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Skillet blintzes with lemon, mascarpone and thyme

Brunch Dessert
Serves 4
Prep 25 min
Cook 20 min

Blintzes, which are of Ashkenazi-Jewish origin, are filled and rolled pancakes. Here, we’ve used the cheesecake mix which would normally fill them as a base, which melts into a pool of warm, lemony, creamy sauce once grilled. The batter makes eight crepes, so either double up on the filling quantities or save the remaining crepes for another day.


125g plain flour
2 eggs
300ml whole milk
70g unsalted butter, melted
+ Salt
2 lemons
75g caster sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
3-4 sprigs thyme, plus 1 tsp picked leaves
1½ tsp vanilla bean paste
100g mascarpone
50g double cream
130g good-quality lemon curd
½ tsp icing sugar
1 tbsp toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped


  1. Put the flour, eggs, milk, 20g melted butter and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt into the jug of a blender and blitz for 30 seconds, until smooth. Pour into a medium jug, cover with kitchen wrap and set aside.
  2. Put a 20cm nonstick crepe pan (or frying pan) on a medium heat and, when hot, brush the surface with a little butter. As soon as it sizzles, pour 60ml batter into the centre of the pan and swirl it around into a thin, even layer. Cook for 30 seconds, until lightly golden brown, then flip and cook it for 20 to 30 seconds on the other side. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining crepe batter. Keep the remaining tablespoon or so of melted butter to one side.
  3. Using a small, sharp knife, cut the tops and tails off the lemons, then cut off the skin and pith, working down the fruit’s natural curves. Place a sieve over a small bowl. Working over the bowl, slice in between each membrane to release the lemon segments into the sieve. Squeeze whatever is left of the lemons into the same bowl, to get an extra tablespoon of juice. Put the segments into a separate small bowl.
  4. Put the caster sugar in a small saucepan on a medium-high heat and cook, swirling the pan gently, until it melts and turns to an amber caramel. Take off the heat, add the lemon juice – careful: it will splutter! – a tablespoon of water, a pinch of salt and the thyme sprigs, and whisk until smooth and melted. Add half a teaspoon of the vanilla, then pour the mix over the lemon segments and stir to combine. Heat the grill to its highest setting. In a medium bowl, combine the remaining teaspoon of vanilla with the mascarpone, double cream and 50g lemon curd and stir until smooth, then spread out over the base of a round shallow 26cm baking dish.
  5. Spread a tablespoon of the remaining lemon curd over one of the crepes, then fold it in half, and then in half again, so you have a triangle. Repeat with the remaining curd and three crepes, then arrange them on top of the mascarpone cream. Brush with the reserved melted butter and sift the icing sugar over the top. Grill for four to five minutes, until golden and are starting to catch a little around the edges, then remove. Drizzle with some of the lemon thyme syrup, scatter over the hazelnuts and serve hot with extra syrup alongside.