Ratner's Copycat Kosher Blintz Recipe
Adapted from The World-Famous Ratner's Meatless Cookbook
By Judith Gethers and Elizabeth Lefft
Ratner's, the famous vegetarian dairy restaurant was founded in the heart of the lower east side in 1905 by Jacob Harmatz and his brother-in-law Alex Ratner. In 1918 the thriving restaurant expanded to its better-known location at 138 Delancey Street, where it would remain until its closing.
It was part of the busy, late night city scene, popular with Jewish performers, actors, musicians, and gangsters! Entertainers including Molly Picon, Al Jolson, Fanny Brice, Eydie Gormé, Walter Matthau, Elia Kazan, Groucho Marx, Jackie Mason, Zero Mostel and Alan King were all regular customers, as were politicians such as were Bobby Kennedy and Mayor John Lindsay. The restaurant closed in 2002.
In the research for her website The History Kitchen, popular blogger Tori Avey reports that Ratner's was the favorite restaurant of gangsters Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky whose most loved menu item was cheese blintzes. Tori explains "Like many well-known personalities of the past, these mobsters saw Ratner's as more than just a restaurant. It was a place to hang out, chat, and do business, all while enjoying a dose of Jewish comfort food."
We present the famous and infamous Ratner's cheese blintzes adapted from the 1975 cookbook written by founder Jacob Harmatz's daughter, Judith Gethers and her niece, Elizabeth Lefft. To purchase the famous cookbook, click here: The World Famous Ratner's Meatless Cookbook.
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
4 eggs, room temperature
2 cups water
1/3 cup clarified butter or substitute oil or margarine
Two 8 ounce packages farmer's cheese
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Prepare the filling first
Combine all cheese filling ingredients is a bowl, mix thoroughly and set aside
In a bowl combine eggs and water; blend thoroughly.
Beat in flour and salt; Mixture will be runny.
Pour 2 Tablespoons of the batter into a hot greased 8-9" omelet or crepe pan.
Rotate skillet so bottom of pan is covered evenly.
Cook for 3-4 minutes on one side or until golden.
Remove from pan and repeat process using all of the blintz batter. Pile one on top of the other, uncooked side down. At this point blintz is ready to be filled.
Place 2 heaping Tablespoons of cheese filling on one-half of the unbrowned side of the pancake. Fold pancake over once to cover the filling. Fold in sides of pancake. Continue rolling.
Heat butter in a skillet until hot. Place blintzes, seam side down, in skillet, and sauté until well golden on all sides. Serve hot, with a side of sour cream, applesauce, or your favorite blintz toppings.
Makes 20-24 blintzes
Other Blintz fillings from Ratner's which may be used instead of cheese:
Blueberry: One 1 pound 5 ounce can blueberry pie filling
Grated rind of 1 orange
Apple: One 1 pound 5 ounce can apple pie filling
Grated rind of 1 lemon
Cherry: One 1 pound 5 ounce can cherry pie filling
½ teaspoon almond extract