Blini (Eastern European Crepes)

This recipe was tested and photographed by Market volunteer Janna! Some may be surprised to learn that blini are not the small pancakes served with smoked salmon at cocktail parties. Rather, they are thin Eastern European crepes. This recipe, perfected by Janna's family, has stood the test of time and never fails to impress.

Ingredients – Blini:

-4 cups whole milk
-4 eggs
-2 cups AP flour
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1 tbsp. sunflower oil (or any other neutral oil with a high smoking point)
-Ghee for frying the crepes

Ingredients – Meat Filling (optional):

-Large knob of unsalted butter
-2 onions, finely diced
-227g mushrooms, diced
-800g ground beef
-Black pepper

Directions – Blini:

1. In a large bowl, with an electric hand mixer (or by hand), beat the eggs with the milk until fully combined.
2. Add the flour to the bowl and mix until incorporated. The consistency should be the same as heavy cream. Should it appear too thin, incorporate an additional tablespoon or two of flour; if it seems overly thick (though this is unlikely), adjust with a touch more milk.
3. Whisk in the salt and sunflower oil. Allow the batter to rest for a minimum of 15 minutes at room temperature or refrigerate it overnight.
4. If you had your blini batter in the fridge, let it come to room temperature and give it a light whisk.
5. Heat a knob of ghee in a cast-iron crepe skillet or non-stick alternative over medium-high heat.
6. Once the skillet is hot, pour a 3/4 ladleful of batter into the center.
7. Lift the pan from the heat and gently tilt it in a circular motion to encourage the batter to spread evenly.
8. Return the pan to the heat and cook until the bottom of the crepe is golden and the top is set. Using a spatula, flip the crepe and cook the other side until golden.
9. Transfer the cooked crepe to a plate and cover it with a clean kitchen towel to keep it warm.
10. Repeat steps 6-9 with the remaining crepe batter. Note that every couple of crepes you will have to add more ghee to the skillet to prevent the crepes from sticking.
11. Enjoy these blini sweet with local jam or savoury with a meat filling included below.


Do not worry if your first crepe is a failure! It takes some time to figure out what is the right amount of batter for your pan and the perfect temperature for your pan.
You’ll need sufficient ghee to prevent the crepes from sticking, but be cautious not to use too much. Excessive ghee can result in pools of oil, hindering proper frying and preventing the crepes from achieving a delicate, lacy look.

Directions – Meat Filling (optional):

1. In a large pan, heat the butter over medium heat.
2. Once the butter starts to lightly sizzle, add the onions. Stirring often, cook them until they are translucent and golden.
3. Next add the mushrooms and a large pinch of salt.
4. Once the mushrooms have softened and turned a deeper brown add the ground meat and another large pinch of salt. Break up the ground meat to create a grainy texture to ensure the meat cooks evenly.
5. Make sure to stir every so often to avoid burning.
6. Cook the filling until all the meat is no longer pink.
7. Once ready, season generously with black pepper and salt (if needed) to taste.
8. Fill each crepe with a large tablespoon of the filling and fold the crepe like a burrito. Enjoy!