not burn, or place into a pre-heated oven and bake for a few minutes.
Serve with your choice of jam or fruit.