Father's Day Crêpes
Ever since I can remember, my dad has always loved getting in the kitchen and experimenting with new recipes – substituting this, adding a few extra pinches of that. When I stop to think about it, he had such a huge influence on my love of food, because he showed me how to be creative and adventurous with cooking and baking. He’s also a great food critic in that he has always been honest in his taste tests of my food (in a really good way, I promise) - asking how I think the flavors melded together, what could I do next time to bring out more of this flavor etc. We all need critics like that - who are willing to be honest with us when we don’t succeed the first time and show us how to improve. My dad is definitely that critic, and while my younger teenager self didn’t always appreciate his criticisms (both in and outside the kitchen), I 100% appreciate it now, because in those teeny criticisms he taught me how to think critically, how to be analytical, and how to get better results. Those are pretty damn good skills to teach your daughter, and I have him to thank for it.
I also have him to thank specifically for my love of the following culinary delights:
1. Really good (and sometimes stinky) cheese
2. Good wine and cocktails
6. What I still (after 20+ years) consider to be the best recipe for M&M cookies
7. Boston cream pie
8. And probably most importantly, my obsession with real maple syrup. Like I could probably drink it out of the jug with a straw kinda love.
I have such great memories growing up of going into Wasik’s Cheese Shop and sampling all the different cheeses with my dad, and then helping to decide which ones to take home (aka, all of them usually), and of eating waffles together on Saturday mornings and licking our plates clean of maple syrup after we had eaten the waffles, because you can’t let ANY maple syrup go to waste. And because of my love for real maple syrup, I also have him to thank (or maybe not) for being baffled by the fact that other people can tolerate the taste of Aunt Jemimah drizzled over their pancakes or waffles (sorry Aunt Jemimah).
One food that truly reminds me of my dad’s love of tinkering with recipes is his crêpes. They always turn out perfectly and yet every time, he does something just a little different. Maybe he adds a little more cinnamon, or maybe he adds a different spice, or maybe he adds a little booze. Regardless, crêpes always remind me of dad. So for Father’s Day, I’m testing out my own rendition!
Love you so much dad, Happy Father’s Day!!
Father’s Day Crêpes
makes about 6 crêpes
For the berry filling
Combine fruit and next 3 ingredients in a pan. Stir occasionally over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, or until fruit has softened. If you use frozen fruit and the mixture is too watery, add a bit of corn starch.
For the crêpe batter
In a standing mixer, combine milk and eggs. Mix on medium-high speed until foamy, about 10 seconds. Turn mixer to low speed and add the sugar and salt. Once added, mix on high speed for a few seconds, then turn back down to low speed. Follow the same procedure for adding the butter, brandy, and vanilla. Turn mixer back to low, add flour (all at once) and blend until just combined.
Place crêpe pan over moderately high heat. With a flexible spatula, spread a tiny amount of butter in pan and heat until butter just begins to smoke. Pour 1/4 to 1/3 c batter into the pan. As you pour, work quickly to tilt the pan in all directions to spread a thin layer of batter across the bottom. Pour in just enough batter to cover the pan.
Cook crêpe over moderately high heat until bubbles start to form on the surface, about one to two minutes. Lift up the edge to check the cooking process - if the crêpe starts to burn before it is cooked through, turn down the heat. If it is not nicely browned after two minutes, turn up the heat.
Once the underside of the crêpe is lightly browned, flip and cook another minute or less, until other side is browned. Remove from the pan and keep warm in the oven, loosely covered with foil.
Grease the pan with a very small amount of butter and repeat the process. Continue until all batter is used, stacking cooked crêpes on a plate in the oven. To serve, spread a scant 1/4 c of the berry filling on one side of the crêpe and gently roll it (alternatively, you could fold the crepes). Sprinkle each crêpe with powdered sugar and serve immediately.
For the berry filling
1 c each of blueberries, raspberries and blackberries
1/3 c sugar
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp cinnamon
For the crêpe batter
3/4 c whole milk
1 1/2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tbs unsalted butter, melted
1/4 c brandy
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c all-purpose flour