Crepe-tastic

I have been on a bit of a crepe kick recently.  At least one morning of every recent weekend has found me whipping up a batter, forming myriad paper-thin rounds of sweetness and filling them with whatever my latest passion is. 

First, I made pear crepes.

I flavored the crepes themselves with vanilla, filling the tender circles with cardamom-caramelized pears.

Next, it was apple-black currant crepes, made with the last of the farmer’s market apples and a handful of the black currants from the freezer.  The currants turned the filling a deep purple and brough an almost woodsy, piney flavor to the meal.

I got a little crazy with the cinnamon.  Both the filling and the crepes were flavored with it, and it was, as you can see, dusted liberally over the top. 

My last crepe experiment, though, was defintely the most elaborate.  A few weeks ago I was reading a novel that mentioned a particular Austrian dessert–crepes layered with apricot jam, toasted ground pecans, and grated chocolate.  This idea wedged itself firmly into my mind and would NOT dislodge.  After weeks of dealing with apricot-pecan-chocolate daydreams, I gave up and made the thing.  And, given that I’ve never seen a recipe for anything like it, made it up, as well.  (That is, I certainly don’t believe that I made up the recipe or the idea, but I made up what I was doing as I went along).  Also, I made it for breakfast. 

I arrayed my ingredients next to the stove: 1. a food processor bowl full of my thinnest crepe batter.  2. a jar of my apricot jam, lightly sweetened (my jam is essentially just concentrated apricot puree, so it needs a little additional sweetener sometimes).  3. a bowl of toasted pulverized pecans (which I could not keep from eating with a spoon as I progressed).  4. a small bag of cacao nibs.  Yes, I could have used grated chocolate, but the idea of the nubbly, bitter cacao nibs lodged itself in my mind right next to the original recipe, and they merged almost without my knowing it.  To make up for the extremely dark flavor of the nibs (and the intensity of the apricot puree), I sweetened the crepe batter much more than I usually do. 

The assembly began.  A crepe.  A smear of jam.  A sprinkling of nuts, then nibs.  Repeat.  Repeat ten times.  Repeat until there is a cake-sized edifice of lacy crepes and gooey filling, waiting to be eaten. 

Eaten it was.  I took the picture after I cut the whole cake in half, the better to see the innards.

It was delicious.  The light sweetness of the crepes was a perfect foil for the tartness of the jam, the toastiness of the pecans and the bitterness of the cacao nibs.  Every bite tasted buttery, even though I’d used no butter in its making.

We ate it all, instantly and eagerly, in spite of the fact that it was so rich and intense that we almost couldn’t stand it.  It was truly a confluence of disparate factors creating a harmonious whole. 

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Published in: on November 7, 2007 at 9:20 am  Leave a Comment  

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