When I think of France at this time of the year, my mind runs to images of fur and feathered game in shopping stalls, wild mushrooms, crisp days bundled up in Parisian parks, insanely strong nips of milky Pastis in a bar, steaming crêpes, folded and eaten street side, and shining copper pots and pans from Normandy.
If I had to combine as many French memories as I could into a dish, I’d prepare these apple-filled crêpes with real French apple brandy, or Calvados. Cider may be substituted if you wish to avoid the alcohol. One could also change this recipe up with ripe pears and Poire William.
Make the crêpes ahead and share these with friends after a hearty beef Bourgogne and crisp endive salad.
Apple Crêpes with Calvados Sauce
Laura Cabot, Laura Cabot Catering, Waldoboro
1 cup milk
1/3 cup flour
3 large eggs, at room temperature
Dash sea salt
3 Tablespoons melted butter
Beat the eggs, add the milk, and mix.
Add the dry ingredients, and mix with a whisk.
Add in melted butter. Let it rest before frying them, as thinly as possible, preferably in French iron crêpe pans.
Cool, cover, and refrigerate.
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 of your favorite cooking apples, peeled, cored and cubed
3 Tablespoons sugar and a dash each of salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon
1/4 cup Calvados (French apple brandy)
Melt butter in a large sauté pan.
Add apples, sugar, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon
Cook together until the apples are cooked through and tender.
Add Calvados and continue to cook until liquid is mostly evaporated. Set aside.
1 stick of butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup or Calvados
Using a electric mixer, beat the butter.
Add the sugar and beat with butter till fluffy.
Gradually add in brandy until incorporated.
Cover and keep in refrigerator until needed. Bring to room temperate before using.
To Finish the Dish:
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Warm the apple filling slightly in the microwave and fill the crêpes generously, rolling up, tucking in the sides.
Place the crêpes, seam side down, in a buttered glass baking dish.
Spread the softened Calvados butter over all and warm the casserole up for 15-20 minutes, covered, in the oven.
Plate with two crêpes per plate, being sure to get some sauce for all and flame with additional Calvados table side. Whipped cream is never a bad thing, either.
Enjoy bringing the warmth of brandy, flames, and friendship together around your dinner table!
Makes 6 servings; these freeze well.
Laura Cabot is an MF&L columnist and blogger, a French trained chef with a long career as a chef/restaurant owner, and president of Laura Cabot Catering in Waldoboro.