Aside from a couple of outings, I’ve been hiding out in my kitchen all weekend. It’s rained hard the last few days but Mother Nature seemed most furious last night. The wind blew hard and howled all night, drowning out the cries of my poor cat who had some business to take care of outside. When my husband finally heard him and walked to the door, he was met with whiny meows, chastised for making the wait so long…and wet. Why use the cat door when you have two doormen available at your beck and call, right?
Apart from this occasional princely behavior, my cat has sat contentedly by the window while another storm brewed in my kitchen–the baking kind. I made a new starter dough and baked a baguette, baked a tart, a cake and these crepes. The cake was a fail. I used a recipe with vague instructions, prompting me to let go and improvise completely. I decided that I would turn regular gingersnap bars into caramel-apple gingersnap bars. The “bars” ended up cake-like in texture, too doughy and bland but by then I was determined to put the apples and caramel together in something else.
They ended up on these crepes. I finally bought a crepe pan earlier this year but haven’t had the chance to use it until this weekend. This was a test run so I used a crepe recipe that I could easily halve and I wanted one that wouldn’t require the use of a food processor and an hour wait. Following user comments from other recipes I looked at, I borrowed the technique of mixing the batter with a fork by incorporating the eggs and liquid slowly to prevent lumps. I waited a half hour before cooking the crepes but I’m not sure I needed to do that. I was mildly apprehensive about getting the crepes paper thin but my first attempt wasn’t too bad. I was able to spread the batter pretty thinly without using wooden spreader that came with my pan but I think they could be even thinner next time. Or maybe I’ll experiment with other crepe recipes until I find one that I like best. Do you have a favorite you would care to share?
Whatever crepe recipe you use, this one or yours, the caramel-apple topping will be the star. I borrowed the brown butter apple idea from my recent steel cut oat recipe and, discovering an open jar of caramel sauce, I had to put the two together. Caramel Apples on crepes instead of on a stick? It works. The only thing I have a hard time deciding is whether I should call this breakfast or dessert. Either way, I think you’ll like it.
- ***For the Crepes*** (Makes 6)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Pinch kosher salt
- ¾ cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 ounce (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
- ***For the Caramel Apples***
- 1 apple, peeled, cored and cut in small dice
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar (you can even omit this since the caramel would provide enough sweetness)
- Caramel sauce (homemade or store bought)
- Powdered sugar for sprinkling
- To prepare the batter: Add the flour and salt in a medium bowl, stir together and create a well in the center. Add the eggs, beat the eggs with a fork slowly incorporating the flour as you go. The mixture will be thick once the eggs have been incorporated; add the milk a little at a time, making sure the liquid is incorporated before adding more (this will prevent the lumps). Add the melted butter and stir well. Let rest for around a half hour.
- To cook the crepes: Heat up a crepe pan (or a skillet with rounded sides) over medium-high heat. Rub a little butter all over the surface. Once the butter has melted and is very hot, pour about 2-3 tablespoons of the batter onto the center of the pan, and, with a shaking motion, spread the batter around the pan as much as you can. Cook over medium heat or until the crepe is slightly golden on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook for another minute or two. Transfer the cooked crepes in on a parchment-lined baking tray and keep warm in the oven as you cook the rest and prepare the apples.
- To prepare the apples: In a small pan, heat the butter over medium-high heat and cook until melted, brown and it smells nutty, about 2 minutes. Add the apples, cook for 2 minutes then add the sugar (if using) and cook for another 2 minutes until the apples are tender.
- To assemble: Arrange the crepes on a plate, folded any way you like, and top with half of the cooked apples. Drizzle with as much caramel sauce as you like and sprinkle with powdered sugar.