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Back Forty’s Berry Blintzes

August 2, 2010

By Pat Tanner

I recently attended a wine tasting and brunch at Back Forty, Peter Hoffman’s second restaurant (he of Savoy fame) in lower Manhattan. One aim was to demonstrate that wines – even California chardonnay and syrah – can pair well with typical brunch dishes. Perfectly proving the point that mimosas can be banished once and for all were the full-bore but nuanced wines of Bouchaine Vineyards in the Carneros region of Napa Valley. (

The “dessert” course, courtesy of Back Forty’s chef de cuisine Shanna Pacifico, was blintzes (filled crepes) with artisanal ricotta and strawberries macerated in balsamic vinegar. Pacifico was kind enough to share this can’t-miss recipe. Any berry or mix of berries will do, such as blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries, and fresh mint can replace the basil.


2 cups strawberries, washed and halved

2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

Juice of 1/2 lemon

6 tablespoons ricotta cheese, preferably fresh and locally made

10 fresh basil leaves

For the crepes:

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 eggs

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 cup water

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons butter

  1. In a bowl, combine strawberries, balsamic, and sugar. Allow to macerate for at least an hour before serving. Add the lemon juice right before serving.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and the eggs. Gradually add the milk and water, stirring to combine. Add the salt and butter; beat until smooth.
  3. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or skillet over medium-high heat. Pour the batter on the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each crepe. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly.
  4. Cook each crepe for about 2 minutes, until the bottom is lightly brown. Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side briefly.
  5. Take three crepes and fill with about 2 tablespoons of the ricotta. Wrap the crepe into a burrito shape. Top the crepe with the macerated strawberries and some fresh basil.

Serves 3

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