DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT A BLINIS RECIPE.
What you English-speaking philistines call ‘blinis‘ are a poor shit-stain excuse for Russian pancakes. In Russia, blini (blini already being the plural of the word blin aka ‘pancake’ in Russian, it’s unclear why the addition of an ‘-s’ is necessary…) are regular-sized thin pancakes served on their own or most often, with a wide array of sweet and savoury fillings. Elsewhere (from my experience in the UK anyway) ‘blinis’ are often served with caviar and a bottle of ‘Dom’ and consumed by the likes of Milly, Clementine and Tristan as they guffaw over the time when Miles went to Waitrose and came back with mozzarella instead of fresh burrata for their canapes. Silly Miles! You know, no one has heard from him since he married that commoner from Surrey and started reading the Guardian. I heard he even pays his taxes now..? Silly, silly Miles.
These pancakes are super easy to make (pancakes in general tend to be) and are a great recipe for when you’ve got company/lots of people that aren’t really that good at cooking assembled in one place. This is not something I’d make if I was just cooking for myself, mainly because it’s boring as hell waiting for each individual pancake when you’ve got no other source of entertainment.
This is a pretty basic recipe – my gran taught it to me when I was little and I haven’t really altered it since. You can be adventurous and start messing with raising agents if you wish, but that will completely alter the texture and taste of the pancakes so…defeats the point of using a recipe? In short – don’t be a tool and follow the instructions.
Slap an apron on and put on some lively music (if you’re feeling the Russian vibe – try this). LOLZ JK.
If you want a legit recommendation for Russian music I wasted a whole 10 mins making this playlist so enjoy it.
- semi-skimmed/full fat milk – 500ml
- eggs – 3
- plain flour – 300g
- caster sugar – 1-2 tbsp (if you want sweet pancakes, add 2-3 more spoonfuls)
- salt – 1 tsp
- vegetable oil – 3 tbsp
- vegetable oil spray/butter for the pan
- Large mixing bowl
- Frying pan suitable for pancake-making (a light weight pan- the heavier the pan the harder it is to flip the pancakes but hey, you’ll be working on THOSE GUNS, SON)
- Cooking scales
- Measuring jug
- A ladle or a giant spoon
- A flour sifter/fine sieve
- Fork/wooden spoon/whisk/fingers to beat the eggs/mix that shit up. Omg pls don’t use your fingers.
- Spatula if needed for flipping over your pancakes
- Break your eggs into a bowl, mix ’em up, add the sugar and salt and mix ’em up again until the mixture is all uniform. Don’t take your anger out on the eggs- pls mix and don’t beat.
- Add 200ml of your milk and mix.
- Sieve the flour into the mix and stir that stuff until you get rid of the lumps. You should have a smooth and thick gloopy mixture. Seriously bro, no lumps.
- Add the rest of the milk and stir the mixture until smooth again. It should now be quite runny, like double cream.
- Add the vegetable oil, mix and put to the side while you sort out your pan.
- HEAT ZE PAN. Test quickly with finger if you’re a moron who doesn’t know how to test if pan is hot. Spray the pan with a little oil or melt a small knob of butter in it. If the pan is too dry the pancakes will stick and you won’t be able to flip. If the pan is too oily – you’ll have one oily pancake and the pan will be dry again for the next pancake anyway.
- Ladle in your mix into the centre of the pan and quickly swivel it around to make sure it spreads out evenly across the pan surface. The more mix you pour the thicker the pancake will be and the longer it will take to cook (durrr).
- Cook the pancake. Do a little dance. Don’t do both simultaneously because you’ll get pancake batter everywhere.
- Once the edges of the pancake start to curl up and you start to see air bubbles on its surface use your spatula, or a fork or something, to lift it up slightly to see if it’s ready. If the pancake looks ready, flip that son-of-a-bitch. If you’re a pussy like me – use your spatula/fork. If you’re a cold-blooded bad ass with a certain set of skills – flip that pancake above your head like Liam Neeson on Shrove Tuesday.
- Cook that beauty for same amount of time on the other side (you can lift with the spatula/fork again to check if the other side is done or you can EXTREME FLIP IT AGAIN).
- Slide that bad boy on a plate and oil up the pan for round 2.
- Repeat until batter has all been transformed into glorious Russian pancake goodness.
Notes: If you find that you made too much batter, you can refrigerate it but I would a) cover it with cellophane or foil or SOMETHING and b) cook that within 2-3 days.
The heat of the other pancakes will normally keep the stack from cooling while you cook the rest but if you’re worried about serving your pancakes cold, you can always preheat the oven or pop them in the microwave for a 30 secs-1 min. Depends how much faffing around you’re doing really (I’ve only had to pop them in the microwave once when dealing with a pancake-ceiling emergency. Turns out I’m no Liam Neeson).
(NB if these don’t taste good on their own – you’re doing something wrong)
If by now you’ve reached the end of the playlist and have fully immersed yourself into the Russian way of life, you will want to serve these with all/some of the following:
- To drink: vodka or sweet black tea
- Sweet toppings: various jams, honey, condensed milk (don’t knock it until you’ve tried it), sour cream on everything
- Savoury toppings: caviar (salmon or trout roe, sturgeon caviar if you’ve feeling Iggy Azalea fancy. Good luck locating the good stuff in London – your best bet is your local Russian/Polish shop), smoked salmon, sour cream on everything – your food, your walls, your furniture. Such is the Russian way.
Obviously British things work too – golden syrup, nutella, ice cream, cheese (not my personal favourite but hey, whatever floats your boat), bacon, maple syrup etc. etc.
Enjoy your pancakes!