Crêpes with Homemade Applesauce
My younger sister used to work at a gift/cookware store where she got discounts on dishes and kitchen gadgets, and my two older sisters have ordered many beautiful dishes to be delivered to my doorstep since I moved to California. Their birthday present for me this year was an electric crêpe griddle (inspired, I think, by this post about all the crêpes I ate in Paris), and it has already gotten more use than I ever would have expected. Not only are crêpes easy to make, but they are, of course, super versatile.
The following is a far-from-complete* list of Things I Have Put On A Crêpe, in my own kitchen, since August 2011:
2. Fresh Strawberries
3. Fresh Blueberries
4. Combination of (1) and (2)
5. Combination of (1) and Banana Slices
6. Combination of (2) and (3) and Yogurt
7. Combination of (2) and (3) and Whipped Cream
8. Lemon and Powdered Sugar
9. Strawberry Jam and Powdered Sugar
10. Cinnamon and Sugar
11. Pears Sautéed in Butter and Cinnamon
12. Peaches Sautéed in Butter with Lemon
13. Combination of (11) or (12) and Yogurt
14. Kaya Spread (Singaporean Coconut Jam)
15. Black Sesame Spread (bought in Taiwan from the Japanese store Mujirushi)
16. Speculoos Paste (from The Netherlands; sold as “Cookie Butter” at Trader Joe’s)
17. De Ruijter Chocolate Sprinkles (from The Netherlands)
18. Provolone Cheese and Smoked Salmon
19. Pesto Cheese (from the Santa Barbara Farmer’s Market)
20. Homemade Applesauce
You’ll notice I’ve fallen a little short on the savory side of things– mostly because so far I’ve only made crêpes for brunch and not yet for dinner– but I have big plans for such awesome-sounding combinations as Goat Cheese with Bruschetta, Eggs with Cream Cheese & Scallions, Green Apples with Brie, and Jack Cheese with Avocado. (And my girlfriend wants to devote at least one dinnertime to crêpes with Goat Cheese, Prosciutto, and Walnuts.)
Let me assure you from the wealth of my extensive sweet-crêpe experience, that crêpes with homemade applesauce are pretty awesome, too. I used to go apple-picking with my family in Wisconsin for baskets of Macintosh apples nearly every fall. Even in middle school and high school when I wasn’t much of a cook and didn’t spend much time in the kitchen, I still enjoyed making homemade applesauce.** Which is much, much, much, much better than that stuff that comes in jars.
So, really, this is a bonus 2-for-1 blog post for two separate recipes that are each nice on their own, but even better when they’re together.
* I’d like to draw attention to the far-from-completeness of this list, since the number of awesome-sounding crêpe combinations surely stretches toward infinity. For example, my twelve-year-old brother recently tried out a combination of (1), (2), (3), (10), and (20) all at once, and topped it off with both powdered sugar and whipped cream.
** I think my original applesauce recipe actually came from the Klutz “Slightly Messy Manual” Cookbook for Kids. (Yep, that’s the 1987 version).
(I use nearly exactly this recipe from Smitten Kitchen, except with vanilla and cinnamon instead of honey.)
(Makes about 6 crêpes each; Serves 2, with crêpe fillings.)
~ 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
~ ½ cup milk
~ 2 eggs
~ ½ cup flour
~ a pinch of salt
~ a dash of cinnamon and/or nutmeg
~ ⅛ tsp. vanilla
How to Make it:
1. Mix all ingredients together using a whisk. Then cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let chill in the fridge for at least an hour, or even overnight.
2. Pre-heat a non-stick skillet or large frying pan: To allow the pan to heat very evenly, first heat a bit of oil over very low heat for at least 10 minutes. Then wipe up the oil with the paper towel (or put it to use, if you think your pan requires a little oil or butter to be truly non-stick; my electric crêpe griddle doesn’t need it though).
3. Scoop up about ¼ cup of the batter and swirl it evenly onto your cooking surface. (Or if using a wooden T-shaped crêpe rake or crêpe spreader, pour the batter into the center, and gently spin the crêpe spreader around in a circle, keeping the tool over the center without moving it out to the edges; the batter will spread out as it twirls. Rinse off the crêpe spreader in between crêpes to make sure no batter has stuck to it.)
4. Let cook for about a minute on the first side– until your crêpe is cooked through and appears easy to flip– and about 20 seconds on the reverse side.
5. Once flipped but while still over the heat, add any crêpe toppings that need to be melted a bit, such as cheese, cinnamon sugar, or nutella. Otherwise, transfer to a plate and serve with optional toppings, such as applesauce, fresh fruit and yogurt, or lemon with powdered sugar. (You can also make them all at once, and keep a stack of them warm in the oven, but I like to eat as I go.)
(Makes 8-10 small servings)
~ 8 apples (I prefer to use Macintosh or Cortland in the Midwest, but am usually stuck using Fuji in California)
~ 1 ½ cups water
~ ½ cup sugar (or slightly less)
~ ½ tsp. cinnamon (or more!)
~ my secret ingredient (fine, it’s a splash of orange juice)
How to Make it:
1. Peel apples and cut them into small cubes.
2. Toss the apple cubes into a large pot with the water and sugar. Cover and cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes (this may take more time for firmer apples like Fuji, or less time for softer apples like Macintosh).
3. Add a splash of orange juice, and add cinnamon to taste.
4. Once the apples have gotten soft enough, use a potato masher or a fork to mash them up a bit until it starts to look more like a sauce. I like to leave many of them whole for a chunkier applesauce, but you could also mash them all the way.
5. This is an easy recipe to make ahead, since it lasts in the fridge for up to a week! Serve warm as a crêpe filling, a latke topping, or just enjoy a bowl of applesauce as a midnight snack.