At the moment, I am not sitting at a table staring over a bouquet of flowers while admiring the wintry morning's crisp glow, before delicately sticking my fork into one of these lovely crepes. I am not doing any of that. I am lying in bed at 11:31 eating cereal by the handful and trying very, very hard to not think about makeup, or shoes, or fabric mishaps, or any of the other numerous wedding details that have been filling - correction, plaguing, my mind over the past 24 hours.
These crepes are currently the stuff of my dreams. Simple crepes, filled with whipped, lightly sweetened, cream cheese and covered with warm caramel, orange segments, and pistachios, and served with hot coffee on a cozy, relaxing morning.
When I was a pretentious nine-year-old lady I did not want Toasted Strudels for my sleepovers. I wanted my mother to make crepes -- something most American nine-year-olds are not exactly well acquainted with. But ignoring my peers' criticism, I begged her to make them nonetheless, and I never noticed whether or not they enjoyed them because I was far too busy covering my own plate in confectioner's sugar.
These crepes are not the crepes of my childhood. The foundation is the same of course, but the accoutrements have changed a bit (though by no means am I above a classic Nutella and banana situation).
I love the simplicity of crepes. Milk, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla are whisked into a simple mixture of flour, sugar, and salt and are left to rest while the pan is prepared with a coating of warm butter.
At this point, the fragrance of orange peel, burnt sugar, and spicy cardamom fill the kitchen as the caramel sauce bubbles away on the back burner.
The first crepe is flipped and discarded. Any good crepe flipper knows that the first one never turns out.
After the pile of delicate pancakes is safely stowed away in the warmth of the oven, oranges are carefully segmented to create beautiful surpremes. Breakfast is the time for frills.
The crepes are piped with the creamy filling and folded into sophiscated squares before being adorned.
Caramel is drizzled, oranges are arranged, and pistachios are sprinkled.
Breakfast is served.
Here's to making these mornings more than just a fond dream.
Stuffed Crepes with Pistachios and Orange & Cardamom Caramel Sauce
This recipe can actually make 7-8 crepes, but the first crepe never turns out. Having a flop is just part of the process.
for the caramel
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 10 cardamom pods
- 3 strips orange peel (cut with a vegetable peeler)
- 2 tablespoons water
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
Use the side of a heavy knife to smash the cardamom pods, breaking them open slightly.
Combine cardamom pods, orange zest, and brown sugar in a small bowl and use the tines of a fork to press the zest into the sugar, thus releasing its oils.
In a small saucepan combine brown sugar mixer, water, and butter. Place over medium heat, stirring constantly until the butter has melted.
Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 3-5 minutes, until the caramel is deep golden and fragrant. Remove from heat and quickly stir in heavy cream. Be careful here as the sugar tends to splatter.
Strain through a fine mess strainer and allow to cool until the caramel has thickened slightly.
Refrigerate if not using immediately. When ready to serve, heat the caramel in the microwave at thirty second increments until warm.
for the filling
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place cream cheese in a medium bowl and use an electric mixer to beat on medium speed; until fluffy. Slowly beat in confectioner’s sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
Transfer the filling to a piping bag and refrigerate until ready to use.
If you choose to make the filling far in advance, remove the filling from the refrigerator 15-20 minutes before using. This will allow it to soften a bit, making it much easier to pipe.
for the crepes
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- pinch of fine salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, but not hot
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
- 2 naval oranges
- 1/4 cup roasted, unsalted pistachios
In a medium bowl, sift to combine flour, sugar, and salt. Set aside.
In a large measuring cup, whisk eggs several times to break up the yolks and whites. Whisk in milk, vanilla extract and melted butter.
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Allow to sit for five minutes before using. While the batter is resting, prepare a nonstick skillet, or crepe pan, by coating it with butter and placing over medium high heat.
Pour a very small amount (about 1/8 cup) of batter into the center of the pan and quickly swirl the pan to distribute the batter, forming a very thin, round pancake. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until the edges begin to brown and the batter has set, then flip the crepe and cook for an additional minute.
Place the crepes in a warm oven until ready to fill and serve.
Use a sharp knife to cut away the skin and pith of the orange, leaving only the flesh. Then, while holding the orange in one hand, make cuts into each segment of the orange to release the wedges. You should be left with a pithless orange wedge.
To serve the crepes, pipe a 2x2-inch square of cream cheese filling in the center of each crepe and fold the edges inward, forming a rectangle. Then, take the top and bottom halves of the crepe and fold them over on each other, encasing the cream cheese and forming a square. Drizzle with warm caramel and top with pistachios and orange segments. Enjoy!
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