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Nalysnyky (Rolled pancakes)

The dainty and elegant "nalysnyky" (also known as crepes, griddle cakes, or blintzes) have always been a favorite in Ukrainian homes and often constitute the main course of a meal. They can also be served as the dessert in a meal. During the week before Lent, it is a tradition in Ukraine to serve yeast-raised buckwheat cakes called "hrechanyky" with plenty of butter or thick sour cream. Some fillings for "nalysnyky" are also included here.

This is a standard recipe for "nalysnyky". A good cook will tell you that the liquid in the batter should be part milk and part water to give you more tender cakes:

2 eggs
½ cup milk
3 tablespoons water
½ cup thoroughly sifted flour
¼ teaspoon salt

Beat the eggs until they are light. Add the milk, water, and the remaining ingredients. Beat this mixture until smooth. Use a small, non-stick frying pan about 6 inches in diameter on the bottom. Butter it lightly and heat well. Donít allow it to burn! Pour a few tablespoons of the batter into the pan, just enough to give it a thin coating. Tilt the pan back and forth to spread the batter evenly. Cook the cakes over a moderate heat. When they are lightly browned on one side and firm to the touch on top, remove the cakes to a warm plate and keep them warm. In order to assure tenderness, the cakes should not be turned over. This is the secret of tender cakes, but they may be turned over if you donít plan on filling them and desire a slightly harder "nalysnyk". Continue baking in this manner until all of the batter is used up. Butter the pan lightly each time.

Spread the cakes with a sweet or savory filling. If the cakes are not turned over in baking, place the browned side on the outside in rolling. Arrange the cakes in a buttered baking dish, dot each layer with butter (forget about calorie watching!), or sprinkle with browned buttered crumbs. Heat in a moderate oven for several minutes and serve hot.

Fillings for "Nalysnyky":

Cottage Cheese Filling
2 cups cottage cheese
2 egg yolks, ½ teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup or more of sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
A few grains of salt

Mash the cottage cheese or press it through a sieve. Combine with the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Crushed Fruit Filling
Fill "nalysnyky" with crushed sweetened cherries, strawberries, blueberries, black or red raspberries, peaches, or another sweet fruit.

Orange Sauce Filling
3 tablespoons butter
½ cup confectionerís sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup orange juice
½ teaspoon grated orange rind
1-tablespoon sherry (if desired)

Mix all of the ingredients until smooth and creamy.

Maple syrup goes well with "nalysnyky" but would be considered too much of a good thing.


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Updated June 1, 2008 - LS


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