I tend to hibernate during this time of year. Not in the sleeping sense; But, rather in the “I don’t want to go anywhere because it’s cold and snowing and everyone’s sneezing and coughing all over the place” sense. I prefer to take care of my sick kids and husband, (they’re always sick this time of year. It sucks.) tell the fix-it man that the dishwasher will have to wait until next week and then make myself some crêpes in my sweatpants. Is there anything wrong with that? I think not.
I must admit that crêpes are one of the more difficult things to explain how to execute, which is why I decided that I’d use Julia Child’s master crêpe recipe and then tag on the filling. She has a certain way about her that people enjoy. I think it lies in the detailed explanation that seems to help a lot of home cooks, while others take one look at the sheer length of her recipes and want to cry and run away. Try not to be overwhelmed. If you think about it…it’s just a thin pancake. You know how to make pancakes. Nobody’s scared of pancakes. And, they make nonstick pans these days, which is a lovely invention that I recommend using for this task to make it really easy.
If you practice enough or just have the natural knack for it, they’re really quite simple to whip up. It’s a skill and an art that is fairly easy to learn, in my opinion. If you’re just cooking for yourself and they don’t come out perfectly, just eat them anyway and chalk it up to the learning curve. Not everything has to look perfect to taste phenomenal.
Full disclosure: I filled the wrong side of this crepe, the inside was much more golden that the side showing. Did it stop me from eating it?
This filling is creamy and rich utterly enjoyable. The tart and sweetly tangy crimson berry syrup is intoxicating in aroma and taste. It’s sweet with a subtle pucker that’s smoothed by the richness of the crêpe and berries. Try it and enjoy it.
- 3/4 cup cold milk
- 3/4 cup cold water
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoon orange liqueur, rum, or brandy
- 1 cup flour (scooped and leveled)
- 5 tablespoon melted butter, plus more for brushing the pan
- 1 cup fromage blanc
- 1 cup marscarpone
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest (from 1 large orange)
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from 1 large orange)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups frozen mixed berries
- splash (1-2 tablespoons) of orange liqueur (optional)
- confectioner’s sugar
- unsweetened whipped cream or creme fraiche
- Place milk, water, egg yolks, sugar, orange liqueur, flour and butter in the blender jar in said order. Cover and blend at top speed for 1 minute. If bits of flour adhere to sides of jar, dislodge with a rubber scraper and blend 3 seconds more. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hour or overnight.
- Brush the skillet lightly with butter. Set over moderately high heat until the pan is just beginning to smoke.
- Immediately remove from heat and, holding the handle of pan in your dominant hand, pour with your remaining hand a scant 1/4 cup of batter into the middle of the pan. Quickly tilt the pan in all directions to run the batter all over the bottom of the pan in a thin film. (Pour any batter that does not adhere back into your bowl; judge the amount of your next crêpe accordingly.) This whole operation takes but 2 or 3 seconds.
- Return the pan to heat for 60 to 80 seconds. Then jerk and toss the pan sharply back and forth and up and down to loosen the crêpe. Lift its edges with a spatula and if the under side is a nice light golden color, the crêpe is ready for turning.
- Turn the crêpe by using 2 spatulas; or grasp the edges nearest you in your fingers and sweep it up toward you and over again into the pan in a reverse circle; or toss it over by a flip of the pan.
- Brown lightly for about 1/2 minute on the other side. As they are done, slide the crêpes onto a rack and let cool several minutes before stacking on a plate (I add parchment between each layer to prevent sticking). Grease the skillet again, heat to just smoking, and proceed with the rest of the crêpes.
- In a medium mixing bowl, beat together fromage blanc, mascarpone, sugar and orange zest on medium speed with an electric mixer or to blend by hand, briskly using a fork. Add vanilla extract and berries to hot buttered pan to simmer and thicken. Once berries are hot and the crimson berry syrup coats the back of a spoon add orange liqueur and simmer for fifteen more seconds. Using a slotted spoon, scoop berries into creamy cheese filling, reserving the syrup in the pan. Mix the berries into the creamy cheese mixture. Fill crepes and tri fold with creamy cheese berry mixture. Drizzle the reserved syrup over folded crepes and top with confectioner’s sugar and/or unsweetened whipped cream or creme fraiche.