This recipe is from Bea Zeff, a one-time resident of Modesto who now lives in Mill Valley. This was passed down from her mother, Pessie Portnoy, who came to this country from Kiev, Russia.
The recipe has changed a little over the years because the filling was usually made with farmer's cheese, which was not available locally. A spreadable farmer's cheese now can be found for $7.99 for 7½ ounces at O'Brien's Market on Dale Road in Modesto. Large curd cottage cheese is used here. Nadine Conly, one of Portnoy's grand-daughters, says she puts the cottage cheese in a piece of cheese cloth and puts it through a sieve.
1 cup milk or water
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons oil
¾ cup flour
2 cups cottage or ricotta cheese
1 egg yolk
¾ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
For batter: Mix all ingredients and let stand 15 minutes. Pour batter into a lightly buttered pan as you would a crepe, but brown the blintz leaf on one side only. Be sure crepe is very thin so it cooks through. Turn brown side up on a clean tea towel.
Filling: Drain to remove as much water as possible from the ricotta or cottage cheese. Mix all ingredients until blended. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling on the edge of the brown side of the blintz leaf and fold in sides and roll to make a little envelope. The blintz may be frozen at this point for cooking later.
Sauté in butter until brown, or place in a well buttered baking dish and brush with melted butter. Bake in a 400-degree oven until brown.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream and jam, cinnamon sugar or other sweet topping.