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Blin with salmon roe and smetana Traditional Russian and Finnish blin batter takes hours to prepare  —  if you do not have the time or patience, try making instant blins.

350 ml whole milk
250 ml wheat flour
10 g fresh yeast
1 tbsp melted butter
2 eggs
100 ml cream
¼ tsp salt
serve with:
clarified butter
finely chopped onion
diced Russian-type gherkins
chopped hard-boiled eggs
mushroom salad and/or pickled mushrooms
roe of salmon ("red caviar"), rainbow trout, whitefish, vendace, burbot,
etc, or black caviar
gravlax or/and cold-smoked salmon in thin slices
pickled or marinated herring in mustard, dill or sour cream sauce
smoked Baltic herring
smoked reindeer roast, thinly sliced or finely chopped
chopped fresh dill
lemon wedges

Start with dissolving the yeast in the warm milk. Add the flour and the melted butter. Mix until smooth, cover and set to rise in a warm place for several hours or until the batter becomes bubbly. Add the egg yolks and salt and allow to rise for a few hours more.

Finally fold the hard-beaten egg whites and whipped cream into the batter. Immediately fry the pancakes in plenty of clarified butter on both sides either in a special blin-pan (see the picture below) or an ordinary small pan until dark golden brown. Serve hot with the toppings mentioned above.

Blin pans
Russian cast iron blin pans

When eating, first pour melted or clarified butter on the blin and cover it with different combinations of the ingredients mentioned above, or with whatever topping you may like.

Russian blins A classic combination is to use salmon or vendace roe, chopped onion and smetana or chopped hard-boiled eggs, chopped onion and smetana.

If using gravlax or smoked salmon, you can drizzle the fish with lemon juice and sprinkle chopped dill on top.

Blins or bliny (= plural in Russian) are usually served as an appetizer before the main course. Bliny must be eaten piping hot straight from the pan. Like crêpes, pancakes and waffles, bliny can never be made ahead and kept warm  —  reheating will ruin their texture and flavour. The rule is that blins must never wait for the diners but they must wait for the blins :-)

Recipe source: family recipe.


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