|Early March in Montreal is usually the time when winter packs one last wallop before releasing Quebec from its clutches. This year is no different as the province (and the Eastern part of Canada) was spanked by a storm. On those snowy weekends I like to get up a bit early and put together a nice brunch for my wife and I. Here’s what I made this morning – a fruit and crêpe recipe.|
This recipe is adapted from the crêpe recipe in The Silver Spoon – the English translation of the Italian cooking bible “Il cucchiaio d’argento” first published in 1950 and currently in its eighth edition. For my version (serves 2/4 crêpes) you’ll need:
- Handful of strawberries, washed, tops removed, and cut in two
- Handful of blueberries, washed
- A tablespoon (or two) of Grand Marnier
- A teaspoon of sugar
- ½ cup of all purpose flour
- 1 egg
- ½ cup of milk plus ¼ cup of milk
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence (it’s cheating, I know!)
- 1 tablespoon of butter plus some extra to cover your crêpe/non-stick pan
- A crêpe pan or non-stick pan
Take your (soon to be boozy) fruit and put them in a bowl with the Grand Marnier. Mix them up carefully so as not to squish those blueberries. Then, mix in the sugar and marinate for 1-2 hours. Afterwards, drain the alcoholic liquid (you could down it there and then!) and put the fruit aside to dry a bit.
Sift the flour into a large-ish bowl. In a second bowl, break your egg and mix it with the ½ cup of milk. Then, gradually add the milk-egg mixture to the flour and mix it up. You’re shooting to make a runny batter, so if you’re left with a pretty thick one more akin to pancake batter, add some of that ¼ cup of milk you’ve wisely set aside.
Melt the butter in a double boiler (or simply very carefully in a regular pan). Let the butter cool to room temperature and then add the liquid into the batter. That’s your batter done.
If you’re like me and slightly useless in the morning, I suggest doing of the above prep work the night before a brunch and keeping the batter refrigerated in an airtight container. It will save you a lot of time and grief. If you do this, make sure to give the refrigerated batter a whisk before your use it.
Now, heat up your crêpe pan or non-stick pan over medium heat. Once it’s nice and preheated take some butter and coat the pan. To do this, I like to cut a long thin strip of butter and use it like a crayon to coat the pan. Take some batter (with a ladle or pour it from a container) and cover the base of the pan with a thin layer. Crêpes should be nice and slim so they’re easy to roll. Cook for 3-4 minutes and then flip the crêpe and cook until set. That’s it. Be sure to re-butter the pan if it looks dry. Without that layer of butter it’ll be tough to flip your crêpe.
Leave one crêpe flat on the plate and roll up the other and place it on the flat one. Cover the flattened crêpe with your boozy fruit and whatever other fresh fruits strike your fancy. Serve with ice cream, whipped cream, sorbet, or whatever else you can get your hands on. We like liberally spread some maple syrup over the lot, but if you feel creative you could use some of the liquid you drained from the alcohol-soaked fruit to make a boozy coulis or sauce.