As you probably know by now, we have a pretty major sweet tooth. But Silka doesn't always have the energy to bake some brilliant dessert after a long day of work - much to Jake's dismay. In these situations we turn to a few standards: peanut M & M's from Duane Reade (we can't always be good!), riccotta with jam and honey, maple popcorn, or crêpes.
We can’t quite remember when Silka first got the crêpe bug, but since then she's been on a mission to master them. The thin French pancakes have always been a part of Jake’s life - while most families were having Sunday pancakes, Jake’s mom Susan (an accomplished baker) was serving crêpes. When we told Susan about Silka’s goal, she went right out and bought Silka a classic crêpe pan. It's one of the few "specialty pans" we believe in, and the only one we own, but with her new toy it didn't take long for Silka to get the hang of it.
As we search for recipes online and on our bookshelves, we've come across quite a few directions for making layered crêpe cakes - or Mille crêpe - with alternating layers of lemon curd, jam, whipped cream, nutella, preserved fruits, etc. There is something especially beautiful about this dish and we've always wanted to try it. The other night, desperate for dessert, Silka set out to make her own version. For the batter, we went straight to the source, using Jake's mother's recipe. And we had aunt Diane’s jam and some fresh ricotta in the fridge, so there was our filling. Soon we had a beautiful, delicious, light, easy, and pretty impressive dessert. Not bad for a weeknight!
+ 1 cup of flour
+ 1 egg
+ 2 cups of milk
+ 2 tbsp of butter, melted
+ 1 tbsp of sugar
+ a pinch salt
+ butter or oil for cooking
+ a cup of your favorite fillings - ours are ricotta and jam, nutella, sugar and brandy, peanut butter and bananas
1. Combine 1 cup of milk, the flour and the egg in a blender or large bowl. Mix until combined and there are no lumps. Add the rest of the milk as needed, until the mixture is the consistency of heavy cream. (We end up using about 1 3/4 cups total.)
2. Add the melted butter, a pinch of salt, and sugar to mixture. Mix to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour, and up to 24 hours.
3. Heat a little butter or oil in a crepe pan or nonstick skillet. Ladle in 1/3 cup of batter into the pan, turning and tilting the pan until the batter thinly coats the whole pan. Cook until the top of the crepe looks set, the edges bubble, and the center lifts with air pockets - about 1 minute.
4. Flip with a wide spatula and cook for another 45 - 60 seconds. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining batter, adding more butter to the pan as necessary.
5. Stack the crepes, alternation with your favorite toppings. Let settle for a few minutes, sprinkle with some confectioner's and serve with a dollop of ricotta, cream or nutella.