Plum Butter and Chocolate Crepes

In theory, crepes are one of the simplest things you can make. The classic recipe, as taught to me be my high school French teacher, calls for only three ingredients, combined in a simple ratio – 2 parts milk, 2 parts egg, and 1 part flour. But then you start adding things like butter, sugar, oil, flavoring agents, liquers, and cocoa powder, and experimenting with pan temperature and refrigeration time, and the simplicity quickly gets lost. I’ve tried lots of recipes in the past few years, never finding the perfect one, and never able to find an explanation for why one recipe might work better than another. I was happy, then, to stumble across this explanation about crepe texture and flavor, complete with 8 different recipes categorized by egg content and fat content. Enlightening. I decided to go for the medium egg, medium butter formula, because the middle seemed like a good place to start. The verdict? The texture was perfect – tender, but not so delicate that they fell apart. The flavor was good, but a bit milder than I’d hoped – I wanted them to be both more chocolatey and sweeter. The addition of some espresso powder, to bring out the chocolate flavor, or the replacement of a few tablespoons of water with a chocolate liquer would probably fix that. But when filled with the tart, aromatic, oh-so-delicious plum butter and mascarpone cheese? Pretty good as they were.

Plum Butter and Chocolate Crepes

Plum Butter and Chocolate Crepes

Plum Butter and Chocolate Crepes

 

Plum Butter and Chocolate Crepes

Plum Butter

Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

  • 4 medium, ripe plums
  • 1 tart apple
  • 1/3 c. water
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • scant 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • scant 1/8 tsp cloves
  1. Pit and quarter the plums.  Core and dice the apple into 1 inch chunks.  Place fruit in a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer fruit, covered, for about 15 minutes, until apple is tender.  Puree completely in a blender or food processor.  Return fruit puree to pan, add sugar and spices, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes to an hour, until the butter is the desired consistency.  A thick, spreadable consistency may take some time.

Chocolate Crepes

Makes 10, 6-inch crepes.

  • 1 c. milk
  • 3/4 c. water
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 TBS butter, melted
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1/4 c. cocoa powder
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  1. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, sugar, and salt.  Whisk to combine.  In a large bowl, beat milk, water, eggs, and melted butter until fully incorporated.  Add dry ingredients to wet and stir to combine.  Batter should have consistency of heavy cream.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  2. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat.  Add a pat of butter – you only need to add butter for the first crepe.  When butter is fully melted, spoon or ladle about 1/4 c. batter into pan, and quickly swirl pan or smooth batter gently with ladle to create a circle.  (Think the motion that crepe makers on the street do to quickly pull batter out into a circle.)  Cook for 20 seconds, until color begins to change on exposed side, then flip, and cook for another 20 seconds.  Remove to a plate (or serve!), then repeat with remaining batter.  Stuff crepes with plum butter and mascarpone cheese or whipped cream.  Extra crepes may be stored flat, wrapped on a plate or in a plastic bag, in the fridge.

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