Make Nikki Cascone's Blintzes with Seasonal Fruit Topping

A couple of weeks ago, we checked in with Nikki Cascone, who earlier this year closed down her restaurant, 24 Prince, and is already gearing up to open her new "global Jewish" place, Octavia's Porch, on Avenue B. This week, the Top Chef alum shares one of her favorite brunch recipes: cheese blintzes topped with blueberry (or fig or whatever is in season) sauce.

"One of the things I love is blintzes," Cascone told us. "I found these dynamite figs in the market and made this unbelievably good fig sauce." But you can use blueberries, she says.

Blintz with Seasonal Fruit Topping

For the blintzes: 1 1/4 cup whole milk, sifted 3 large eggs 1/4 teaspoon salt 3/4 cups unbleached flour 2 teaspoons melted cooled butter

In a bowl, combine all the ingredients, and allow the batter to rest at room temperature. Over medium heat, heat a skittle or sauté pan sprayed with soy-based non-stick spray. Once hot, measure pour 1/4 cup or 2 ounces of batter out to make a symmetrical shape you can roll, like making a crepe. Allow blintz to turn golden brown on both sides and remove from pan. You can make these prior to serving them and keep cold or at room temperature until you are ready to fill, reheat, and and serve.

For the cheese filling: 1/4 cup fresh ricotta cheese 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese 1/4 teaspoon good quality pure vanilla extract

In a bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix until smooth.

For the blueberry (or seasonal fruit) topping: 2 pints blueberries 1 cup agave syrup pinch salt juice from 1/4 lemon 1 whole sprig rosemary or thyme

In a small saucepan, combine all the ingredients and, over low heat, allow them to cook down. When ingredients are hot, brush the fresh herbs through to extract flavor for 1 minute, and remove. Cook until jam-like and sweet.

To assemble: Lay blintz out flat, take two spoonfuls of cheese filling, place in the center and fold both edges to the center. Roll from the opposite side (the outer side should be tucked) and fold the ends under. Pan fry over low heat until crispy and the inside is warm, or bake for 10 minutes at 500 degrees F until hot throughout. Top with blueberry jam, and serve.

Have a restaurant tip or other food-related news? Send it to fork@villagevoice.com.


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