I got tired of eating our weekly supply of strawberries with oatmeal and cereal. Yes, it’s healthy but it does get boring. I was dreaming up something with cream and alcohol…Yup, alcohol…hic! And yes… in the morning!
Now don’t be an old fuddy-duddy…it’s nothing that’s going to turn me into a drunk. What’s the use of living in a kid-free environment if you can’t serve something with liqour in the morning, right?
I’ve also been going over my Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” cookbook, which spouse gave me almost a year ago. Her recipe for crepes was very interesting…it had alcohol in it so I had to give it a shot. It was a lovely recipe, delicate and paper-thin as you can probably tell from the photo. Crepes can be agonizing to cook. But this time, I discovered, quite by accident, that using a pastry brush to loosen the edges made a big difference in keeping the individual crepe in one piece.
The filling was something I came up with, based on some recipe I was salivating over in some magazine years ago. But not having kept the magazine, I had to improvise based on a memory of how it would have tasted. Whew…try doing that! Good thing there aren’t that many rules or rulemakers in my kitchen or the whole dish would be in trouble. Then there’s my husband who trusts my taste and will call anything I cook fantastic…makes me wonder.
Truthfully, this crepe filling turned out to be delightful with the mix of strawberry and orange, unconventional with its spiciness and the liqueur. It was a great looker at the breakfast table too. The photo I took really doesn’t do it any justice….
Spiced Strawberry and Orange Crepes
Crepes: (start the night before)
3/4 c. milk
3/4 c. cold water
3 egg yolks
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
3 tbsps. orange liqueur, rum or brandy
1 c. all-purpose flour
5 tbsp. melted butter
Place the ingredients in a blender in the order they’re listed. Cover and blend at top speed for 1 minute. Scrape any flour sticking to the side with a rubber scraper and blend another 3 seconds more. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, cook your crepes in a small (6-inch) saute or omelette pan over medium high heat. It takes only a minute or two for each side to cook so have everything ready – the plate to put in the cooked crepes, the wax paper to put in between crepes, a ladle or 1/4 c. measuring cup for the batter.
Brush the pan with a little oil when it’s hot. Pour about a quarter cup of the batter into the hot pan and quickly tilt the pan in all directions to run the batter all over the bottom of the pan.
Cook for a minute or more on one side. Jerk the pan to loosen the crepe. If that doesn’t happen, use the pastry brush to go around and loosen the crepe, then try again. Using the pastyr brush and your fingers, raise the crepe gently and flip to cook the other side. Layer on a plate with wax paper in between to keep them from sticking. Cover with another plate to keep them warm.
2 tbsps. confectioner’s sugar (more if you want it sweeter. I always work with less sugar in everything I cook)
juice of 1 orange
orange zest, to taste
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of powdered ginger
dash or two of orange liqueur
1 tbsp. butter
1 c. strawberries, quartered
orange slices from 2 medium oranges
Caramelize the powdered sugar in a saucepan. Pour in the orange juice when the caramel starts getting dark brown. Add the spices and the liqueur and cook about 10 minutes to reduce. Add butter and swirl into the sauce. Turn off heat. Add the fruits and allow the syrup to cover the fruits.
1/2 c. heavy cream
3-4 tbsp. powdered sugar (or more)
Whip the cream at high speed with a hand mixer in a chilled, stainless steel bowl if it’s a hot day. Add sugar just as stiff peaks start to form. Beat just long enough to incorporate the sugar.
For each crepe, lay down a tablesppon or two of whipped cream in the center. Place 2 -3 tablesppons of the fruit, minus the juices. Fold over one end of the crepe then the other end. Do this with each crepe.
Arrange 3 filled crepes on a plate. Pour over fruit juices from the filling and spoon more of the fruits. Put a dollop of whipped cream over the fruits. You may also sprinkle some confectioner’s sugar over the crepes before serving. Serve immediately.
TIP: Leftover crepes can be rolled up and refrigerated. They’re great with real maple syrup or some cinnamon sugar for breakfast the next day.