I recently found my mother's handwritten recipe for blintz soufflé. Not only was it a reminder of a delicious dish, but seeing her handwriting evoked wonderful memories. This feeling reinforced my belief that our recipes connect us to our past and our history and that this connection must be kept vibrant. This dish is included not only for your enjoyment but for her grandchildren's enjoyment as well.
Blintzes are a popular dish for many Jewish celebrations, but they are most often served to celebrate Shavuot. Eating dairy products is linked with this holiday for many reasons. Some believe that when the laws were given at Mount Sinai (which Shavuot commemorates), no kosher meat was available so the people ate dairy foods to fulfill the laws of kashrut. Another, more likely theory is that the animals gave birth in the spring (when Shavuot is celebrated), and milk from cows and sheep was plentiful for making cheese and other dairy-based dishes. Blintzes in particular make for an ideal holiday treat because two blintzes side by side on a plate will look like the two sides of a Torah scroll.
I've never been able to find mention of a blintz soufflé in cookbooks published prior to the 1970s. It is possible that the incorporation of the Golden Company in 1978 and the instant popularity of its line of blitzes had a lot to do with the timing of the birth of the blintz souffle. My version comes from one in my collection written in my mother’s handwriting in the late 1970s.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Microwave the butter directly in a 13x9-inch glass baking dish until melted. Place the blintzes over the butter in one layer.
- Meanwhile, whisk the four eggs in a 2-quart mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and blend well. Pour over the blintzes.
- Bake for 35–45 minutes or until the top starts to brown. Cut along each blintz or into squares.
- This recipe is delicious and easy to make with young children. However, after you melt the butter in the casserole, let the dish cool so that no little hands are burned.
- Homemade applesauce would be a light accompaniment to this dish if cheese blintzes are used instead of fruit-filled blintzes.
- Blintzes were originally made in Ukraine, which was part of the Pale of Settlement, an area that included parts of modern-day Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, and other countries, where Jews of the Russian Empire were forced to live for almost 150 years. Many North American Jewish families (including mine) trace their roots to this part of the world. Where did your ancestors come from? Did people in your family grow up eating blintzes?
- What are your favorite dairy foods?
This recipe is featured in Tina Wasserman's cookbook, Entree to Judaism for Families, filled with tools to help children learn to cook with confidence, with clear, step-by-step instructions for every recipe and tips for adults to make the experience safe and rewarding.