Crêpes with Walnut-Cream Cheese Filling
Sweet filled crêpes are a classic French dessert. Chef Susan Spicer shows how a Louisiana chef adds flavor. Her Basque aromatic mixture — an engaging blend of citrus, anise, almond, and spirits — is used in the crêpe batter, the crêpe filling, and the sauce.
- Eggs - 3
- All-Purpose Flour - 1 cup
- Milk - 3/4 cup
- Melted Butter - 2 tablespoons
- Sugar - 1-1/2 tablespoons
- Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
- Basque Aromatic Mixture (recipe follows) - 3 tablespoons
- Oil - for cooking crêpes
- Cream Cheese - 1/2 pound, at room temperature
- Lavender Honey - 1-1/2 tablespoons (alt. or other aromatic honey)
- Orange Zest - 1/4 teaspoon, grated
- Lemon zest - 1/4 teaspoon, grated
- Walnuts - 1/2 cup, finely chopped
- Basque Aromatic Mixture (recipe follows) - 1/2 tablespoon
- Lavender Honey - 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons (alt. other aromatic honey)
- Fresh Orange Juice - 1/2 cup
- Basque Aromatic Mixture (recipe follows) - 1 tablespoon
- Orange segments and grated orange zest for garnish
- Confectioner’s sugar for dusting
- Basque Aromatic Mixture
- Orange flower water - 1/4 cup
- Anisette - 1/4 cup
- Dark Rum - 1/4 cup
- Armagnac - 1/2 cup (alt. other brandy)
- Almond Extract - 1 teaspoon
- Lemon zest - 2 strips
- Orange Zest - 2 strips
To make the crêpes: In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and whisk in the flour, 1/3 cup at a time. In a small saucepan, heat the milk, butter, sugar, and salt until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved. Whisk gradually into the egg-flour mixture until smooth. Add the aromatic mixture and strain through a fine-meshed sieve. Let sit for 30 minutes.
Heat a 6-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and swirl in 1/2 teaspoon cooking oil. When the pan is almost smoking, ladle in 2 tablespoons of batter and quickly tilt and swirl the pan so that the batter coats the bottom of the pan. Cook over medium-high heat until crêpe is golden brown on one side, then loosen the edge and flip or turn the crêpe over for a few seconds to lightly cook the second side. Slide out onto a plate and place in a warm oven; continue with the rest of the batter, stacking the crêpes as they are cooked.
To make the filling: In a large bowl, beat together all of the ingredients until blended. Spread about 2 tablespoons of filling on the lower half of each crêpe, fold over the top half, then fold in half again to make a wedge shape.
To make the sauce: In a medium saucepan over low heat, warm all of the ingredients together. Keep warm.
To serve: Place 2 filled crêpes on each of 8 warm plats and drizzle warm sauce over them. Garnish with orange segments and zest and dust with confectioner’s sugar.
Basque Aromatic Mixture
Makes about 1-1/4 cup
Place all of the ingredients in a jar, shake, and let stand for at least 1 hour. Cover tightly and store for up to 6 weeks.