Nalysnyky or Налисники [nah-less-neh-keh] are absolutely my favourite Ukrainian dish. My mom calls them “nallies.” You can’t make it in the Instant Pot. So, this is the first non-pressure cooker recipe.
It’s worth the effort. These delicate crepes are filled with cheese and dill, smothered in cream and baked in the oven.
Cheese or mushrooms are the traditional fillings for these Ukrainian crepes. My cheese filling has a lot more dill than traditional recipes. One traditional recipe uses 1 teaspoon for all of the filling. I use ¼ cup.
For a mushroom filling, my recipe for morel mushrooms in cream (or just any mushrooms in cream) fits the bill – if you chop the mushrooms into smaller pieces.
If you’re not experienced making crepes, double the batter so that you have a few to practice on. But, remember that these crepes end up being rolled into nalysnyky so you don’t need perfectly round crepes. Filling and rolling crepes means a lot of weird edges are hidden.
Still, nalysnyky are easy to make. It’s just a little time consuming to make a lot of individual crepes. But, once you get a rhythm, it’s easy to fill a casserole. Double or triple the recipe to make more for later.There are two ways you can roll these up – the method might be a regional style. I place 2 to 3 Tablespoons of the filling in the centre of the crepe. Then, I roll it in thirds – more common in Central Alberta. You can also spread a layer of filling over the whole crepe. Then, roll it like a jelly roll. I’ve been told this method is more popular in Manitoba.
Dry curd cottage cheese is key to this filling. Regular cottage cheese has too much moisture to work here. Need to make your own dry cottage cheese?
These are excellent to freeze, thaw and bake when you need them.
Nalysnyky - Ukrainian crepes with cheese and dill filling
- 10 inch non-stick frying pan
- Casserole with lid
- Blender or hand blender or whisk
- Wire racks
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup milk
- 3 Tablespoons water
- ½ cup all-purpose flour sifted
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups dry curd cottage cheese
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 Tablespoons sour cream
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup fresh dill chopped
- ½ cup sour cream or ½ cup 10% cream
- ½ cup 10% cream or milk
- ½ Tablespoon unsalted butter for greasing the casserole
- ½ Tablespoon unsalted butter for dotting between layers
- Using a whisk, a handheld blender or a blender, whisk 2 eggs with ½ teaspoon salt, ½ cup milk and 3 Tablespoons water.
- Sift ½ cup of flour and whisk into the batter mixture
- Let the batter rest for 30 minutes or up to overnight. This helps the flour absorb the liquid.
- Mix together 2 cups dry curd cottage cheese, 2 egg yolks, 2 Tablespoons sour cream, and ½ teaspoon salt using a blender or just stirring vigorously
- If using a blender, combine ¼ cup chopped dill with the cheese separately so the filling doesn't turn green
- Using a ¼ cup measuring cup, fill it half-way with batter
- Lightly oil a 10-inch non-stick frying pan on medium-high heat. Test the pan is hot enough - droplets of water should sizzle. Swirl the batter to form a thin crepe.
- When bubbles appear in the middle, flip the crepe and cook about 10 seconds on the other side
- Use a wire rack to cool the crepes. When they're cool, they can be stacked until ready to fill
Fill crepes and layer in a casserole
- Preheat your oven to 325°F
- With the "right" (or evenly browned) side down, place 3 Tablespoons of filling in the centre of the crepe
- Fold the bottom third of the crepe onto the filling
- Roll the crepe over so the seam side is down. Squeeze the crepe gently to push the cheese to the edges and remove any air
- Butter a square casserole dish (that has a lid) and arrange four crepes in the dish
- Combine ½ cup sour cream with ½ milk and pour a third of it over the bottom crepe layer. Dot with pieces of butter.
- Continue with the next layer of 4 filled crepes - but arrange them perpendicular to the first layer. Top with a third of the cream/milk mixture and dot with butter. Repeat with the third layer
- Bake in a 325°F oven for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Serve immediately. Smachnoho!