I grew up with a mild distrust for pancakes. Inconsistent in their nature, seldom living up to my expectations, (I'll blame that on Aunt Jemima and pancake in a box). It was until one day that I realized, what I actually expect pancakes to taste like is crepes. Smooth, thin, soft, tender, and delicate. And every time I eat crepes, I want them to be filled with fresh fruit and whipped cream. Maybe a little maple syrup and some powdered sugar. Heck, I'll even eat savory crepes with sharp cheddar cheese and green sour apples, but leave out the buckwheat. I'll say no to that. I'll eat them for brunch. Never for breakfast, because honestly, I'll never wake up before 10:00am with any ambition to make crepes, lets be real. And, I'll never make crepes for myself, there's always got to be someone else, a reason. One of these days I'll make them for myself, or better yet, I'll have someone make them for me.
One of the very first gifts I got from Mr. H was a crepe pan - a well planned investment he thought. Since that day, there's been an occasion or two, where I've been caught vigilantly stirring, pouring, and flipping, trying extremely hard to master the art and science of crepes. Initially, it took sheer concentration. Crepes seemed so serious, requiring technique and skill. After some practice, I can now multi-task, take photos, make coffee, read the news. I've even retired my striped apron and tiny pastry hat.
This gorgeous meal filled with whipped cream and strawberries. One that I made for Mr. H, will be my last calm before the storm. Not a bad storm. One of those magical mysterious storm that shoots giant bolts of lightning through the sky. Clouds shaking and colliding. Bright hues of red and orange. A sweet calming breeze rustling my hair as it creeps through the window. My calm is a home cooked meal, and my storm is a vacation to Belize. Tomorrow I will leap onto a giant plane, terrified of heights, I will grip Mr. H's hand for dear life. I will take some Benadryl to tire my eyes and hopefully catch some sleep. Knowing that I will awake in a tropical paradise, will keep me going. Keep me calm. With a solid commitment to leave my computer at home, I will have many stories to share when I return. Lots of pictures, memories, and hopefully a recipe or two. Until we meet again, in a week, I will miss you. In the mean time, I encourage you to make some crepes for a loved one, smell the flowers, fly a kite. Take advantage of this glorious time of year. Take time for yourself.
FRUIT CREPES WITH ORANGE WHIPPED CREAM RECIPE
makes 8 - 10 crepes
recipe adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian
2 tbsp butter melted, plus additional for frying
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/4 cup milk
2 cups strawberries, chopped
1 banana, chopped
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp orange extract
powdered sugar, orange zest, grated chocolate as garnish
In a small bowl, melt the butter in the microwave. Set to the side to cool.
In a blender or with a whisk, mix the butter, flour, salt, sugar, milk, and eggs, until smooth. You may need to add a bit more milk if you batter isn't runny enough.
Place a crepe pan or frying pan on medium heat. Add a tsp of butter in between each crepe to oil the pan.
Pour or ladle a 1/4 cup at a time of the crepe batter onto the pan. Tilt the pan forwards and backwards, left and right to evenly distribute the batter.
Cook for 1 minute, or until the crepe starts to turn golden brown. Flip it and cook on the other side for 30 seconds or until golden.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the wire whip attachment, beat the whip cream until it starts to foam and hold its shape (roughly 5 min). Add 1 tbsp sugar and the orange extract. Turn the stand mixer to medium-high and continue to whip until hard peaks starts to form.
Spoon the strawberries and bananas onto the crepe and top with whipped cream. Garnish with powdered sugar, orange zest, and/or shaved chocolate.