A delicious way to celebrate Shavuot is to eat cheese and other milk products, a tradition for many Jews around the world. This year the holiday is from sunset May 19 to nightfall May 21, and I’m going to celebrate with Cheesecake Blintzes and a gluten-free Blueberry Yogurt Tart in an Almond Crust.
Both reflect the custom of eating dairy foods for the holiday. The blintzes do double duty, since Shavuot commemorates the wheat harvest. The holiday also marks the first fruits, and while blueberries are not one of the Seven Species offerings to the ancient Temple, they are in season in California right now. Try substituting other seasonal fresh fruit, such as pitted cherries, sliced apricots or sliced strawberries.
Makes 10-12 blintzes
- 12 oz. container soft (not whipped) cream cheese
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ tsp. vanilla
- ½ Tbs. fresh lemon juice
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 recipe blintz crêpes (see below)
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter plus more if needed
- Cherry or other preserves
Using a mixer, whip cream cheese, sour cream, vanilla, juice and salt until smooth. Slowly mix in sugar until well combined. If made ahead, refrigerate until needed. Use at room temperature.
Make crêpes. For each blintz, place crêpe browned side up. Put 1½-2½ Tbs. filing in the middle, leaving 1-inch margin all around. Fold sides over filling, then fold top and bottom over filling. Repeat with remaining crêpes.
Heat large fry pan over medium heat. Melt butter in pan. Add blintzes folded side down. Fry, flipping once, until golden on both sides and heated through. Serve immediately topped with preserves.
Blintz Crêpes: Melt 2 Tbs. unsalted butter. Place in blender with 1 cup flour, 1 cup milk, ½ cup cold water, ¼ tsp. salt and 2 beaten eggs. Process until very smooth, stopping to scrape down as needed. Melt ¼ cup butter. Heat a 6- to 8-inch crêpe, omelet or fry pan over medium heat. Lightly brush pan with melted butter. When it sizzles, lift pan up off heat, pour in 3-4 Tbs. batter (depending on pan size), swirling to cover bottom thinly and evenly. Return pan to heat, cooking until bottom is light brown or brown-spotted and the inside of the crêpe is set. Turn out on clean cloth. Lightly brush pan with melted butter and repeat.
Blueberry Yogurt Tart in an Almond Crust
Makes 1 tart
- Butter, room temperature, for greasing pan
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold
- 3 Tbs. sugar
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- 1½ cups almond flour or meal
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 large egg, beaten, cold
- 1 recipe filling (see below)
- 2 cups blueberries
- ¼ cup sliced, toasted almonds
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Heavily grease bottom and sides of a 9- to 10-inch tart pan with removable sides. Cut cold butter into 8 pieces, put in food processor with sugar, extract, almond flour and salt. Process until pea-size bits have formed. With processor running, add egg through feed tube. Process until the dough forms ball. (Add teaspoon of cold water if needed.) Stop processor. Scrape dough into pan. With wet hands pat to evenly cover bottom and sides. Prick bottom and sides with fork. Bake 16-18 minutes until light brown. Cool.
Right before serving, make filling and spread evenly in the cooled crust. Garnish with blueberries and almonds. Carefully remove sides of tart pan, releasing crust from sides with knife if needed.
Filling: Mix 2 cups plain Greek-style yogurt with 4 Tbs. sugar and ½ tsp. vanilla or almond extract. Taste. Stir in additional sugar and or extract to taste if needed.