Thursday, April 24, 2014

Cheese Blintz Casserole, Gluten Free



My Grandmother, who was 100% Polish made blintzes often.  She would roll the cottage cheese up into the crepes and place in a 9 x 13 and bake it.  When it came out of the oven it would get slathered with applesauce and enjoyed by everyone.

I have been wanting to make cheese blintzes but wanted to give gluten free crepes a go.  I modified and made the crepes. (If you want a great crepe recipe with regular all purpose flour, click here).  Fortunately, I had some luck on my side because they came out pretty good.  The first one was a wreck, but then it always is, even with regular flour.  After that, I began to get the hang of how they worked, what to do and what not to do.

Here are some rules for making Gluten Free Crepes

1.  Make sure your eggs are room temperature.

2.  Use a non stick skillet- no butter or spray- straight on.

3.  Let them be a little thick rather than spreading the out a little too thin. The gluten free does not have the "glue" that regular flour has to hold it together.  They are very delicate- the thinner they go, the more risk of breakage.  And honestly they are so light even thicker.

4. Let the crepe lose its gloss before you flip it.  This is also true with pancakes, if it is shiny- don't flip.

5. Have your flame a little below medium. You don't want your pan too hot. No sizzling.

After making all my crepes I made my filling.  The cottage cheese that I was using was way too runny- bummer- should have bought the good stuff.  I decided to go with a crepe and cheese layered blintz casserole.

There is nothing better than a casserole.  You get most of your prep dishes out of the way before you even sit down to dinner.  Then you just have your serving dish and plates.  Beautiful!
Torn crepe- this always happens with the first one.
Gluten Free Cheese Blintze Casserole

Crepes:

1 cup gluten free flour blend, your choice
1 1/2 tablespoons arrow root powder (or cornstarch)
4 eggs
2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons melted butter
pinch of salt
2 1/2 cups 2% milk

Filling:

48 ounces cottage cheese
5 eggs
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons arrow root powder (or cornstarch)
Getting better with practice.
Make the crepes: Whisk the eggs, milk, butter, sugar and salt together until combined and a bit whipped- about a couple minutes.  In a smaller bowl whisk the flours together and then add enough of the liquid to make a paste.  Whisk the paste into the larger bowl, combining all of it.  (making the paste will reduce the lumps that might form).

Take out a 1/3 of a cup and carefully pour it onto the skillet, slowly.  Move the skillet around so that your crepe is somewhat circular.  This does take practice. Before you take out your next 1/3 of a cup to put on the skillet, make sure you stir as stuff will settle between crepes.

Repeat process until all the crepes are made.

Make the filling:  Combine the cottage cheese, eggs, sugar, vanilla and arrow root powder in a large bowl.


Make the casserole: Spray non stick cooking spray in a 9 x 13 casserole dish.  Make a layer of crepes to cover the bottom and a little up the sides.


Spoon 1/2 of filling over crepes.  Cover with another layer of crepes.  Spoon the remainder of the filling over the crepes.  Layer once again with crepes over top.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 350F oven for 45 minutes.  Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes so it sets up.

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