Thank you for participating in the @abeebakes poll on Instagram! My 24 hour story on Instagram asked if you’ve ever eaten a blini…and the results were fascinating. Every American follower voted “no” and every French follower voted “yes.” Every single one (of those who voted)! I had expected to have an almost 100% “yes” response, but boy, was I wrong. Perhaps you’re one of the rare American’s who’ve had a blini at a company party, wedding, or other special event. Are you?
A blini is simply a miniature pancake, often used as a blank canvas for an appetizer, rather than maple syrup. Blinis originated in Russia, as their version of a pancake, usually served with savory ingredients. You can find blinis served with a smear of cream cheese or dollop of creme fraiche and then topped with a piece of smoked salmon and garnished with capers and a sprig of fresh dill. Another common way to serve them is with caviar. Or with aioli and a piece of shrimp.
The options are endless and entirely up to you. Imagine what you’d like served on a piece of baguette and chances are, they can be served with a blini instead. My husband for example always loved having plain blini’s around so he could spread Nutella on them.
This particular recipe is as simple as can be. I chose to make mine with all-purpose flour instead of a mix of all-purpose and buckwheat flours. (Just personal preference). Traditionally they are made with either buckwheat or wheat flour, pairing nicely with savory toppings. Historically, they were served during the end of winter, their round shape symbolizing and celebrating the sun, that would soon reappear. In France they are often served during the Holidays with fish, foie gras, or caviar, all celebration foods.
Next time you are asked to bring a finger food or appetizer, consider these blinis.