Lights, Latkes and Turkey? It’s Thanksgivukkah 2013!
Friday, 01 November 2013
By Amy Kritzer

Pumpkin Pie BlintzesChanukah, though not a major Jewish holiday, is always a fun one to celebrate. Eight days of presents, dreidel games, lots of fried latkes.

This year, however, on November 28th the first day of Chankukah coincides with Thanksgiving for the first time ever, and the last time for 70,000 years or so. (Seriously!) Thanksgiving plus Chanukah equals Thanksgivukkah! This calls for some serious dishes.

Chanukah celebrates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after the Maccabee warriors miraculously defeated the Syrian army in 165 B.C.E. The foreigners tried to impose paganism over the Jews by forcing them to worship idols and eat non-kosher foods. Afterwards, the small container of oil they found to light the eternal flame lasted a miraculous eight days, so we celebrate the “Festival of Lights” by lighting the menorah. Because of this oil miracle, Chanukah is celebrated with fried foods: latkes, sufganiyot (doughnuts) or blintzes are all popular.

Thanksgiving, celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November, is a time to give thanks for what we have, and also honor the Pilgrims who first settled in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621. That fall, they shared a festive feast with the Native Americans who had helped them survive in the new land. This first Thanksgiving lasted three days, not 8 days like Chanukah but a solid run. The tasty food we relish in- turkey, pie, mashed potatoes, stuffing and all the trimmings- evolved over the years. As did traditions like football watching and long naps on the couch.

So how can you honor each holiday this Thanksgivukkah? With the food of course! It’s time to get creative. Sweet Potato Latkes with Cranberry Applesauce, Fried Turkey with Challah Bread Stuffing, or Pecan Pie Sufganiyot. Sounds delicious, right?  I wanted to honor one of my favorites at the Thanksgiving table- pumpkin pie- in this twist on cheese blintzes. They would be perfect for Thanksgiving, or you could even use leftover pumpkin pie in place of the filling below! Either way, this is shaping up to be the best Thanksgivukkah ever!

Pumpkin Pie Blintzes
Prep time: 1 hour 30 mins • Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 1 hour 50 mins • Serves: 8

For Batter:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, whisked
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter, melted and cooled
Unsalted butter for cooking
Whipped cream, powdered sugar and cinnamon for garnish

For Pumpkin Pie Filling:
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2/3 cup pureed pumpkin
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

First, make your blintz batter. Whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Then add the eggs, milk and butter and whisk until no lumps remain. Let your batter rest in the refrigerator at least 1 hour to let the gluten relax.

While your batter is resting, make the filling by whisking together cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Stir in pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Now time to assemble! To prep, lay 4 large pieces of parchment paper close to the oven. To make blintzes, butter a 9-inch nonstick pan with a thin coat of butter over medium high heat. Then pour ¼ cup of batter into the pan to coat the bottom. Swirl the pan to coat evenly. After about a minute you will see the ends begin to curl up- your blintz is done! Do not flip. Slide blintzes onto parchment paper to allow them to cool. Don’t layer blintzes together or they will stick!

Spread a spoonful of the pumpkin mixture towards the bottom of each blintz. Fold the bottom of the blintz up to cover the filling and then fold the sides in. Then roll like a little Jewish burrito!

Add 1-tablespoon butter back to the medium nonstick pan over medium high heat and cook on each side until golden brown- or about 1-2 minutes per side. Garnish with whipped cream, powdered sugar and cinnamon!

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