So cold that I had to wear socks with my Birkenstocks three days in a row.
So cold that I’m legitimately scared to Google the 10-day forecast.
So cold that when I went outside to shoot the photos you are currently looking at, my fingers went numb, my camera lens frosted over, and the caramel hardened on the plate. It’s all so wrong.
I racked my brain and came up with five positives in the midst of this gloominess:
Positive 01 / Socks and Birkenstocks can actually be fun.
Positive 02 / Coffee is good and coffee is hot.
Positive 03 / Dad makes really great fires.
Positive 04 / There’s no shame in leaving the oven on forever (read: bake your heart out).
Positive 05 / I don’t have to worry that ice cream will melt on the way home from the store.
Let’s use positive number four to our advantage and make pumpkin butter. Or in my case, winter squash butter. This is going to be the second time in one week that I direct you elsewhere for a recipe, and I hope you don’t mind. But once again, I followed instructions word-for-word and it seems pointless to rephrase and type all of that again here, because the real reason I’m here today is to talk about crêpes.
Before we get to that though, a couple of things about this pumpkin butter. I used one butternut squash and one acorn squash. I also only used 5 tablespoons of butter. The texture is DREAMY. So smooth and satiny. I did choose to give the butter a spin in the food processor at the end, as the recipe suggests. The flavor is fall on a spoon (hey, I’ve never claimed to be a food writer). It’s really easy to make, even if it does require quite a bit of time in the oven. But you could always break the process up by roasting the squash one day and caramelizing it the next! Or just go for the whole thing; much of the time is relatively hands-off.
Okay, I think that’s all you should know about that! Now onto the crêpes.
Crêpes are one of those things that I LOVE eating when they’re made by a professional but dread making myself. It’s always more stressful than fun- trying to get the batter to spread across a hot pan thinly and quickly seems impossible.
So when I made the squash butter this week and had the thought to use it in crêpes, I was half excited and half bummed. Why did I have to think of crêpes, my culinary nemesis?
It seemed like an overall good idea though, and I like a good challenge in the kitchen, so I started planning. As I mentioned above, the main thing that always trips me up with crêpes is basically the large pan size. Even if I’m successful in getting the batter to spread to the edges (maybe by the sixth crêpe… on a good day), with a surface that big, they’re still tough to flip without tearing.
The solution I came up with was simply to use a smaller pan. Make mini crêpes, in a way, but not too mini. They’re still large enough to fold, if that’s how you do crêpes, but the process is so much easier, and I was able to successfully cook all of the batter without destroying a single crêpe. A definite positive.
P.S. There are so many things I dislike about this post (except the recipe), but maybe if I don’t mention them specifically you won’t notice. Accept my first two food-related .gifs as a peace offering :)
Note: to cook the crêpes, use a pan with a 6-inch surface diameter.
2 large eggs
½ cup whole milk
1 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon butter, melted
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
60g oat flour
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Lightly beat the eggs in a medium mixing bowl, just to break the yolks up. Try to incorporate as little air as possible into the batter while whisking (no bubbles). Whisk in the milk, honey, melted butter, and vanilla. Finally, whisk in the oat flour and sea salt.
Heat a small frying pan over medium heat. Brush with a small amount of neutral oil (or wipe with a small paper towel). As smoothly as possible, pour about 2 tablespoons of batter into the pan and immediately tilt the pan in a sort of circular motion until the batter has coated the entire bottom. Cook until the top of the crêpe is no longer shiny, then flip and cook until the opposite side is lightly golden.
Set the finished crêpe on a parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat the entire process with the remaining batter. Remember to re-oil the pan each time! There’s nothing worse than a crêpe that sticks to the pan.
Once all of the crêpes have been cooked, you can start forming the crêpes immediately, or stack them flat on a plate with parchment paper between each layer. Cover with plastic and store in the fridge until you’re ready to use. The crêpes can be reheated in a pan over medium heat… it only takes a handful of seconds.
To form the crêpes, spread an even layer of winter squash butter over each crêpe (about 1 tablespoon per crêpe). Roll up gently, then set back on the baking sheet and place in a warm oven. Repeat with the remaining crêpes, keeping the completed ones hot in the oven. Plate the crêpes (2-3 per person) and drizzle with salted caramel. Serve immediately.
Makes 12 6-inch crêpes.