Friday, April 17, 2009

Apple Cinnamon Crepes

I've always been convinced that life is made up of simple pleasures. A smile, a look. A sunny day. Flowers when you least expect them. And brunch. In fact, forget the flowers, just give me some Eggs Benedict, chocolate waffles, bread pudding and a mimosa or two, and you will have yourself a completely happy girl, willing to follow your every whim and fancy. What can I say, I'm easy to please!

Brunch is my favorite and happiest meal of the week. It's the only meal when there's no stress about what to make and almost no food is off limits because, hey, it's breakfast... and lunch... all in one! COOL. So, knowing this, you can imagine my reaction when I got an email from Cath of A Blithe Palate and Stephanie of Dispensing Happiness about testing out Gale Gand's new book, which is incidentally called -- you guessed it -- BRUNCH. I mean, I think I set a record for how quickly I hit the reply button!

For anyone who loves brunch, this book is a must have. This slim volume -- beautifully photographed, homey and pleasant to the touch -- has one hundred recipes, which is, well, a lot of Sundays (and Saturdays too, and who says I can't have brunch on Mondays?). I had the whole week of Passover to drool over the book and decide what to make first. I changed my mind about ten times. Do I go for the poached eggs over asparagus and Parmesan? Do I dare the Apple-Cinnamon Baked French Toast? Can I really stay away from the Beet & Artichoke Salad? It was hard, you guys, it really was, and in the end, I just let the book fall open on a random page, and the page said in big letters: CREPES. Sometimes, it's best to just let fate decide.

They were the easiest crepes I've ever made and also the tastiest (as confirmed by my mom, who is always an honest critic -- the woman told me I didn't pour her enough limoncello at 9am this morning, for goodness' sakes! ...but more on that later). Thank you to Cath and Stephanie for letting me participate in their amazing event and a great big thanks to Gale Gand for writing the book of my dreams -- the book about the simple and yet so complex pleasure of gathering around the table for brunch.

To find a recipe for these crepes, you will just have to check out Gale Gand's book at your local library or book store (or go here for a great basic recipe), but so as not to leave you completely high and dry, let me tell you about the amazing apple cinnamon filling I made to go with the crepes. The quantity of cinnamon and other spices is pretty much up to you, but be sure to use apples that don't break easily (like Gala or Golden Delicious) because you want to slice them fairly thinly but don't want them to break during cooking.

For about 4 people, you will need:

4 small baking apples (I use Gala or Golden Delicious)
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1-2 tablespoons of sugar (depending on how sweet or tart the apples are)
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
a dash of nutmeg

Peel and core the apples. Slice them thinly, but not so thinly that the pieces will break easily - about 1/4 inch thickness.

Melt the butter in a skillet on medium heat until it starts to foam and then saute the apples, turning them over a few times to coat with the butter, until the apples are soft and tender - about 10 minutes.

Stir in the sugar and the spices and take off the heat. Divide between four warm crepes and serve immediately with a scoop of ice cream and/or some sliced strawberries.

Basic crepes
Gourmet, January 2006
(makes 8-10)

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
2 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 teaspoon salt

Whisk milk, eggs, flour, granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons butter, and salt in a large mixing bowl until batter is mostly smooth but still has some lumps in it, about 1 minute. Let batter stand in the refrigerator for at least 1/2 hr or up to overnight (this prevents tough crêpes). Stir the batter before you are ready to cook the crêpes.

Preheat oven to 250°F.

Add 1/2 teaspoon butter to a crêpe pan (or a non-stick skillet) and brush to coat bottom. Heat over moderate heat until hot, then pour 1/4 cup batter into skillet, tilting to coat bottom evenly. Cook until underside is pale golden, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, then jerk skillet to loosen crêpe and flip crêpe with a spatula. Cook until underside is pale golden, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer crêpe with spatula to a work surface, turning over so that side cooked first is facedown. Transfer to a heatproof platter and keep warm in oven. Make the rest of the crêpes in same manner, transferring to oven. Fill with desired filling (Nutella & bananas, sauteed apples, strawberries, etc). You can also dust with confectioner's sugar before serving or serve with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream for extra indulgence.


Dewi said...

Simply delicious with all of those fragrant fruit such as apple and strawberry. I can smell them right away.
Have a wonderful week end Irene!

brandin + kari said...

Oh! Just ANOTHER cookbook to tempt me with:) I recently have discovered the concept of checking a cookbook out at the library (go figure). I always thought they would get mad if I spilled on the pages, but I am assured that the library is aware that this happens when people check out cookbooks. I need to get myself a library card!

Pam said...

Mmm..they look delicious! I haven't tried the crepes, but the apple filling sounds like the perfect combination! :)

Elyse said...

I adore brunch--you've totally convinced me that I need this book. It's the only meal where you can have sweet and savory, in all different food forms, and not feel so guilty for eating goodies because you have the rest of the day to work it off.

Lisa Johnson said...

These look so good! And brunch is my favorite meal of the week too. ; )

creampuff said...

Wasn't it just an amazing little book! I'm so glad you liked it ... the crepes are GORGEOUS!

Eileen said...

This looks delicious. My husband is actually the crepe-maker in this family.

Brilynn said...

I just had a brunch party today! I like it because you can pretty much serve anything and call it brunch...

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, I LOVE brunch. I think I'm going to have to go out and buy that book. Great blog!

Sara said...

Your crepes look absolutely perfect! I love both sweet and savory crepes, I use a recipe where you make the batter in a blender.

Donna-FFW said...

Oh these sound out of this world delicious. I love them. I am bookmarking this. It would be a winner in my entire household..

Ingrid_3Bs said...

Lucky! :) I've never had crepes before. Both breakfast and brunch are faves! Sweet and savory at the same time!!

Anonymous said...

They look delicious! You are making me want to run to the bookstore now to buy yet another cookbook!

Juliana said...

We just had crepes in Paris (Las Vegas)...and what a coincidence, I came back having in my mind to look for a recipe for crepes...and here you are. Thank you! Yours look such so good. By the way, great pictures as well.

Zenchef said...

Mmmm.. my favorite snack as a kid. I love them. I love them. I love them.
Your pictures look fabulous by the way. Nice job! :-)

Cath said...

Beautiful crepes! Thank you so much for joining us!

Unknown said...

What beautiful, tempting crepes. I can't wait to try them out. Your lighting in these pictures, all of your pictures, is fabulous. Thanks for the great comments. I love hearing from you! Kate

Irene said...

Thank you so much! The beautiful light is the first thing we fell in love with when we looked at our house. Our old apartment had been very dark and when we saw this light streaming in through every window, we just knew that we had to live here.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Even my husband commented what wonderful photos were in this book.
I must say yours are gorgeous. Love your filling.

Marci said...


Alexandra said...


Liz said...

Hi Irene!
Responding to your comment on my blog about Claremont...I went to Scripps, graduated in 2003, and my husband went to Pomona. We seriously reminisce about Claremont food all the time. Not just the restaurants (although we loved the Press, Some Crust, Full of Life, and that tapas place) but also the awesome dining halls. Um, and I guess the education was good too. :)

And on a completely different note, I love crepes! They're my go-to for special occasion breakfasts.