The simple-to-make pancake in a gluten free blintz is a bit thicker than a crêpe, so you can really sink your teeth into it. Filled with a simple ricotta cheese filling, and you've got the perfect breakfast-for-dinner.
If you've made crêpes before, you can make blintzes. If you've never made crêpes before, you can make blintzes. The pancake in a blintz is a bit thicker than a crêpe (different ingredient ratios account for that), so you can really sink your teeth into it—and they just never ever tear. Unless you make them way too thick, in which case they'll sort of splinter a bit when you fold them, but even then they really won't tear.
The pancakes themselves aren't sweet at all, which makes the lightly sweetened ricotta cheese filling all the more satisfying. Serve them with an easy blueberry compote or just some fresh fruit along with a salad, and you've got a simple breakfast for dinner situation that makes everyone happy—even the cook.
If they're so simple, what's with all the step by step photos? I'm not really sure. Think of it as show-and-tell. I tell you they're simple, and then I show you. See?
Whenever I make crêpes or blintzes, and remember just how easy they are (and how they're perfect if you're looking to keep your kitchen cool), I wonder why I'd ever make a plain old omelet. I wonder why anyone would, if you want to know the truth.
If you're dairy-free too, I have suggestions for how to replace the dairy milk and butter in the pancake recipe. The ricotta cheese filling is just a no-go for dairy-free, I assume, but you can really fill these with anything you like, including your favorite recipe for mashed potatoes or even whatever fillings you might use in an omelet. Since the pancakes are not at all sweet, they can go from sweet to savory without missing a beat. Breakfast for dinner is served!
Gluten Free Blintzes
For the pancakes
1 1/2 cups (12 fluid ounces) milk (any kind), at room temperature
3 tablespoons (42 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature (can substitute nondairy butter 1:1)
4 eggs (200 g, weighed out of shell) + 1 egg white at room temperature, beaten
1 1/2 cups (210 g) basic gum-free gluten free flour blend (139 g superfine white rice flour + 46 g potato starch + 25 g tapioca starch/flour)*
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
For the cheese filling
2 cups (about 9 ounces) ricotta cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon (12 g) granulated sugar, plus more to taste
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
Unsalted butter, for sautéeing
*A note about the flour blend: If you use a xanthan gum-containing flour blend, like Better Batter, you must increase the milk to 2 1/4 cups (18 fluid ounces), and expect the batter to be much thicker and gummier, making it much more difficult to pour into the pan in a thin, even layer.
Make the pancake batter. In a standard blender, place all of the pancake ingredients in the order listed. Blend until very smooth. Alternatively, you can place the ingredients in a large bowl and beat the milk, butter and eggs together with a handheld mixer until smooth, then add the flour blend and salt and beat until smooth. The batter should be the consistency of heavy cream.
Make the pancakes. Heat a heavy-bottom nonstick 9 inch skillet (or a well-seasoned and greased 9 inch cast iron skillet) over medium heat for 2 minutes. Holding the warm skillet just above the flame, carefully ladle or pour about 1/4 cup of batter right into the center of the skillet and swirl the pan to distribute the batter evenly across the entire flat surface of the pan. Cook over medium heat until the edges and underside of the pancake are lightly golden brown (about 45 seconds). With a wide spatula (and/or your fingers, carefully), flip the pancake over and cook until the other side is lightly golden brown (about another 15 seconds). Slide the pancake out of the skillet onto a parchment-lined plate. Repeat with the remaining batter. Stack the finished pancakes on top of one another, and cover with a moist tea towel to prevent them from drying out.
Make the filling and fill the pancakes. Place the filling ingredients in a large bowl and, using a handheld mixer, beat until whipped and smooth. Place one pancake on a flat surface in front of you, and place about 1/4 cup of the filling about 1/3 of the way from the edge of the pancake closest to you. Fold the bottom of the pancake up over about half of the filling, turn the sides in, and roll the pancake away from you until it is closed. Repeat with the remaining pancakes and filling. If any of the blintzes are opening up, use a small dollop of filling on the edge of the pancake to seal it.
Sauté the blintzes. Place 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter in the heavy-bottom nonstick 9 inch skillet (or well-seasoned and greased 9 inch cast iron skillet) and melt over medium heat. Swirl the butter around the pan and place two filled blintzes in the pan, seam side down. Sauté until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes total. Repeat with the remaining blintzes. Serve warm.
The filled blintzes can also be placed on a parchment-lined baking sheet and baked in a 400°F oven for 10 minutes or until lightly golden brown.