On a recent trip to Chicago I enjoyed a crepe breakfast at Crepes a Latte.. a little cafe nestled in a quiet neighborhood.
I've had sweet crepes before.. you know, the ones filled with jams or preserves but this one was different. It had a custard filling and my favorite fruit - strawberries.
I don't know if it was the charming cafe, nice people or the warm crepe on a snowy day but I felt like I had died and gone to heaven!
So of course I had to recreate it - first I searched for a recipe for the crepe batter.
Every article I read prepared you for your first few trial crepes that would need to go from pan to can (garbage can that is).
So when the first 2 didn't turn out paper thin I was not disheartened.
This recipe is quick but the batter needs 1-2 hours to rest.
For savory crepes (which I can't wait to try next) cut down the amount of sugar and voila..
Category: Breakfast|Dessert Yield: 2 testers + 10 mini crepes
1 1/2 cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
3 extra-large eggs
1 cup whole milk
3 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 tablespoon Grand Marnier
Water (to thin the batter)
*Use a small pan for thinner & smaller crepes.
*Serve crepes warm & filling at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Put the flour in a bowl and make a well. Toss in the salt, eggs, milk and sugar in the well.
Stir to mix, then gradually pull in flour and get rid of any lumps.
Strain the batter if you want it extra smooth, then stir in the butter, vanilla extract and grand marnier.
Let rest 1 to 2 hours before frying.
Thin out the batter with water to the consistency of light cream.
Heat a small crêpe pan over medium-low heat.
Brush melted butter (1 teaspoon) onto the pan.
Let it foam and brown a bit (so the crepe gets a light brown hue).
Once foam subsides ladle 1 (cooking) spoon worth of batter onto the pan and swirl quickly to cover the bottom.
When the edges are brown, flip and finish the other side.
Cook first side for 1 minute - flip - second side cooks quicker!
Heat 1 teaspoon of butter in the pan for each crepe.
Stack the crêpes and warm in a preheated oven while you finish cooking the rest.
For my custard filling I watched Ina make a pastry cream for her Berry Trifle and I thought it would be the perfect match.
Below is the recipe I used.
Go easy on the heavy cream I tipped my cup a little extra which caused the cream to be runny.
(*I made this the night before to make life easier in the morning)
3 cups milk
10 extra-large egg yolks - (room temperature)
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons sifted cornstarch
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Grand Marnier
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon heavy cream
Heat the milk in a saucepan over medium heat and bring almost to a boil. Remove from the heat.
Beat the egg yolks and sugar on medium-high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until pale and
thick, about 5 minutes.
With the mixer on low speed, sprinkle on the sifted cornstarch.
Beat on medium-low speed until combined, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula.
With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture.
Pour the mixture back into the pan.
Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, 5 to 7 minutes.
Use a woodden spoon to stir the mixture constantly - it will appear foamy on top but will thicken underneath.
As soon as it gets thick take it off the heat and whisk until it reaches desired consistency.
(*Pay attention because it will thicken and then quickly become scrambled eggs - blech!)
Immediately, pour the mixture through a fine sieve into a large bowl.
Whisk in the vanilla, cognac, butter, and heavy cream.
Place plastic wrap directly on the custard and refrigerate until cold.
*I topped mine with blueberries to make it a Breakfast of Champions!