If weekends call for pancakes, the weekend that falls closest to Valentine’s Day calls for crêpes – preferably stuffed with sauteed apples or pears and topped with a generous dollop of maple syrup-spiked whipped cream.
If you’ve never made a crêpe, all it takes is a little practice to master the technique. The ingredients are easy – don’t worry about wrecking a crêpe or two (or seven) in the process. Just know it will happen, and happens to everyone, and they taste good even when they don’t look perfect. The trick is to make sure the batter has the texture of heavy cream, then pour and tilt the pan quickly to coat the bottom – it will start to cook immediately. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be whipping up crêpe after crêpe in no time.
Of course the apples and cream are totally optional – you could sauté pears instead, or bananas, or ditch the fruit and spread them with butter and sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon and a few drops of lemon juice. If you have Nutella on hand, spread the warm crepes with it and fold in half, then in quarters. It’s like breakfast dessert.
Crêpes with Sautéed Apples and Maple Whipped Cream
1 1/4 cups milk
1 Tbsp. melted butter or canola oil
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. sugar
extra oil, butter or nonstick spray for cooking with
a drizzle of oil
a small blob of butter
3 tart apples, unpeeled and thinly sliced
a few spoonfuls of sugar, maple syrup or Lyle’s Golden syrup
a sprinkle of cinnamon
1/2-1 cup heavy cream, whipped with a bit of maple syrup or brown sugar
Pulse all the ingredients in a blender until foamy or whisk until well blended and smooth; let the batter sit for half an hour. It should have the consistency of heavy cream.
When ready to cook, preheat a large skillet or griddle and brush it with butter or oil or spray it with nonstick spray. Pour about a quarter cup onto the skillet and tilt it around so that it runs into a circle. Cook until the top loses its gloss, which should only take a minute or two, then flip. The bottom should be golden. Cook the other side for about 30 seconds and then slide out onto a plate. Keep warm in a 250F oven while you cook the rest.
Meanwhile, heat the oil and butter in another skillet over medium heat. When the foam subsides, add the apples and cook for about 5 minutes, until soft and starting to turn golden around the edges. Add the sugar or syrup and a shake of cinnamon, cook for another minute, tossing to coat the apples well. Remove from the heat.
Fill crepes with the apple mixture, roll up and top with whipped cream. Serve warm.
Makes about 10 crepes.