How quick does this time of year roll around ... Shavuot commemorates the anniversary of the day G-d gave the torah to the entire nation of Israel assembled at Mount Sinai. Dairy foods such as cheesecake, cheese blintzes and cheese kreplach among Ashkenazi Jews, cheese sambusak, kelsonnes (cheese ravioli)and atayef (a cheese-filled pancake) among Syrian Jews; kahee (a dough that is buttered and sugared) among Iraqi Jews and a seven-layer cake called siete cielos (seven heavens) among Tunisian and Moroccan Jews are traditionally consumed on the Shavuot holiday. Yemenite Jews do not eat dairy foods on Shavuot.
Among the explanations given in rabbinic literature for the consumption of dairy foods on this holiday, before the torah was received, the Israelites were not obligated to follow its laws, which include shechita (ritual slaughter of animals) and kashrut. Since all their meat pots and dishes now had to be made kosher before use, they opted to eat dairy foods. For those who celebrate Shavout, or just enjoy the delicious creamy, sweet, soft cheese blintzes ... here is a really simple easy and delicious recipe. Batter: 1-1/2 cups milk 3 eggs 2 tablespoons butter, melted 2/3 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon salt In a small bowl, combine the milk, eggs and butter. Combine flour and salt; add to milk mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. It is really important to let the mixture rest before making the crepes. The mixture can easily be made a day prior and refrigerated overnight.
Now to making the crepes. The best fry pan to use, is a heavy based small Le Creuset pan, as it holds the heat and the crepes don't stick to the pan. We are lucky enough to have an electric crepe maker, that must be easily 100 years old (well perhaps not that old) and is full proof for kids to use and wonderful when busy in the kitchen. Using a fry pan: Place the batter into a large jug. Heat the frying pan on a medium temperature. Lightly grease pan with a little butter on a paper towel. Whilst holding the fry pan in one hand, pour the batter into the pan with the other hand. Lift and tilt pan to evenly coat bottom. Cook until top appears dry; turn and cook 15-20 seconds longer. Remove to a plate. Repeat with remaining batter. When cool, stack crepes, 5 at a time, in between plastic wrap. Wrap in foil; refrigerate. Using a crepe maker: Place batter on a large plate that holds a small amount of liquid (see above). Heat crepe maker and when ready, turn crepe maker over and dip into the batter, pushing down to completely cover the base of the surface. Turn back and let it rest on the bench to cook. The crepe is cooked when the outside of the crepe is golden. Repeat with remaining batter. When cool, stack crepes, 5 at a time, in between plastic wrap. Wrap in foil; refrigerate.
NB. No matter how you cook your crepes, the first crepe rarely turns out, so DON'T panic, this is common, as the pan is not seasoned, only after the first crepe has been made. Make sure you clean off all crumbs with paper towel before proceeding further.
Now for the filling: 500 gm cream cheese, softened 1/4 cup sugar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 cup sultanas zest of 1 lemon In a blender, process cream cheese sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add sultanas and lemon zest, stir to combine.
Place spoonfuls onto each crepe. Fold opposite sides of crepe over filling, then roll up blintz, forming a little bundle.
These blintzes last all week in the fridge, only, and only, if they are hidden from the kids.
For an extra special treat, we lightly pan fry the blintzes, just before service. Heat a non stick fry pan, place blintz top side down and cook 1 minutes until lightly golden. To serve, sprinkle with icing sugar. Other options include using farm cheese and or ricotta cheese and serving blintzes with a berry coulis.