Good morning, guys! Well, I say good morning, but, technically, it’s about 11 AM over here at my parents’ place on the day after Christmas. While I am freshly showered, I am also typing these words from bed, so morning seems appropos. This is a lazy morning, the kind with little on the day’s docket, the kind that define the term “holiday” to me. I love mornings like these—slow breakfasts, unhurried schedules, time to sit and think. And I figure as long as I’m sitting here thinking about mornings from here in my old room, now might be a good time to talk about Megan Gordon’s new breakfast book, Whole-Grain Mornings, and about the first recipe Tim and I made from it: buckwheat crepes.
If you don’t already know Megan, she’s the lovely lady behind the literary blog A Sweet Spoonful, a site I’ve been reading so long, I don’t remember when I started. She also writes for The Kitchn; runs her own granola business, Marge; and, has the sweetest love story that just got even sweeter this last week. She used to be an English teacher, which is something I’ve always kind of loved about her, but, mostly, she is kind, even to people she only knows on the Internet like me, and so she has encouraged and inspired me more than once. Her new book, published by Ten Speed Press, is gorgeous and filled with her personal stories and loaded with whole-grain recipes that make you want to head straight for the kitchen and experiment with things like amaranth and buckwheat—case in point, these crepes.
To give you a little back story about me and crepes, they terrify me. My brother-in-law Nathan tells me making crepes is easy! My 13-year-old nephew tells me making crepes is easy! But every time I’ve ever tried to make them, and it’s worth mentioning that this has been more than once, I’ve wound up scraping half-cooked crepe batter from my pan. I’ve always blamed the fact that Tim and I don’t have nonstick pans (“Stainless steel are too hard to make crepes on!”), but, I will blame that fact no longer because, guess what? I now have one more reason to like Megan Gordon, and it’s her homemade buckwheat crepes. Thin, delicate, and sweet, they not only were stupid easy to put together (make the batter in the blender! what could be easier?), but, and this is the big thing: When I poured the batter in the pan, it worked.
For more information about the crepe-making process, see the recipe and headnotes below. For more information about Megan’s book, which officially launches New Year’s Eve and is available to preorder now, head over to Amazon.
(Congratulations, Megan! Reading through this book brought us such joy—So proud of you!)
Buckwheat Crepes with Honeyed Ricotta and Sautéed Apples
Adapted from Megan Gordon's Whole-Grain Mornings: New Breakfast Recipes to Span the Seasons
I've always been afraid to make crepes in a stainless steel skillet, mostly because I've had at least two horror experiences that landed everything I was trying to cook in the trashcan. That said, we don't own a nonstick skillet and these crepes are dreamy breakfast food, so if ever there were a time to face one's fears, this is it. The key is to let the butter coat and cover your sauté pan: Imagine that it's forming an actual layer on top of the stainless steel. Be patient while it heats, too; when the pan is actually hot, crepes are much easier to cook.
Megan's original recipe calls for sauteéd plums instead of apples, but her notes suggest any seasonal adaptation could work, including cranberries for this time of year. I almost went with pears, but apples were on sale; I think pears, with their softened, jammy consistency when cooked would also be lovely.
- 1/4 cup (33 g) buckwheat flour
- 1/4 cup (31 g) einkorn flour
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
- 7 ounces (210 ml) whole milk
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted, plus more for greasing pan
- 1 egg
for the sautéed apples:
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- 2 large apples, (we used red delicious) cut into 8 or fewer wedges each
for the honeyed ricotta:
- 1/2 cup (125 g) ricotta
- 1/2 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 grated lemon zest
An hour before you wish to make the crepes (or the night before, if you want to refrigerate the batter and then bring it to room temperature in the morning): combine buckwheat flour, einkorn flour, salt, milk, butter, and egg in a bowl with a hand mixer or in a blender with enough pulses to mix everything well. Let this sit at room temperature for an hour.
Warm 1/2 tablespoon of butter in a 9- or 10-inch skillet over medium heat. When you're using a stainless steel pan like we were, err on the long side of letting the pan preheat, as in a full five minutes or longer. You want it to be fully warmed and greased before pouring the batter on top. Pour about 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan at a time, tilting the pan immediately after pouring the batter to make it spread into an even layer. Cook crepe over low heat until the edges start to firm up and pull away from the pan. (When the pan is at the right temperature, this should take only 2 to 3 minutes.) Flip crepe and let other side cook until golden, another minute or two. (I added another dab of butter between cooking each crepe in order to keep my pan happy.)
Remove finished crepes to plates and fold in half, then in half again, to make little fans. (Note: if you want to double this recipe up to its original size, you also might like to turn the oven to 200F and place finished crepes on a parchment-lined sheet to warm inside while you keep cooking more.)
In between flips, set another sauté pan on another burner, and melt a tablespoon of butter. Add the vanilla and honey, and add the apple pieces, tossing to coat. Let this mixture cook while you cook crepes, stirring occasionally. Apples are done when they are soft and caramelizing---their flesh will be honey-tinted golden, with browning marks from the pan.
For the ricotta, combine ricotta, honey, vanilla, and lemon zest in a bowl. To serve the crepes, place four crepes on each plate, and top with generous dollops of ricotta and half the apples on each serving.
disclosure: we received a review copy of this book. all opinions expressed are our own.