It seems like every time I come across a blini recipe, they are served with crème fraîche, smoked salmon and/or caviar. I don’t know what Soviet Union those cooks are from, but as far as I’m concerned, our blini were rarely graced with such lavish toppings. Caviar was a cherished ingredient reserved for birthdays and national holidays that was served atop heavily buttered fresh bread. Blini* are a breakfast food that most prefer to eat with sour cream, jam, or honey.
*Blini: Russian for pancakes, plural; Blin: singular. In my house, we call these blinchiki [bleen-cheeky], which means little pancakes.
(Yield: 4 servings)
6 oz buttermilk
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c – 1 c all-purpose flour
Procedure: In a cup, stir together buttermilk and baking soda. Let stand for about 2 min. In a large bowl, lightly beat egg. Then whisk in buttermilk, sugar and vanilla. When combined, add flour – my mom never measures the amount of flour so nor do I. Start by adding 1/2 c and gently whisk. The final batter should be the consistency of a thick smoothie, so add more flour as needed. Then heat a griddle/skillet over medium heat and add enough oil to cover the bottom. Using a small ladle, pour about a tablespoon’s worth of batter onto griddle, spacing blini at least 1/2″ apart. (If blini start to curl up and sizzle around the edges right away, the batter is too thin). Cook about 3 min per side, flipping once. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve hot.
1 medium size peach, finely diced
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp lemon juice
3/4 tsp corn starch
1 tsp sugar (may vary according to fruit’s natural sweetness)
Procedure for sauce: Stir together all ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat. When mixture starts to bubble, turn heat down to low and cook until fruit softens and syrup forms, about 5 min. Serve hot.
Disclaimer: The day I made this batch and took these photos, I miscalculated the recipe a tad. I diligently went over it with the expert – my mom – and we tracked down the problem. The recipe above is the final edited version. However, the proper recipe will yield blini that are puffier than the ones photographed here.