So after my super long hiatus, I took a cue from you Sarah and decided to try something from Mastering the Art of French cooking- crepes! This morning I made Cinnamon Apple Crepes for breakfast (although by the time I finished it was noon so I suppose this was lunch). The crepes were adapted from MtAoFC- just the basic crepe batter for savory crepes (not dessert). The filling is my own invention, apples cooked in butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and a bit of rum. This was really really good.
Begin by making your crepe batter. Combine 1/2 cup cold milk, 1/2 cup cold water, 2 eggs, 1/4 tsp salt, 3/4 cup flour, and 2 tbs melted butter in a blender and mix on high for one minute. Cover and put in the fridge while you make your filling. MtAoFC said to let the batter sit for at least 2 hours, but who has time for that?? My batter sat for about 20 minutes and the crepes turned out fine.
Next peel and dice 3 granny smith apples (I only did 2 and couldn’t stuff the crepes to capacity which was very very sad). Actually, 4 apples might be better and leftovers are delicious…
In a saucepan over medium heat, combing 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Stir the mixture till it is thoroughly combined and bubbling gently (2~3 minutes).
Toss in your diced apples and stir to coat them in your syrup. Add 1/4 cup dark rum and stir gently. Allow your mixture to bubble gently for about 5 minutes or until the apples are soft and the syrup no longer smells like alcohol. I converted this recipe from one for bananas foster and you’re supposed to light the rum on fire to make a flambé. I tried that here, but it wouldn’t catch. I think the apples released too much water and it diluted the rum too much to allow for ignition. It’s okay, if you allow the mixture to cook down the flavors become more concentrated and the alcohol all burns off. Seriously tasty stuff. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside.
Lightly brush a 7" chef’s skillet (pan with gently sloping sides) with vegetable oil (or use a vegetable oil spray) and set over medium heat.
When the oil is smoking hot, take the pan off the heat and pour in a little less than 1/4 cup of batter. Swirl immediately so the entire bottom of the pan is covered in a thin layer of batter. Place the pan back on the heat and allow the crepe to cook for 60~80 seconds.
As soon as the edges look slightly brown, flip your crepe over. I did this by pinching an edge with thumb and forefinger on both hands and gently flipping it, but you can also use a wide rubber spatula or if you’re really cool you can jerk the pan slightly upward just as you draw it back to you and flip it in the air (thank you Julia Child). Allow the other side to cook for about 20 seconds or until it is slightly browned. The second side doesn’t cook nearly as nicely as the first side because there are all these air pockets that get in the way and you end up with this ugly spotty mess. The second side of the cooked crepe always ends up as the inside of the served crepe, just because the first side cooked is always the prettiest with all it’s lacy brown coloring. See?
Repeat this process till all of the batter is used up (I made 10 crepes). Keep the crepes stacked one on top of another and that will keep them warm and pliable. Fill each crepe with the cooked apples and roll into a crepe shape keeping the end of the crepe tucked underneath. Drizzle with the brown sugar sauce and serve warm. Tony mentioned he would have liked some whipped cream with the crepes. I understand, something creamy would have definitely added to the experience. If these had been for dessert I would have served them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I think I’ll take some ricotta cheese and mix in a little bit of honey and spread that on the bottom of each crepe next time, then put the apples on top, sort of like a cheese blintz. What do you think?
Cinnamon Apple Crepes
For the crepes:
- 1/2 c cold water
- 1/2 c cold milk
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 c flour
- 2 tbs melted butter
For the apple filling:
- 1/2 c butter
- 1/2 c brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 3 granny smith apples (peeled and diced)
- 1/4 c dark rum
Begin by making your crepe batter. Combine 1/2 cup cold water, 1/2 cup cold milk, 2 eggs, 1/4 tsp salt, 3/4 cup flour, and 2 tbs melted butter in a blender and mix on high for one minute. Cover and place in the fridge to set while you make your filling.
To make the filling heat 1/2 cup butter in a large skillet and add 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Stir to combine. Add the apples and toss to coat. Add the rum and stir gently. Allow the mixture to bubble slightly until the apples are soft and the syrup no longer smells like alcohol (about 5 minutes). Set aside.
Lightly brush a 7" chef’s skillet with vegetable oil and place over medium heat. When the oil is smoking hot, remove the pan from the heat and pour in slightly less than 1/4 cup crepe batter. Swirl so the batter evenly coats the bottom of the pan. Return the pan to the heat and allow the crepe to cook for 60~80 seconds or until the edges of the crepe turn slightly brown. Flip the crepe and cook the other side for about 20 seconds or until that side is just barely browned. Remove to a plate and repeat the process till all the batter is gone (makes about 10 crepes).
Fill each crepe with the desired amount of apple mixture and roll tucking the seam underneath. Drizzle with the brown sugar mixture and serve warm. A scoop of vanilla ice cream makes a fantastic side. Enjoy!