Friday, March 16, 2012
Buckwheat Crepes with Caramelized Apple Filling
As I was flipping through my spring catalogue from King Arthur Flour, a picture of crepes w/ bananas and fudge sauce drizzled on them, jumped out at me for some reason. I hadn't made any crepes from quite some time, and I suddenly felt hungry for some. If you've never made crepes before, I encourage you to try them. They are so simple and make for an elegant, light, after-dinner dessert.
I wanted to try a new crepe recipe and my first thoughts drifted to the buckwheat flour that I now keep in my pantry after trying a recipe for Winter Buckwheat Pancakes by Dorie Greenspan. I really loved the nutty flavor of the buckwheat in the pancakes and I recalled that I had copied down a recipe some time ago, for Buckwheat Crepes, from the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking book. I also did a search on the internet and came across a recipe for Buckwheat Crepes by David Lebovitz. I combined what I thought would work best from both recipes to come up with my version of buckwheat crepes. The recipe from KAF Whole Grain Baking also included a suggested variation, which was to fill the crepes with a caramelized apple filling. Yum! I was sold on the caramelized apple filling, even with no picture, since I love apples and it gave me an excuse to acquire a teeny little 50ml bottle of brandy.
slightly adapted from KAF Whole Grain Baking and a recipe by David Lebovitz
3/8 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
1 cup 2% milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, unsalted, melted
Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Pour the batter into a small bowl, cover the bowl, and stick it in the refrigerator. Usually, I just refrigerate my batter an hour or two, but David suggests an overnight chill so that's what I did.
The next day, remove the batter from the refrigerator about an hour before you plan on making the crepes. I use a small non-stick skillet to do my crepes in, but I can perhaps see a crepe pan in my future, since my non-stick skillet is only ~ 7 inches in diameter and I'd really like my crepes to be a little bigger. An 8 or 9-inch skillet is the best size to make crepes in. Heat your pan over medium low heat and also give the batter a quick stir with a whisk. The batter should be the consistency of heavy cream.
Once it is good and hot, drop a small piece of butter into the pan and wipe it around with a paper towel to coat the surface of the pan. Next, lift the pan off of the heat and pour in ~ 1/4 cup of the batter. (Since my skillet is a little on the small side I usually use slightly less than 1/4 cup.) Once the batter is poured into the skillet, immediately swirl the pan up and down to distribute the batter quickly and evenly over the bottom of the pan.
Once you set the pan back on the heat, the crepe will start to quickly cook and set up. After about a minute, run a small non-stick spatula around the underside edge of the rim of the crepe, then flip the crepe over to cook the other side. I always gently grab the crepe with the fingertips of both my hands to flip. Let the crepe cook on the other side for ~ 30 seconds then slide it out onto a plate. I separate each of my crepes w/ a small piece of parchment or wax paper so they won't stick to each other. Repeat, cooking the crepes until the batter is gone, or until you get tired of making them, like I did. I made about 7 or 8 crepes I think, before I stopped.
Don't be too upset if your first crepe doesn't turn out so well. It takes a little practice to flip them without them getting folded and you'll probably have to adjust the heat on the burner if your crepes are cooking too quickly The crepes are done when they are starting to brown and look dry on top. Your crepes should be fairly thin and flimsy.
I just let my crepes sit at room temperature until after dinner when I made this wonderful filling to fill my crepes, (but you can warm the crepes in the oven in a baking dish covered w/ foil if you want to before filling)
Caramelized Apple Filling
from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking
1 tablespoon butter
1 apple, peeled and thinly sliced (I used a Fuji apple)
1 tablespoon packed light or dark brown sugar (I used light)
1 1/2 teaspoons brandy
Heat the butter in a small saucepan. Once melted, saute the apples until just starting to get tender. Stir in the brown sugar and brandy, and continue to cook until the apples are tender and the sauce has thickened slightly, 5 to 7 minutes. Serve filling inside buckwheat crepes, topped with whipped cream and a little sprinkle of cinnamon. Serve warm and enjoy!!