Saturday, October 18, 2008

Breakfast Crêpes with Plums

I'd been talking all week about wanting to make crêpes, so when Jim woke up and asked me what I wanted to do today, I naturally gravitated towards the kitchen. After a quick glance at a recipe, I realized we had just enough eggs to make a half batch of dessert crêpes, which are our favorites for breakfast. (Entrée crêpes are a bit more savory than we — especially Jim — tend to like for breakfast.)

Dessert crêpes naturally need something to go in them, so, looking around the fridge, I found four plums, and decided that would have to do. We also had some whipping cream left over from last night's saffron risotto.

I'm still perfecting my crêpe-making technique, so these weren't perfect…but they still tasted darn good.

  1. Crêpe maker — while it's possible to use a small skillet, it's a lot easier to get nice, thin crêpes if you have a dedicated crêpe maker. We have an old, 1970s-era Sunbeam one (thanks, eBay!) with a removable ‘pan,’ which is a significantly better design than modern ones where the cooking surface is not removable.
  2. Blender — we use a blender to mix the batter. A stand mixer with a whisk attachment would probably also work, as would a Cusinart, or doing it by hand with a whisk, but the blender does the trick consistently and quickly.
  • 3-4 ripe yellow plums
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 2 tsp. white sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Peel and cut 3-4 yellow plums into 1/2" slices, set aside.
  2. Crack both eggs into the blender.
  3. Add milk, water, melted butter, salt, sugar, and vanilla to blender.
  4. Mix until smooth.
  5. Slowly add flour, by tablespoons, to the blender, mixing until smooth between each.
  6. Pour mixture into a pie pan (big enough for the ‘pan’ part of your crêpe maker, if using one) or keep in blender pitcher (if using a skillet). The remainder of these instructions will assume you are using a crêpe maker.
  7. Get the crêpe maker hot, and spray lightly with Pam or other pan-release spray. Wipe off excess with a paper towel.
  8. Carefully dip the hot ‘pan’ into the batter, just enough to coat the top. Remove and place back on base to cook. The first few will probably have a lacy appearance and need to be tossed; this is because of the bubbles in the batter and is normal. Use them to practice your dipping technique.
  9. Use a plastic spatula to turn the crêpe once the bottom has cooked and the edges have started to brown. Cook the opposite side just long enough for the edges to start crinkling in the opposite direction and the sizzling sound stops (very quick!), then remove. The ‘trick’ is to be very gentle when removing and turning, and to free all the edges first before trying to flip.
  10. Place sliced plums on one quarter of the crêpe, fold it in half, then in half again. (This is the most traditional way of folding and serving; you can also put plums on half and then fold only in half once, if you want more fruit in each.)
  11. Top with fresh whipped cream and/or powdered sugar if desired.
Final Thoughts:

These weren't the prettiest crêpes in the world; the edges were a little too crispy to fold neatly, and there was a lot of cracking as a result. In the future, allowing them to cool a little more might give the edges more time to soften, and avoid cracking. The plums, however, were a perfect filling, just sweet enough to stand up to the crêpes without being overwhelming.

If you aren't using a crêpe maker, leave the crêpe mixture in the blender. Heat a small non-stick skillet (an omelette pan would be appropriate) and pour a small amount of the mixture into the skillet while moving the skillet to get the mixture to cover the surface. Follow all other instructions as above.

These tasted quite good, but we need to work on the pretty quotient. Sammy, however, was unimpressed.

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