Recipe: Lemon-Poppyseed Blinis

Blinis, a classic Russian treat, are traditionally topped with sour cream and caviar. This sweet version substitutes poppy seeds for caviar and adds a bit of lemon for a touch of sweet flavor.
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In their most classic state, blinis are made with yeast and buckwheat flour and served alongside a good vodka.

This yeast-free version eliminates the rising time by substituting chemical leaveners and balances out the heavy and, at times overwhelming, flavor of buckwheat by cutting it with all-purpose flour. Adding sour cream to the batter creates an unbelievably light texture, while the sweetened sour cream topping adds a slightly sweeter homage to its Russian cousin.

Substitute a glass or two of sparkling wine for the traditional vodka and these sophisticated blinis are the perfect fingerfood.

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Lemon-Poppyseed Blinis
makes about 50-60 blinis

1/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup sour cream
Zest of one Meyer lemon; divided
Juice of one Meyer lemon
1 large egg
1 tablespoon butter; melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the sweetened sour cream topping:
1/2 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
Zest of 1/2 meyer lemon
Additional poppyseeds for garnish

To make the blinis, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and poppy seeds. In a separate bowl combine granulated sugar, milk, sour cream, lemon juice and 1/2 lemon zest, egg and melted butter.

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet just until combined. Allow the batter to sit for 5 minutes.

Heat 1/2 tablespoon melted butter in a sauté pan and spoon the batter in teaspoon portions. Cook 2 minutes on one side, then flip and cook an additional minute or until browned. Remove from pan and set on cooling rack. Repeat until all the batter is used.

To make the topping, combine sour cream, confectioner's sugar and lemon zest.

Serve blinis topped with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream and a sprinkling of poppyseeds.

Related: Ingredient Spotlight: Buckwheat Flour

(Images: Rebekah Peppler)

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