Saturday, February 14, 2009

Savory Crepes and Dessert Crepes with Lemon Curd and Strawberry Compote

Yesterday afternoon involved me being hungry and grumpy and reading Tastespotting, which is a terrible combination. Because I’ve been using my Moosewood cookbook so much, it was up here next to the bed when I usually blog. Yes, I blog from bed. That’s what my laptop is for! Anyway, I started flipping through that and came across her recipe for crepes, which I have on my ambitious list of recipes to make. Of course, while looking through it, I realized a) there was no milk in the house and b) hardly any eggs.

Luckily, Aaron came to my rescue and helped me out of my grumptastic mood and went grocery shopping. He returned with all the things I needed and I was off on my mission to make crepes! The recipe itself is quite easy. The hard part of finding the correct pan temperature and spinning the pan around to get a good sized crepe. My first one was perfect…so we ate it. The next few were weird shaped or split it half. So I ate those ones too. Finally, I was able to get into a groove and made 5 decent size ones and 2 small ones. My goal is to be able to make good size crepes consistently. It is difficult! The thing starts cooking and you have to spin it around before all the batter runs out and you get spindly bits that stick out. Man, Alton Brown made this look far too easy. (PS: I totally have a nerd girl crush on Alton. His show is almost the only watchable thing on the Food Network.)

Anyway, despite the mishaps, these are very, very tasty. The thing I love about crepes is that you can have them for dinner, for dessert, just because, and you can fill them with whatever you want. Or just eat them. Last night we had them for dinner and after our friend came over, a couple for dessert.

Crepes from The New Moosewood Cookbook:

Yield: 8-10 7” crepes (if you’re good!)

1 large egg
1¼ c. milk (I use 1% because that’s what Aaron drinks. I have milk issues.)
1 c. flour
¼ tsp. salt
A few drops of oil for the pan

She has a note here that you need a 6 or 7” crepe or omelette pan. As I recall from Alton’s show about crepes, this is crap (if you pronounce that with Maurice Chevalier-esque French accent, it’s a bad pun). A heavy, nonstick skillet will work. Even if mine weren’t all even and perfect, the pan performed like a champ. I’m just a n00b.

Place egg, milk, flour, and salt in a blender or food processor, and whip until smooth.

Heat pan. After a few minutes, lightly brush its entire surface with oil. When the pan is hot enough to sizzle a drop of water instantly on contact, pour in approximately ¼ cup batter/ Slowly tilt the pan in all directions until the batter thoroughly coast the bottom. Pour off any excess batter. The pancake should be thin. This is the hard part. Mine weren’t perfectly thin or perfectly shaped, but it got easier as I went on. This is definitely something that needs practice. Cook on one side over medium heat until set, about 20 seconds, then turn over (use a plastic spatula) and cook for just another second or two on the other side.

Turn crepe out onto a clean, dry dinner plate, and repeat the procedure until you have used up all the batter. (If you keep the pan hot, you won’t have to add any additional oil. I did not find this to be true for me as I had to keep adjusting the heat. Maybe when I get it right…) You can pile the finished crepes on the plate – they won’t stick together.

Cover the plate tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until use. The crepes will keep well for at least a week.

To fill, simply place a small amount of whatever filling at one end of the crepe and fold over sides and end to make a need little packet. Filled crepes can be heated gently, covered, in a 325 degree oven or sautéed in a little butter just before serving. My husband and I did ours a little differently. We tried to fold them in packets with an open middle to resemble some we had while in Tours, France. This worked out, but involved the use of many toothpicks.

Anyway, for our dinner crepes, we had:

Sharp cheddar cheese
Sweet onion, chopped
4 eggs, fried (like an omelette that hasn’t been folded over)
Hot sausage (for Aaron)

Fill these and place covered in a 325 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Very, very tasty.

The dessert ones were a little more complicated. I was so in love with the Citron Strawberry ones we had at Le Happy a couple weeks ago, I had to try it at home. The original lemon curd and strawberry compote recipes can be found here and here.

Lemon Curd from Gourmet Magazine via

¾ c. fresh lemon juice (this was about 2 medium size lemons)
1 Tb. finely grated fresh lemon zest (1 medium size lemon)
¾ c. granulated sugar
1 stick (½ c.) unsalted butter, cut into bits
2 Tb. cornstarch
½ tsp salt
4 large egg yolks

Simmer lemon juice, zest, sugar, butter, cornstarch, and salt in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderately high heat, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Lightly beat yolks in a small bowl, then add 1/4 cup lemon mixture, whisking. Add yolk mixture to remaining lemon mixture, then reduce heat to low and cook, whisking constantly, until curd is thick enough to hold marks of whisk, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, then cover surface with plastic wrap and chill.

Strawberry Compote from Gourmet Magazine via

2 ½ c. strawberries (I used whole frozen unsweetened and it worked out fine), trimmed
¼ c. fresh orange juice (I used Trader Joe’s concentrate and again, fine)
2 tsp. granulated sugar

Halve strawberries lengthwise if small or quarter if larger. Whisk together orange juice and superfine sugar in a bowl until sugar is dissolved and add strawberries, tossing to coat.

Fill the crepes with lemon curd and compote and serve with extra because they are both just so delicious. Heat gently for about 5 minutes. As you can see from the pictures, I gave up on the whole packet thing and just folded them in half. Still tasty though! I think this was a good home attempt at a restaurant recipe. I have a bunch of lemon curd leftover, so I need to figure out something to do with that. Maybe just make more crepes? We’ll see.


Carrina said...

Wow, thanks for the detailed instructions on the tricks and perils of crepe-making! I'm thinking about trying these out next week but am very intimidated by the whole making-it-round-and-peel-off-able thing. I have a feeling I will be referring to my laptop a lot during the process!

Johanna said...

I love the Moosewood cookbooks!And I don't own any of them, I have just leafed through my friends. I love reading about your crepes, but I am so lazy! I will dream about them...

Becca said...

You can definitely do it Carrina! It's not super hard and even the funny looking ones still taste great.

You should try to pick one of them up from the library if you can, Johanna. Or long term borrow from your friends! I am getting so much use out of mine and I've only had it since December!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...