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France—Crepes with Berry Sauce

 

French Dessertfrench crepes with berry sauce

Crepes with Berry Sauce
(Serves 6)

Crepes are thin elegant pancakes. This recipe is for dessert, but you can fill crepes with almost any food—and top them off with all manner of sauces. All it takes is your imagination.

Crepes
4 eggs (well beaten)
1/2 C flour
1 T sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 C milk
butter
____________

Sauce
1 qt. blueberries or strawberries
1/2 C sugar
2 T water
2 T lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
2 T kirsch (cherry brandy)
confectioner’s sugar—for garnish

Batter: add flour sugar and salt to beaten eggs, whisking vigorously till smooth. Gradually add milk, continuing to whisk as you pour. It's like pancake batter, perhaps a bit thinner. You can make the batter 1 or 2 days ahead of time.

Crepes: melt a tsp. of butter in an 8” non-stick skillet and, when it starts to sizzle, pour 2-3 T of batter into pan. Swirl the pan around till till a thin layer coats the bottom; add a little more batter to fill any holes. Cook about 2 minutes on one side, flip carefully (this is the tricky part) and cook about 1 minute (or less) on the second side. Slip out onto a platter and keep warm in a 200 oven. Repeat. *

Sauce: bring sugar, water, and lemon juice to a boil. Add berries and bring up to a boil again, stirring gently all the while. Remove from heat, stir in zest. When cooled slightly, add kirsch.

Assembly: either roll up crepes or fold into quarters. Place them on one large platter or 2 or 3 on individual plates. Spoon sauce over them and sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar (put through a sieve to get a fine powder).

Advance work: you can make the crepes a couple of hours beforehand, keep them layered in linen towels, and heat them up when you're ready. Even better, crepes freeze beautifully. Keep them on hand in the freezer and use them for all sorts of meals.

| See more French recipes |

Tips & Glossary

Bouquet Garni: (boo-kay gar-nee) bundle of herbs tied together with string or wrapped in cheese cloth square; usually parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Flavor is released during long cooking.Remove before serving.

Chervil: (sher-vil) related to parsley but has a delicate anise flavor. Long cooking kills flavor, so add at the last minute.

Cornichon (kor-nee-shon) teeny-tiny pickle, served with pates & smoked meats; found in specialty food stores.

Fines Herbes: (feen-airb) mix of finely chopped herbs: parsley, chives, tarragon, & chervil. Not as strong as a bouqet garni. Buy it at most grocery stores.

Fromage: (fra-mahj) Cheese! The French eat more than any nationality, 45 pounds per capita per year; and the country makes more cheeses than any other country, about 400.

The three great pedigreed French cheeses are:
• Brie (East of Paris)
• Camembert (Normandy)
• Roquefort (Southwest France, from sheep’s milk)

There are also wonderful lesser-known cheeses:
• Beaufort (Rhone Alps, hard, yellow Gruyere-type)
• Chevre (Loire Valley, soft, goat’s milk)
• Comte (Alps region, hard, yellow Gruyere-type)
• Emmental (Alps region, “Swiss” cheese with holes)
• Gruyere (hard, yellow cheese—originally French, now most is Swiss)
• Tomme (means “cheese”; soft, many varieties, all from skim milk)

Herbes de Provence (airb-duh-pro-vonce): mix of dried herbs, usually thyme, rosemary, marjoram, basil, & bay leaf Can be found at most grocery stores.

Mutarde: (moo-tard), mustard. Most famous:
• Dijon ( from the town in Burgundy)
• Meaux (from Meaux, east of Paris; whole-grained; made by Pommery).

Nicoise Olive: (nee-swaz- oh-leev) small, purplish-black olive with a mellow, nutty flavor; used primarily in Salade Nicoise. The Picholine variety is a green, medium-sized olive with a light, nutty flavor.

Roux: (roo) paste-like mix of melted butter and flour, into which liquid is gradually added. The basis of every classic French sauce.
Basic Roux: 1 part butter to 1 part flour. Melt butter and add flour, stirring vigorously, till it becomes a paste-like consistency. At this point, add slowly whatever liquid your recipe calls for

 

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