Apple and Orange-filled Crêpes with Ricotta-Ginger Topping
These lovely crêpes are filled with caramelized apples and orange supremes, then covered with a ricotta souffle mixture and baked until puffed and slightly browned. The chef recommends walnut ice cream as an accompaniment. The left-over vanilla bean pod halves may be added to a canister of sugar to make vanilla sugar.
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1/2 cup
- Milk - 1/2 cup
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of sugar
- Eggs - 2
- Cake flour - 1/2 cup
- Vanilla bean - 1/2
- Clarified Butter (see Cooking Basics) - 1/2 cup
- Apples - 2
- Unsalted Butter - 1 teaspoon
- Sugar - 1 teaspoon
- Dry white wine - 2 tablespoons
- Oranges - 2
- Grand Marnier - 1 tablespoon
- Ricotta Souffle
- Ricotta cheese - 8 ounces
- Egg Yolks - 2
- Vanilla bean - 1/2
- Ginger - 1/2 teaspoon, chopped
- Grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
- Grated zest of 1/2 orange (from above)
- Egg Whites - 3
- Sugar - 1/4 cup
- Grand Marnier for sprinkling
- Walnut ice cream - 1 pint
To make the crêpes: Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, scraping the seeds from the vanilla bean into the bowl, and whisk until the batter is smooth. Cover the batter with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Whisk again to blend just before cooking.
Film or wipe the bottom of a crêpe pan or small saute pan with butter and place over medium-high heat. Pour just enough batter into the pan to make one thin crêpe. Tilt the pan and use the back of your spoon or ladle to spread the batter very thin in the pan, working quickly before the heat sets the batter. When bubbles appear in the batter, after about 1 minute, loosen the edge with a thin spatula and turn to cook the other side. Cook about 45 seconds, or until golden; remove and place on a sheet of parchment or waxed paper. Do not stack the crêpes until they are completely cooled. Make at least 8 crêpes. The crêpes may be made up to 1 week ahead, cooled completely, wrapped in foil, and frozen until ready to use. Thaw in a very low oven.
Peel the apples and cut in half. Core them, then cut them into thin slices. Put the slices into a medium saute pan or skillet with the butter and sugar and place over medium-high heat. Cook and stir until the apples soften and begin to brown, about 30 seconds. Stir in the wine and cook 30 seconds. Remove from heat. Add the Grand Marnier, cover, and set aside to marinate.
Cut all the rind and white pith off the orange. Save the rind for the zest in the filling. Cut each segment free from the papery dividers and place in a bowl (these are now called supremes). Squeeze the juice from the rest of the orange over the segments. Set aside.
To make the ricotta souffle: Mix the ricotta and egg yolks. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the mixture. Stir in the ginger, zests, and lemon juice. In a small deep bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Sprinkle in the sugar while beating and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Fold the beaten egg whites into the ricotta mixture.
To assemble: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place four heatproof serving plates on a baking sheet. Spread 8 crêpes on a work surface. Alternating apples and oranges, lay slices of apples and oranges diagonally across the middle of the crêpes. Roll up each crêpe and place two on each serving dish, seam-side down. Sprinkle with a little more Grand Marnier. Spoon ricotta souffle over the crêpes and place in the oven until browned and puffed, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat.
To serve: Dust each plate with confectioner’s sugar. Garnish each with a mint sprig. Form quenelles of the ice cream using two large spoons and place one on each plate.