Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Hawthorne Thanksgiving. Part 1. The Crepes.

Welcome to a Hawthorne Thanksgiving.
My tradition each year is to make Julia Child's Gateau of Crepes.
It's a wonderful dish with three vegetable layers-
carrots, broccoli, and mushrooms,
separated and encased by crepes,
and filled with Swiss cheese and a lovely custard.
It is beautiful and it's one of my favoritest things to eat.

Here's my well-worn, splattered, water-damaged copy
of Julia Child and More Company.
I've had to pen in the amounts for the recipe
because the stuck pages from rain water
pulled the print off when I dried the book out.
When Mr. Hawthorne and I moved here in 1984,
it was during a heavy rain,
and our little U-Haul leaked,
damaging almost all of my cookbooks.

I always double Julia's recipe for the crepes
so I'll have extra crepes to freeze for later.

Nothing better than an impromptu seafood crepe
napped in an orange and lemon cream sauce
with a dusting of nutmeg.
Perhaps some zest.

2 cups Wondra (instant) flour
1 1/3 cups water
2/3 cup skim milk
2/3 cup heavy cream
6 eggs
6 TB melted butter
1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt

Julia's recipe calls for "milk,"
which I assume means whole milk.
I never have whole milk on hand,
but I always have skim milk and heavy cream,
so I subbed that for the milk.

Whisk milk/cream and water into flour,
beating until smooth.
Add in eggs, one at a time,
beating after each addition.
Add in butter and salt.
Mix well.
There should be no lumps.

Let the crepe batter rest at least 10 minutes,
an hour or two if you're using regular flour,
so the flour granules can absorb the liquid -
making for a tender crepe.

To cook the crepes,
heat the frying pan until a drop of water sizzles.
Brush lightly with a little butter,
only necessary for the first crepe.
Pour 3 TB of the batter into the pan,
tilting, turning, and swirling the pan
to distribute the batter over the surface.
Cook until the crepe releases itself,
swirl a few times,
then flip over.
Cook about 30 seconds more.
This second side will never be as "pretty"
as the first side.
And this first crepe will never be as "pretty"
as the rest of them.
Arrange on a rack to cool and dry off.
Stack about 8 crepes together and wrap in plastic.
This are fine in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Else, package and freeze.

Eggs in one at a time.

Whisk in butter.

The first crepe, on the left,
is never the best one.
And you're looking at the second side,
which never cooks evenly.

For subsequent crepes,
I use a dry pan
over fairly high heat.

See the pretty first sides?

That's a crepe!

Here's a video
showing how I make a crepe.
The most important part
is the flip.
One must commit to the flip.
Don't be timid.
When you flip, mean it.
Otherwise, your flip will be half-assed
and your crepe will stick to the uncooked side
and you'll end up throwing it away.
Remember:  Commit to the flip.


Lori K said...

I had the pleasure of getting a piece of this heavenly dish...last Thanksgiving!! Soooo good
Thanks Rosie

Rosie Hawthorne said...

I had forgotten about that, Lori.

Looks like Hurricane Sandy has cut us off this year. :(

Lori K said...

Sucks :(