Monday, November 17, 2008

Sweet Crepes with Peaches and Pastry Cream

You may find it odd that I'm making dishes using peaches in the middle of November in Colorado, but I've just been incredibly delinquent in the writing of these posts. I actually made this dish a couple of months ago. It's a little more simple to do than it appears. I was all prepped for a crepe-tastrophy, but it wasn't meant to be.

The first task was to make the crepes. The ingredients are very simple: flour, salt, sugar, eggs, and milk. Some vanilla and butter add an extra kick.

I combined the flour, salt, and sugar in one bowl, and the eggs, milk, and vanilla in another. This looks exactly how you think it should look:

Next up was 'vigorously whisking' of half the wet mixture into the dry mixture until that was smooth. In went the rest of the wet mixture and I let the batter rest for about an hour. The guidelines here are anywhere from 30 minutes to a day.

After it's rest period I strained the batter through a fine mesh strainer to ensure there was no junk in there:

I added the melted butter to the bowl, and presto, the batter was ready. The next instruction was to 'Preheat a 12-inch crepe machine...' Uh, hmmm, I don't have one of those. '...or a large crepe pan...' Uh, hmmm, I don't have one of those either. '...or a 10-12 inch nonstick skillet.' Finally. Bring in the third string. I heated my trusty non-stick skillet over low heat, because the book says rookies should use low heat. Seriously. The more experienced crowd is allowed to work at a higher temperature. I sprayed the pan with non-stick spray because of some sort of accident-prone paranoia, so no sticking was to be had on this night.

I ladled the batter into the skillet in 1/2 cup increments and tilted the pan to spread it out. I turned the heat up to medium and cooked the crepe for a minute or so until it was lightly browned.

The next step was potential for disaster #2: flipping. This task was even tougher than it needed to be because of my third-string kitchenware, which had straight sides that were seeming 12" tall. The first one wasn't too pretty and a little under-cooked, but it's the only one I took pictures of in the cooking process:

I browned the crepe on the other side, and repeated this process for about half an hour. The yield was around a dozen crepes, which is quite a lot for two people to eat.

As for the assembly, that's a snap. I sliced the peaches into thin wedges and took the pastry cream out of the fridge. Oh wait, that's supposed to be at room temperature? Hmmm. Oh well, maybe next time. (Side note: When the next time came around, I did it correctly. I couldn't tell the difference. )

I reheated the skillet over medium heat and added a crepe. As that was reheating, I spread out a bunch of peach wedges across half of the crepe and sprinkled them with a teaspoon or so of sugar:

I added a couple of globs of pastry cream to the peach mixtures, thus completing the filling:

For the final assembly, I folded the crepe in half. And then in half again. I was positive the last fold was going to tear the crepe, but it didn't:

And that's that. I dusted each crepe with confectioner's sugar before serving on the most colorful plate I could find:

We each took a crepe and put it on a somewhat less fancy dish before quickly devouring it. I did manage to sneak this picture in:

These were really, really good. The pastry cream melted to add the perfect texture and some sweetness. The peaches were surprisingly good for the end of the season, and the crepes were a perfect little envelope. We made this again the next night, and then started messing around with the fillings after that. It's relatively easy once you have the pastry cream made and all the ingredients together, certainly something you could pull off in an hour. This goes in the keeper pile, probably just waiting for the perfect fruit filling to come along next summer.


Kitt said...

Oh sure, post this when peach season is over. No fair!

Monsieur Henri DuMonde said...

Hey, don't wait for summer. Saute up some apples with cinnamon or some pears with cardamom and fold those up with your pastry cream. you'll be just as happy :)

mike said...

That sounds pretty good. Maybe we'll give the pears a shot before summer roles around. Tarte tatin is on the upcoming list, so apples will probably go to that if I run into some.