The longer I lived in the States, the more I realized it’s possible to find almost anything in specialty food stores and online. And later, traveling places and getting edible gifts from around the world proved that unfathomable are the ways of experiencing delicious food. A few years ago, this crepes recipe sounded exotic to me because of its unusual ingredients. Later, it became an illustration for the provocative statement above. Being curious is fun!
Are crêpes better when they’re turned into cones? (c) I remember Tokyo pastry houses and bakeries surprised me. It seemed like Japanese pastry chefs took the best from European traditions and creations and perfected them even more. It was true for inexpensive street food and for desserts at luxurious, exclusive places. So, don’t be surprised to see many videos and blog stories full of excitement about Japanese crepe cones, which became a common street food in Japan. Crème Brûlée crepe cone is also a Japanese idea. I saw the pictures and I wanted it! Is it possible to make it at home without special equipment (large diameter crepe makers, spreaders, etc.)?
A batch of 24 crepes (see a link to my favorite crepes recipe in Recipe Notes) provides 3-4 days of different breakfasts and lunches for two every week. Make crepes in advance, keep them covered with plastic wrap in a refrigerator, and quickly serve an endless variety of foods! With a pile of crepes and two more simple ingredients like ground meat and BBQ sauce, you can make a quick, attractive, and filling appetizer for unexpected (or expected) friends. Serve it in individual ramekins or a large baking dish — easy to grab bite-size rolls will be gone in no time! Thus the name.
Crepes — a type of very thin pastry — exist in the majority of world cuisines. Nevertheless, when I discovered Italian crespelle, it was a surprise for me. Italian cuisine is associated with pasta and pizza in my mind, so I assumed Italians would rather use flour for those. While going through many crespelle recipes, it became clear that crepes in Italy are mostly used as a quick version of stuffed pasta. When stuffed, rolled, and baked covered with sauce and grated cheese, they relate to cannelloni. When stuffed, folded into triangles (fazzoletti di crespelle or “crepe handkerchiefs”), and baked with a sauce and grated cheese, they are a shortcut for lasagna, aren’t they?
Technically, this is not a recipe. It’s a way to enjoy delicious crepes on a higher level. Just add cultured creme fraiche and Runamok maple syrup — any syrup from their extensive collection — and you are in heaven!
Only twice in my life, I had a chance to eat Poltava nalysnyky (Ukrainian crepes) with homemade tvorog (See Recipe Notes about tvorog). Thin and lacy, crepes were quartered, rolled with cheese, layered with sour cream and honey in a deep buttered dish, and slowly cooked for hours in a residual heat of a wood-fired oven. Every bite was like sweet nothings whispered in my ear! (Many bites later, I asked how this goodness was made and realized it was didko (one of the names for the devil in Ukraine) whispering…) The recipe below is inspired by
didko my memories about eating good food in Poltava region.
Simple, but cooked with great care, variable stuffings (potato, chicken, mushrooms) easily win hearts and souls of my guests, when folded in French wheat or buckwheat (gluten-free) crepes, and adorned with simple dairy-based sauces and creative toppings. Every small plate of the menu is attractive and delicious. They are easy to make in large batches. Make them ahead, refrigerate, and reheat right before party time.
The recipe below is a simple version of crepe stuffed with seasonal fruits. Most often I serve dessert crepes with apples + raisins + pecans + cinnamon + caramel + vanilla whipped cream + mint. During the season I switch to pears. Local strawberries are wonderful in May and and peaches — all the summer. Whipped cream can be flavored with spices or herbs. Replace heavy cream with piped favorite yogurt, low-sugar curds, or fresh fruit purees.
I think this recipe needs to be moved here from my old website now, when we are approaching the Valentine’s Day. Because, let’s face it, there is nothing more luxuriously romantic than high quality black caviar served with Russian-style buckwheat blini and French champagne. Dinner or breakfast — doesn’t matter, it’s a win-win situation!