Berry Blintz Souffle

This recipe? Well, it’s been a long time coming. berry-blintz-souffle-05 I received it about forever ago, which is about a hundred years, or when I was in college.  Berry Blintz Souffle. If I saw it on the menu for weekend brunch, it was a treat I didn’t want to miss.  There was some pretty good food that came out of that university dining hall, food made from scratch with recognizable ingredients.  It’s funny.  I know a lot of people who have quite  a fondness for some of the food that lunch ladies made back then.  Google it.  It’s a “thing.”  People are still searching for some of those well loved recipes. berry-blintz-souffle-01 Back in high school, our lunch ladies made the most amazing cinnamon rolls from scratch.  Every morning. They were moist and fluffy and buttery and filled with cinnamon and they were the size of half a brick.  I remember being in the cafeteria with my friends while we made the decision whether to splurge or not that day. While those rolls were delicious and homemade, they were hardly diet friendly.  Being in the cafeteria during a free morning period while the aroma of fresh baked cinnamon rolls wafted through the dining room was intoxicating.  The high school lunch ladies were awesome. berry-blintz-souffle-02 Suffice to say that I had not tried a cheese blintz before going off to college. We had a pretty diverse and delicious assortment of foods cooked at my house, but cheese blintzes was not one of them.  So this blintz soufflé was a bit of a revelation.  It was like having cheesecake for breakfast. (You know, like muffins and quick breads are like having cake for breakfast :)  It wasn’t too sweet though, nor did I find it too rich. It was just a warm and tender custardy base layered with a lightly sweetened cheese filling, total comfort food.  It kind of tastes like a cross between bread pudding and a cheese danish, but without the bread and not as sweet. berry-blintz-souffle-03 I love that it’s not too sweet.  Just like a pancake, you can add as much sweetness as you want… later.  The addition of fruit syrup is perfect with it, so I wouldn’t want too sweet of a base to start off with.  This is breakfast, not dessert. (Although I did pass this off as dessert to my family, with nary a complaint.) berry-blintz-souffle-07 When I was single and working a ton of hours in retailing, I had little time to cook (or so I thought at the time. My married with children self realizes now that I had oceans of free time back then :)  In any case, I remember finding frozen blintzes that weren’t a big splurge.  They reminded me of the Berry Blintz Souffle from my college years, so I usually kept a box in my freezer for those times I wanted a quick and easy treat for one. berry-blintz-souffle-08 I loved that soufflé and before I left college, I asked for the recipe.  I’ve had it ever since and it’s been lost in the mix of millions of cookbooks and magazines and files upon files of recipes that have never been made.  When I happened upon it last week, it brought back some fond memories of my days back at school.  I couldn’t believe I had forgotten about it when it was something that I had enjoyed so much.

My “married with children self” now appreciates that it’s also a great dish for when you’re making breakfast or brunch for a bigger group.  No making separate crepes, no rolling individual little blintzes;  it bakes up in one pan.  Then just slice the warm soufflé, plate it and top with a ladle full of sweet blueberry syrup and some fresh raspberries. berry-blintz-souffle-09 Tastes as good as I remember.

 

Berry Blintz Souffle

Servings 12 servings

Ingredients

For the souffle:

  • 1/2 cup salted butter softened (1 stick)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream I used light
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

For the filling:

  • 8 ounce package cream cheese cut up (I used Neufchatel or 1/3 less fat)
  • 1 pint low fat small curd cottage cheese 2 cups
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For blueberry syrup:

  • 4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • zest from one lemon
  • dash of cinnamon
  • Fresh raspberries for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter or spray a 13" X 9" baking pan.
  2. In a blender, or large bowl, mix all of soufflé ingredients until blended. Putting everything in a blender would be easiest, but I used a mixer and creamed the butter and sugar first, then added the eggs until combined. Then finished with the sour cream, orange juice, flour and baking powder
  3. Pour half of the batter into prepared pan.
  4. Prepare blintz filling. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until creamy. Add in cottage cheese, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla and beat until well blended. I used a mixer here as well and still had some remaining lumps from the cottage cheese. You could use a food processor instead. Just put all filling ingredients in together and process until smooth.
  5. Spoon filling mixture on top of batter spreading with a spatula if necessary to distribute evenly.
  6. Spoon remaining soufflé batter over the filling and spread as evenly as possible.
  7. Bake uncovered for 50 to 60 minutes until puffed and golden.
  8. While soufflé is baking, make the syrup.
  9. In a sauce pan, combine all of the syrup ingredients. Cook over low heat until mixture comes to a boil. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally until berries break down a bit and mixture thickens and becomes syrupy. You'll see the syrup turn a deep purple as the berries break down and release some of their juices. This will take 5 minutes or so, but watch the pot so that you don't burn the mixture.
  10. Cut the warm soufflé into squares and serve topped with blueberry syrup and fresh raspberries.

Recipe Notes

*You can use a blender or food processor to blend the batter and/or filling. I only used a mixer because it was easier clean up for me.

* I used low fat ingredients wherever possible to help lighten it up a bit, but you can use full fat if that's your preference.

*You can make this dish the night before (unbaked) and bake the next morning after letting it come to room temperature.

*Souffle is best served immediately, but leftovers are fine gently reheated in the microwave. I reheated individual slices for about 20-30 seconds.

Souffle recipe slightly adapted from a college lunch lady friend

Syrup recipe from The Merchant Baker.

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