Apple Blinchiki (Russian Pancakes)
Never heard of blinchiki? No worries: We just learned about the Russian pancakes from Anna Gass’s cookbook, Heirloom Kitchen: Heritage Recipes and Family Stories from the Tables of Immigrant Women. The collection of recipes paints a picture of how migrant staples shaped the American foodscape as we know it. These blinchiki come from Emily, a woman from Bila Tserkva, Ukraine.
“Traditionally, blinchiki is a simple crepe-like pancake,” Gass writes. “However, Emily’s mother, Eva, always grated apples into the batter to make it a heartier dish. I never knew a four-ingredient recipe could taste so good! Emily makes these often for her grandchildren, and it’s their favorite after-school snack.” Gass recommends serving them with sour cherry sauce for a showstopping breakfast (or dessert).
2 apples, sweet or sour, depending on preference (like Gala or Honeycrisp)
1 large egg, beaten
5 to 6 tablespoons (37 to 45g) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sunflower oil or butter
Sour cream and/or sour cherry spread, for serving
1. Peel and grate the apples on the large holes of a box grater.
2. Combine the grated apple with the egg in a large bowl.
3. Add the flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until all the moisture is absorbed. The mixture will resemble chunky pancake batter.
4. Heat the sunflower oil in a large pan over medium heat. Spoon 3 or 4 small dollops of the batter onto the pan. Press them to create round, chunky pancakes. Cook until the center is firm and the outside is golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Serve with sour cream and/or sour cherry spread.