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Naleśniki

Naleśniki are Polish-style thin pancakes, like French crêpes. Rolled up or folded, they can be filled with sweet or savory fillings. My recipe is a double-fried pancake with sweetened white cheese and a berry compote, drizzled with some soured cream.

The batter is egg-rich and thinner than a traditional pancake batter. The recipe calls for twaróg, a Polish farmer’s cheese. It can easily be made at home. It can also be found in a good Polish market, or you can substitute with whole milk ricotta or whole cottage cheese pressed through a sieve.

We have been hosting “wine with breakfast” lately at our studio for gustatory well-being.  I am serving these with our Pinot Noir. I find the berries, spice, vanilla, and slight bitterness of the Campari is an interesting compliment to this morning wine.

Smacznego!

Ingredients

Equipment

Blender or Vitamix
Rubber spatula
Bowl
Fork
Small sauce pan
Iron skillet or crêpe pan

Ingredients for the pancake

1 cup/240 ml cold water
1 cup/240 ml cold whole milk
4 eggs (200g)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups/188g all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons/60g melted butter, cooled to 125ºF/52ºC
Lard, clarified butter, or butter for frying

Ingredients for the filling:

10 ounces/300g of twaróg (or a farmer’s cheese or ricotta)
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch salt
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten

Ingredients for compote

1 cup/150g fresh berries (blueberries, raspberries, or other berries)
¼ cup/60ml Campari
1 teaspoon sugar
Crème fraîche or whipped sour cream for garnish

How To Make

1
Make the batter: Place water, milk, eggs, vanilla extract, and salt in blender. Add flour then the melted butter over these ingredients. Blend at high speed for one minute, pausing halfway to scrape the sides with a rubber spatula. Refrigerate batter for 30 minutes or longer.
2
Make the filling: In a bowl, mash the twaróg, yogurt, sugar, cinnamon, and salt with a fork. Add the egg yolk and combine well. Set aside.
3
Make the compote: In a saucepan over medium-low heat, add berries, Campari, and sugar. Heat, stirring occasionally, until berries breakdown and compote thickens, about four minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
4
Make the pancakes: Place a teaspoon of lard or butter in a skillet set over medium-high heat. Cook the pancakes one at a time. When pan is hot, pour about three tablespoons of the batter in the center, quickly swirling the pan to allow the batter to expand into a 5-inch circle. Cook for about 90 seconds then flip and cook the other side. Repeat with the remaining batter, adding more lard or butter to the pan as needed. Keep the prepared pancakes on a warm plate, under a tea towel, so they do not dry out.
5
Assemble: Place two teaspoons of the filling into the lower third of one pancake. Fold in each left and right side by one-inch and roll the pancake away from you like rolling a mini-burrito or a taquito. Repeat with remaining pancakes. Heat a teaspoon of lard or butter in the skillet and slightly pan fry each rolled, filled pancake until warmed through and griddled. Serve topped with compote and a drizzle of crème fraîche or whipped sour cream.