Pascale’s Kitchen: Cheesy sweet delights

Below, you will find three of my favorite recipes, which are all quick and easy to prepare, and look glamorous. 

 Vanilla cream blintzes (photo credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)
Vanilla cream blintzes
(photo credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)

This morning, I took out all the milk and cheese products I bought in preparation for baking Shavuot treats. If you’re like me, you’ve already cooked all the food you’ll need for the holiday, and all that’s left to do is make a tasty cheesecake. Below, you will find three of my favorite recipes, which are all quick and easy to prepare, and look glamorous. 

The first recipe is for blintzes, which are extremely thin pancakes, without much flavor, which can be filled with an array of fillings, turning them into either savory or sweet treats. They can be made dairy and filled with cream, or they can be made parve and then filled with meat. It’s very easy to make blintzes, and you don’t really need any special skills. All you have to do is mix the ingredients together and fry the batter for a few minutes. 

Here are the basic steps for making blintzes: Heat up a medium frying pan and add some oil. Take a ladle, and transfer some of the batter to the center of the pan. Then tip and shake the pan so that the batter spreads all around in an evenly flat circle all the way to the edge of the pan. Keep in mind that the first blintz does not always come out nicely, but the rest of them should come out thin and lift up nicely from the edge of the pan when you go to flip them over. 

For more of Pascale's recipes, click here>>

The blintz recipe that I’m bringing here is a little different from the norm, in that instead of filling the blintzes with cream in the center, and then folding them up like an envelope, in this recipe, you pile the blintzes one on top of another, with a layer of cream between each one. You can also add fresh fruits, raisins or nuts. 

 Cheese and jam squares (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN) Cheese and jam squares (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)

The second recipe is for cheese and jam squares. You don’t need to buy any special cheese to make this recipe, just use regular 5% white cheese. You also don’t need to use an electric mixer – just mix the batter by hand with a whisk. You can also use any type of jam you happen to have at home, either store-bought or homemade. 

The third recipe is for mini cheesecakes, which are perfect to serve at the end of a festive Shavuot meal, regardless of whether you’re hosting the holiday meal at home, or eating at friends or family.

Chag sameach!

Cheese and jam squares

Use a 27 cm. x 35 cm. pan. 

Dough:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • 200 gr. butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 container white cheese
  • 2½ cups self-rising flour
  • Filling:
  • 1½ cups apricot or strawberry jam
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Beat the eggs with the sugar in a large bowl. Gradually add the butter while mixing. Add the vanilla and cheese. Mix well. 

Gradually add the flour while mixing. Mix until smooth. 

Pour ¾ of the batter into a greased pan and flatten. Spread a thick layer of jam on the batter. Then, use a grater with large holes to pour the rest of the batter on top of the jam. Sprinkle a little cinnamon on top. 

Bake in an oven that has been preheated to 180° for 30 minutes or until the cake turns golden brown and becomes firm. Remove from the oven, cut into squares and store in an airtight container. 

Level of difficulty: Easy.Time: 40 minutes.Status: Dairy.

Vanilla cream blintzes

Makes ‘cake’ of 20 blintzes with a 15-cm. diameter.

Blintzes: 

  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2½ cups milk
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups flour, sifted
  • Canola oil for frying

Cream:

  • 1 container (250 gr.) mascarpone cheese or other cream cheese
  • 1 container (250 gr.) sweet whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp. instant vanilla pudding powder
  • 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar

Topping: 

  • ½ cup pistachios, ground
  • 2 kiwis, peeled and sliced thinly

Add the eggs, salt, milk and butter in a medium-sized bowl. Mix well with a whisk. Pour the flour into a separate bowl, then gradually add the eggs while mixing. Mix well. If it’s too thick, you can add up to a ¼ cup of milk or water. 

Pour a little oil into a 20 cm. frying pan and heat over a low flame. Pour any excess oil off into a bowl so that only a thin layer of oil remains. 

Take a bit of the blintz mixture and pour it into the pan. Shake the pan a little so it covers the entire surface of the pan in a thin layer.

Cook the blintz for 2 minutes until it firms up and the edge lifts a little bit from the pan. Flip the blintz over and fry the other side. Continue until you’ve used up all of the blintz mixture. 

Add all of the cream ingredients to the bowl of a mixer and mix well with the whisk attachment. 

Transfer the cream to a pastry bag with a serrated tip. Place one blintz on a serving platter and squeeze out a thin layer of cream onto it. Then, add a second blintz and another thin layer of cream. Continue making a tower of blintzes, then add a layer of cream all around the edge of the top layer. Sprinkle the pistachio pieces and kiwi slices on top. 

Store in the fridge until serving. 

Level of difficulty: Easy-medium.Time: 30 minutes.Status: Dairy.

 Mini cheesecake (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN) Mini cheesecake (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)
Mini cheesecakes

Use a muffin tin. 

  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 400 gr. 5% white cheese
  • 40 gr. butter, softened
  • ¾ container leben or yogurt
  • ½ cup cornflour or instant vanilla pudding powder
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon zest
  • Pinch of salt

Filling: 

  • 1 cup raspberry jam

Topping:

  • ½ cup powdered sugar

Add the egg whites to the bowl of an electric mixer and whip on high speed. Then, gradually add half a cup of sugar. Mix until stiff peaks form. 

In a separate bowl, mix together the cheese, butter, egg yolks, leben or yogurt, cornflour or instant pudding, lemon zest, the rest of the sugar and the salt. Fold in the egg mixture and mix gently. 

Grease the muffin paper cups, then spoon in the batter. Flatten them a little. 

Transfer the jam to a pastry bag and clip off the tip. Add a glob of jam in the center of each muffin. 

Bake for 10-12 minutes in an oven that has been preheated to 200°. Then, lower the temperature to 180° and bake for 1 hour. 

Turn off the oven and leave the muffins inside the oven while they cool down. Just before serving, sprinkle powdered sugar on top. 

Level of difficulty: Medium.Time: 90 minutes.Status: Dairy.

Translated by Hannah Hochner.