Crêpes Audrey

I served these elegant make-ahead crêpes to my Mom one Christmas morning, while the sun was streaming in and illuminating her graceful face. She titled her head in her usual loving way and gave a simple, gentle response: “exquisite” (she was my biggest fan). I immediately named them Crêpes Audrey and have served them on Christmas morning ever since.

Crepes_Audrey

Crêpes Audrey are filled with either spinach and béchamel or ham and mushrooms – I double the recipe for my crêpe batter and make both fillings, so my guests can choose either or one of each. The filling is spread thin enough to be able to fold the crêpe over twice. Because they are topped with a poached egg, these crêpes aren’t covered in heavy sauce. The end result is a delicious, light crêpe that will tide you over until Christmas dinner.

Instead of fussing on Christmas morning, I make these up to one week in advance. Make the crêpe batter first, let it rest in the fridge while preparing the filling, and then make the crêpes. Once the filling and crêpes have cooled, stuff the crêpes and freeze them; defrost overnight in the refrigerator. On Christmas morning gently bake them; meanwhile, poach one egg to adorn each crêpe and voilà, everybody is pampered and clean up is a breeze.

Here is a photo of my beautiful Mom holding me as a newborn, with the light streaming in the same way it did that morning I served her my crêpes. May your heart be filled with the love of your family on Christmas morning. Merry Christmas everyone.

My Mom and I

Kathryn’s Crêpe Batter

Makes 6 crêpes using a 10” crêpe pan. Needs 1 hour resting time.

When visiting our Montreal family, we can always count on a delicious breakfast: Gabriel’s omelet or Kathryn’s homemade crêpes, and really good coffee. But the best part is, enjoying it with our lovely nieces.

One crêpe batter recipe makes enough crêpes for one recipe of Spinach Béchamel Filling or one recipe of Ham & Mushroom Filling. If you are making both fillings, double the crêpe batter recipe. The finished crêpe should be thin, so just add a little batter to the pan and quickly tilt the pan to swirl the batter evenly across the surface of the pan. Don’t worry if your first crêpe is a bust; this batter makes about seven crêpes – the first crêpe is often a trial crêpe that won’t turn out perfectly.

I have used both an inverted crêpe pan (which makes ultra thin crêpes) and a 10” cast iron crêpe pan (which makes the crêpes slightly thicker). For Crêpes Audrey, I prefer to use the cast iron crêpe pan – the slightly thicker crêpes are stronger and won’t tear as easily while filling and folding. Kathryn doesn’t add the melted butter, but I have more success with my crêpe pan if I do.

Dry Ingredients:

⅞ cup all-purpose flour (scooped and leveled not spooned and leveled)
¼ teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients:

¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup milk
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vegetable oil for brushing crêpe pan

Directions:

Choose either Mixer Method or Blender Method to prepare the batter and then proceed to the Cooking instructions.

Mixer Method:

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, combine flour and salt; mix with a whisk until combined thoroughly; set aside.
  2. Place melted butter, milk, and eggs in a large bowl; using a mixer, whip until blended. Add flour mixture; mix on low speed until batter is smooth, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula when necessary.
  3. Place batter in refrigerator to rest for 1 hour. Bring to room temperature for 15 minutes before proceeding.

Blender Method:

  1. Place melted butter, milk, and eggs in a blender; blend until combined. Add flour and salt; purée until batter is smooth, stopping to scrape down sides of blender with a rubber spatula when necessary.
  2. Place batter in refrigerator to rest for 1 hour. Bring to room temperature for 15 minutes before proceeding.

Cooking:

  1. Preheat crêpe pan over medium heat; brush lightly with vegetable oil. Whisk batter until smooth. While protecting your hand with an oven mitt, grasp handle of crêpe pan and tilt pan slightly off heat; add a scant ⅓ cup of batter (¼ cup for a 9” crêpe pan) to the centre of the hot pan and quickly and continually tilt pan in a circular motion to swirl batter evenly and thinly over surface of pan; as soon as surface is coated evenly, return pan to heat. Cook until underside of crêpe is golden, about 1 minute. Using a heatproof spatula, loosen the edges of the crêpe, then slide the spatula under the crêpe and flip crêpe over; cook until second side is golden, about 1 minute. Carefully remove cooked crêpe with rubber spatula; place on a parchment-lined baking sheet or cooling rack.
  2. Repeat with remaining batter, lightly oiling pan if necessary, placing cooked crêpes in a single layer, and separating any additional layers with parchment paper.

Crêpes Audrey

Makes 6 servings of 1 or 2 crêpes each.

Ingredients:

6 prepared crêpes and 1 batch of Spinach Béchamel Filling
And/or
6 prepared crêpes and 1 batch of Ham & Mushroom Filling
6 eggs for poaching

Spinach Béchamel Filling:

Stuffs 6 crêpes.

Spinach Ingredients:

1 package (1 lb/454 g) pre-washed fresh baby spinach leaves
1 teaspoon olive oil

Spinach Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat; add half of spinach and sauté, continually turning and lifting bottom spinach leaves to top, until volume reduces and there is room to add remaining spinach; add remaining spinach and sauté, turning and stirring quickly and constantly, until all spinach is just wilted.
  2. Transfer spinach to a colander set over a bowl; press with back of spoon to drain out all excess water. Place drained spinach on a cutting board and chop roughly; set aside. Wipe pan clean to use to make béchamel.

Béchamel Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter
1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¾ cup milk

Spinach Béchamel Filling Directions:

  1. In same large Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat (watch carefully to prevent butter from burning). Add flour; whisk constantly until mixture just starts to turn golden and fragrant (like the smell of shortbread baking), about 1 minute. Immediately but slowly add milk, whisking constantly; cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens, about 3 minutes – mixture should be bubbling but not burning bottom. Whisk in salt. Remove from heat; fold in cooked, drained spinach leaves, blending thoroughly.
  2. If freezing, let filling cool before stuffing crêpes. Spread about 2 tablespoons filling over half of one crêpe. Fold in half and then in half again to create a triangle. Freeze in resealable freezer bags, using parchment paper to separate overlapping crêpes, up to 1 week. When ready to bake, defrost stuffed crêpes in the refrigerator overnight. See Stuffed Crêpes Baking Instructions below.

Ham & Mushroom Filling:

Stuffs 6 crêpes.

Sautéed Mushrooms Ingredients:

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 package (8 oz/227g) washed, sliced white mushrooms
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh thyme leaves
¼ teaspoon coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Other ingredients:

½ cup grated old cheddar cheese
100 grams thinly shaved black forest ham

Sautéed Mushrooms Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat; add mushrooms; sauté until mushrooms release all of their water and turn golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add butter, thyme, salt, and pepper; sauté, stirring often, until mushrooms are golden brown and thyme is fragrant, about 5 minutes. Let cool before filling crêpes.

Ham & Mushroom Filling Directions:

  1. Divide ham evenly between 6 crêpes; lay a thin layer of ham over half of each crêpe. Top with a thin layer of mushrooms. Sprinkle lightly with cheese. Fold crêpe in half and then in half again, creating a triangle.
  2. Follow freezing instructions for Spinach Béchamel Filling. When ready to bake, defrost stuffed crêpes in the refrigerator overnight. See Stuffed Crêpes Baking Instructions below.

Stuffed Crêpes Baking Instructions:

  1. Defrost stuffed crêpes in the refrigerator overnight. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 325°F. Place crêpes in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet; cover with foil. Bake just until crêpes are hot throughout, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Place on a serving plate. Top with a well-drained poached or fried egg and garnish with a lemon wedge, if desired. Serve warm.

 

One comment to Crêpes Audrey

  • Cobi Ladner  says:

    Audrey was a very special lady and of course she was right, “exquisite”.

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