Today I suddenly started craving crepes. As I whipped up the batter from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, I was reminded by the scrawl on my birthday calendar that tomorrow is Julia's birthday, so I hastily raised a fork full of these delicious, apricot-stuffed dessert pancakes to Julia's dear memory.
When I worked in a French restaurant, I was the crepe maker - stacks and stacks of crepes for dessert, and often for a savoury fruits de mer entree. It's hot work, and you have to work fast, but once you get the hang of it, you can whip out a few dozen without any trouble. A crepe pan is a must for me, with a heavy bottom that holds the heat, as well as asbestos fingertips, if you tend to flip them with your fingers, as I do, instead of the more sensible spatula.
Recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking
The batter needs to be made a few hours before you intend to use it. You'll need:
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup water ( today I used 1 cup water to get the right consistency)
3 egg yolks
1 T. sugar
2-3 T. dark rum
1 1/2 cups sifted King Arthur flour
5 T. unsalted butter, melted, plus more for cooking the crepes
Place the ingredients ( in the order listed) into the blender. Puree and add a little more water if the batter is too thick. When you ladle it into the hot pan, you need to swirl it quickly, which won't happen if the batter is too thick.
Let the batter sit for 2 hours in the fridge.
Two hours later.....:
Place a stick of unsalted butter on a plate near your stove.
Heat up the crepe pan ( or omelet pan works, too) and swirl the tip of the stick of butter around the pan. The heat should be at medium.
Using a small ladle, scoop the batter out and , using a swirling motion, drizzle into the hot pan. Immediately grasp the pan's handle, and tip it around and back and forth so the batter covers the bottom of the pan. After a minute, the edges will look bubbly. Another minute and you're ready to flip it quickly, using a spatula. Cook another minute or so, then flip the crepe out onto a platter.
Continue to butter the pan, scoop the batter, and cook until batter is gone - this makes around 10 crepes.
If you're serving them right away, simply flip onto a plate, spoon some chunky apricot preserves around the disc of the crepes, and roll up. Three to a plate is usually plenty per person. Dust a little confectioner's sugar on top and serve. If you're holding them, place squares of waxed paper between the crepes so they don't stick together.
And blessed Happy Birthday, Julia! Where would we be without you?