Apparently, “Maslenitsa, Blin!” is a popular name for Maslenitsa cultural events and title for related articles. While Russian-speaking authors and readers enjoy the pun, I wonder how many non-native speakers know about it. Nevertheless, Maslenitsa is coming! Maslenitsa (Ukrainian: Masnytsya, aka Crepe week) is an Eastern Slavic religious and folk holiday, celebrated during the last week before Great Lent. This year, it starts on February 12.
Ask any European home cook, and they will claim their crepes recipe is the best. Some of us are loyal to our family recipes. Others try the recipes shared online until the best to taste is found. My quest ended years ago when I discovered my favorite. I still explore other highly recommended recipes out of curiosity, but “mine” is the one I truly enjoy. What makes it special? The crepes are delicious as plain as served with any sweet and savory additions. Eat them hot, right from the pan or reheated after a few days of being refrigerated — the foodgasm is inevitable.
Since my favorite crepes recipe is terrific for a variety of dishes, I decided to share the best serving ideas of this season. Some of them are quite simple and fun for crowd-pleasing, while other approaches are practical. Neither of them is low calorie, so beware!
Only twice in my life, I had a chance to eat Poltava nalysnyky (Ukrainian crepes) with homemade tvorog (See Recipe Notes about tvorog). Thin and lacy, crepes were quartered, rolled with cheese, layered with sour cream and honey in a deep buttered dish, and slowly cooked for hours in a residual heat of a wood-fired oven. Every bite was like sweet nothings whispered in my ear! (Many bites later, I asked how this goodness was made and realized it was didko (one of the names for the devil in Ukraine) whispering…) The recipe below is inspired by
didko my memories about eating good food in Poltava region and adjusted to inexpensive ingredients we can find in a regular supermarket in the U.S.
If you have good tvorog and sour cream with high-fat content (fat-free dairy products are not acceptable for this recipe!), use them. Otherwise, follow the recipe below with more available ingredients: substitute tvorog with whole milk ricotta and sour cream/crème fraiche — with heavy whipping cream. The flavors won’t be the same, but the melt-in-your-mouth sensation will be there. During the second cooking, crepes absorb moisture and flavors of cheese and cream and that’s what makes them absolutely fantastic. To add tartness, serve crepes topped with fresh raspberries or drizzled with tart fruit syrups.