Heart Shaped Blinis - Make Ahead Appetizers for Valentine's Day

Rich and creamy sour cream is combined with capers and lemon which adds a wonderful flavor on these savory appetizers. Prepare the batter the day before, or or even prepare the blinis as early as the day before your dinner or party and then refrigerate them until you’re ready.  Then reheat them on a baking pan in a 300°F oven till warm. Got gluten-free party guests? Just replace the flour in the recipe with your preferred gluten-free all-purpose baking flour blend plus one teaspoon xanthan gum. Or use Buckwheat flour which is gluten free. You’ll want to have a thermometer available to make sure the water and milk are the proper temperature.

Recipe: Heart-Shaped Blini with Smoked Salmon and Lemon Caper Sour Cream



  • 1 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbs. warm water (110°F to 115°F)
  • 1 cup warm soy, rice or dairy milk (110°F to 115°F)
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup Redwood Hill Farm Plain Kefir
  • 2 Tbs. melted butter or Earth Balance Buttery Spread, plus 1/4 cup for cooking
  • 2 large eggs, separated

Lemon Caper Sour Cream

  • 1 (12-oz) container Green Valley Organics Sour Cream
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed or finely minced (1 tsp.)
  • 3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon zest
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup capers, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • Salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 lb. thinly sliced smoked salmon, cut into bite sized pieces


  1. Stir together yeast, sugar and water in a large bowl to dissolve. Stir in milk and let stand 5 to 7 minutes, until frothy.
  2. Sift flours and salt into a separate bowl. Whisk in yeast mixture, then whisk in Redwood Hill Farm Plain Kefir, melted butter and egg yolks. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, set in a warm place and allow to rise for one hour.
  3. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold into batter, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise 30 minutes longer. The batter should be bubbly.
  4. While the batter rises, whisk together sour cream, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, dill, onion and capers in a small bowl. Adjust seasonings and add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  5. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Place batter in a squeeze bottle using a funnel. Add a tablespoon of melted buttery spread and swirl the pan to coat evenly.
  6. Squeeze the batter into the outline of a heart and fill in the heart outline with batter. Cook about 1 to 2 minutes, until bubbles appear, flip and cook 30 seconds longer.
  7. Place cooked blini on a parchment-lined baking sheet and keep warm in a 200°F oven until ready to serve. Serve topped with smoked salmon and a dollop of Lemon Caper Sour Cream.

Quick notes

Products: Green Valley Organics (sour cream) and Redwood Hill Farm Kefir (blini batter)


Chef’s Make-Ahead Tip: To freeze blini, place parchment paper between each blini, wrap in plastic wrap and foil. To reheat, arrange blini on a parchment-lined baking sheet and warm in a 300°F oven for 10 to 12 minutes.

Number of servings (yield): 8

Culinary tradition: Russian

There are plenty of good reasons why we adore Redwood Hill Farm and Green Valley Organics Lactose Free:

  • They’re committed to producing healthy, all-natural and tasty specialty dairy food without any chemical preservatives, artificial coloring, or stabilizers and they’re made with 100% fresh milk at their solar-powered creamery
  • It’s a Woman-owned, family-operated, and they’ve farmed in a sustainable manner since 1968
  • Their products are Certified Humane and Kosher, and clear of unnatural sugar or powdered mil

Want to learn more their pledge to customers, employees, contributing dairies, and as well as sustainability at http://www.redwoodhill.com/about-us/our-pledge/


Recipe & photo credit:  Redwood Hill Farm and Green Valley Organics