Soft Polish crepes or Nalesniki filled with a smooth, sweet and delicious quark cheese filling.
These nalesniki or Polish crepes are some of the best crepes ever! You will love every bite of those tender thin crepes and their cheese filling.
I have a passion for crepes. I make them often and I make lots of them, all the time. My children adore them too, so if for some reason I don't think about making crepes for a while, it is a sure thing that one of the kids would remind me.
I usually make regular crepes filled with sugar or jam or ham and cheese. But now and then I try something more unusual, like the French Crepes with Rhubarb Compote, Wild Garlic or Beetroot Crepes. Today's nalesniki recipe is a bit more special than my usual stuff as well. Not so much the crepes themselves, but the filling.
Table of contents
- I used a mixture of milk and sparkling water and I loved the result, I find that the sparkling water makes the crepes even softer and fluffier than they usually are.
- I never add sugar to the batter. I always fill part of the crepes with ham and cheese and sometimes with another savory filling, so the sugar would not be suitable in this case. And, when eating sweet pancakes, you already have the sugar in the filling.
- Quark with about 20% fat. You can use low-fat quark as well, but in this case, I prefer the medium one. It is dessert after all. 🙂 And if you like quark, try these Fluffy Quark Muffins.
- Two egg yolks. As the egg yolks will remain raw in the filling, it is preferable to use pasteurized eggs just to be on the safe side.
- Vanilla sugar or regular sugar and a little pure vanilla extract.
- Read below for more suggestions on how to fill the nalesniki pancakes.
How to make nalesniki?
- Making these Polish crepes is easier than you might think. Just whip together the ingredients, let them rest for a while and fry the crepes. Fill them with whatever you like, either sweet or savory, and enjoy.
- Whip up the ingredients preferably using a hand-held mixer or a blender, if you like. My grandmother used to whip the ingredients with a regular whisk, however, nowadays I find that using an electric mixer not only speeds up the process but makes the batter smoother and nicer to work with.
- When using an electric mixer, let the batter rest for a while. When you mix the ingredients, there will be a bit of foam forming, and if you start making the crepes immediately, the crepes will be full of holes.
- So make sure to let the batter rest until the foam disappears, about half an hour should be enough.
- But, if you want you can make the batter well in advance, well covered it will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge.
- In this case, the batter will thicken considerably, but you can easily thin it again by adding a bit more milk and stirring well, with a regular whisk this time, so that the foam will not form again.
- A good non-stick pan is a must!
- They will allow you to use only a very small amount of fat when frying and the crepes will not stick.
- I pour a few tablespoons of vegetable oil into a small bowl and only brush the pan lightly before each crepe.
- And remember, no matter what pan you use, the first crepe will probably break. Just eat it immediately and forget about it!
The technique for making crepes
- Heat the pan over medium-high heat. Pour some vegetable oil into a small bowl. Brush the pan with a little oil.
- Use a soup ladle to pour the batter into the pan. Take the pan into the left hand (if you are right-handed) and pour the batter into the pan. Slowly rotate the pan to make sure that the batter spreads evenly onto the bottom of the pan.
- Cook for one or two minutes on the first side, until the bottom is lightly browned and the top looks set. Loosen it by going around the edges of the pan using a rubber spatula, then flip it on the other side using the spatula.
- Fry the second side for only about half a minute. Stack them together on a plate and keep warm in the oven while you make the rest.
Keep the crepes warm in the oven at about 100 degrees Celsius/ 210 degrees Fahrenheit.
You could even reheat them later, either in the microwave (I read about it, but never did it myself, I don't have a microwave) or in the oven (I do that often). Place the crepes on a baking tray lined with baking paper, cover them with foil and reheat in the preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius/ 350 degrees Fahrenheit. It should take between 5 and 10 minutes, just check if they are warm.
You could also reheat them in the pan, just for a few seconds on each side, and make sure you don't burn them.
Refrigerator: Stack crepes in foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 days. Reheat them in the pan.
Freezer: Stack but separate them with foil. Freeze for up to 2 months. It is preferable, but not entirely necessary, to defrost them before reheating. Reheat gently in the pan.
Filling: It keeps well in the fridge for 2-3 days. I would not freeze it.
How to serve?
- Serve the Polish crepes with the quark filling, it is so good. Add a dollop of jam on top to make them even better. Otherwise whatever filling you like is fine!
- Sweet fillings: sugar, jam, compote, cottage cheese with honey and banana slices, any other fresh, canned, or stewed fruit or berries, Nutella, ice cream, and so on.
- Savory fillings: ham and cheese, only cheese (different sorts), ground meat sauce, chicken with various sauces, stir-fried vegetables, and so on.
Other sweet dishes that can replace lunch
Nalesniki Recipe - Polish Crepes
- Crepe batter:
- 2 eggs
- 250 ml/ 8.5 fl.oz/ 1 cup sparkling water
- 250 ml/ 8.5 fl.oz / 1 cup milk
- 200 g/ 7 oz/ 1 ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
- a pinch of salt
- jam to serve optional (Note 1)
- 450 g/ 1 lb/ 2 ¼ cups quark 20% fat
- 2 egg yolks Note 2
- 5-6 tablespoons sugar to taste
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract Note 3
- Place all the ingredients into a mixing bowl. Mix well with an electric mixer, then cover and let rest for about half an hour, most of the foam that has formed should be gone. In the meanwhile make the filling.
- The egg yolks in the filling will remain raw, so use pasteurized eggs, if that worries you. Place all the ingredients into a bowl and mix well until smooth. Cover and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
- Heat a crepe pan or a nonstick pan on medium-high heat. Pour some vegetable oil into a small bowl. Brush the pan with a little oil.
- Use a soup ladle to pour some batter into the pan. Take the pan into the left hand (if you are right-handed) and slowly pour the batter into the pan. Slowly rotate the pan to make sure that the batter spreads evenly onto the bottom of the pan. Keep in mind that the crepes should be thin, so don't add too much batter to the pan, just enough to cover its bottom with a thin film of batter.
- Cook the crepe for one or two minutes on the first side, until the bottom is lightly browned and the top looks set. Loosen the crepe by going around the edges of the pan using a rubber spatula, then flip it on the other side using the spatula. Fry the second side for only about half a minute.
- Stack the crepes together on a plate and keep them warm in the oven while you make the rest. Place some of the filling onto the crepes and either roll or fold them.
- Serve warm with a small dollop of jam, if you like.
- Nutrition is calculated without the jam. I had an apricot jam, but anything you like is fine.
- Use the egg yolks from pasteurized eggs to be on the safe side.
- Instead of sugar and vanilla extract, use vanilla sugar, if available.
Angie@Angie's Recipes says
They look mouthwatering!
Thank you, Angie.
Alina @ Delicious Romania says
I just love reading about your grandma, she had such a strong personality. 🙂 I've also never tried adding sugar to the batter, I guess it becomes caramelized in the pan and might stick to it... or it would make the crepes less soft. Your crepes look perfect, and this combination with quark and jam sounds yummy!
She was quite something, my grandma... Not exactly the soft grandmother type, but at least she took care of me... 🙂
Add the sugar if you want to, it will not stick to the pan. When I make crepes I never add sugar or flavours (vanilla or something else) as I might make them with savoury filling too. But, when I make pancakes (thick ones), I sometimes add sugar and they are fine.
I heard that so many times from my grandma, I was always afraid to actually try it... 🙂 🙂 But it is good to know that it works. But most of the times when I make crepes I fill half of them with ham and cheese, so I prefer to leave the batter plain.
Your crêpes bring back childhood memories... but yours look much lighter and thinner! The Polish traditional ones are usually thicker and almost as filling as bigos 😉 Though maybe nowadays some people make healthier, thinner crêpes.
Nice idea to serve them with apricot jam!
Sparkling water in a crepe recipe? That's a new one for me. That I've got to try. This dish just looks so irresistibly good that I'm just going to have to give it a try. Your pictures are incredible.
Thank you, MJ. Sparkling water makes the crepes really fluffy, you should try it.
Oh, wow! These look astounding. I love the simplicity of crepes and the variety of fillings and ways you can eat them. I don't think we have quark in the U.S. but I wonder if strained yogurt or whipped cream cheese can be substituted. Absolutely delish. -Kim
Crepes are just a perfect dish for me, I could eat them anytime and with any kind of filling, well except with nutelly, my kids love that but I find it terrible... 🙂 Quark is really good and healthy and you can buy it anywhere in Germany, it's probably even cheaper than yogurt. I was thinking about making it at home and posting a recipe, I used it quite often in my recipes, maybe it would not be bad to offer a recipe for homemade quark for the American readers. Strained yogurt or whipped cream cheese would taste great as well in this combination, I am sure.
I too have a passion for crepes. They are so versatile and you can fill them with just about anything. I've never had quark, but I understand it's quite delicious. It's impossible to find here, but maybe online? I'll try.