We’re giving our Blueberry, Chevre & Basil French Toast a bit of an upgrade (find that recipe here) and turning them into crepes!
Crepes you say, isn’t that hard? Actually once you practice swirling the batter around the pan, it’s pretty easy! I was nervous to first try it, but thinning out the batter to allow for more time to get around the pan makes it a lot easier. Just make sure you have butter handy and a rubber spatula!
Now, for that filling. Much more interesting than regular berries (though, don’t get us wrong, we love those too), this will make you feel like you have brought your favourite brunch restaurant home.
For the crepes:
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup water
3 tbs butter
For the filling:
6 cups frozen berries
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar*
2 tsp dried basil or 1/8 cup fresh basil, or more if you really love basil
200g goat cheese
1/4 cup basil, sliced in a chiffonade for plating
*The more aged the balsamic vinegar, the sweeter it usually is. Aging also reduces the acidity and potency of the vinegar taste, making for a smoother taste.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour and salt. In a measuring cup, measure out the milk, top with water to increase by half a cup (up to the 2 cup line). Add the two eggs to the measuring cup of milk and beat until the eggs are broken up.
Make a well in the flour. Slowly add the milk, constantly whisking to incorporate little bits of flour as you go. Continue to whisk and slowly incorporate the milk and flour until the flour is fully incorporated. Then continue to slowly add the milk and whisk – adding a little at a time will prevent lumps and create a smooth batter – until all of the milk is gone. The batter should be very liquidy. Let sit for a half an hour to rest.
Meanwhile, start the berries. Add the berries and balsamic to a medium size saucepan and simmer over medium heat. Mix as the berries defrost and start to breakdown, add the basil. Break up any large berries with your spoon. Once reduced by about 1/4, reserve 1 1/2 cups of sauce and set aside (this will be the sauce you put on top).
Once the sauce has reduced to half of the amount and has thickened, add the chevre. Mix until the chevre is fully combined. Set aside.
Now, time to make your crepes!
Heat up a small 10-inch skillet or crepe pan over medium heat. Add 1/2 tsp of butter and swirl it around to cover the entire pan. Once your pan is hot, add about 1/4 cup of batter. Working very quickly, swirl the batter around to cover the entire pan in a very thin layer of batter. Cook for about 1 min on the first side, or until the crepe starts to solidify, pull away from the sides, can be easily lifted by the spatula and is brown underneath. Once ready, smoothly shimmy your rubber spatula underneath the crepe to lift it from the pan. Having the spatula in the center of the crepe, lift it and flip it over to cook the other side. The second side should take about 30s to finish browning lightly.
Don’t worry if the first one is bad – mine is always too thick and too buttery, but it gives you a good idea of if you need to make adjustments. If the batter doesn’t move easily enough, add some water to thin it out. Not enough batter to cover the pan? Add a little more next time. The first one usually is still while the pan is heating up (cause does anyone have the patience to wait?? Not me for sure) – the rest will be better as it comes to temp.
Repeat the process, adding 1/2 tsp to the pan every few crepes to prevent sticking (if your crepe is sticking, it is time for butter).
Once all of your crepes are done, time to assemble! To assemble, take a crepe and lay it flat on a plate. Place 2 tbs of the filling in a line about 2/3 of the way down the crepe, keeping about a 1-inch gap between the edge of the crepe and the filling.
Next, we roll – think of it like making a burrito. Flip the sides (perpendicular to the crepe) inward and then starting at the end nearest the filling, roll to cover the filling and then roll all the way to the end, making a burrito shape. I make mine like a flatish log vs a tight perfect roll, but that is all personal preference. I find it looks nice and gives room for the filling.
Now that you have a filled crepe, place as many as you would like to eat on the plate (usually 2-3 per person), drizzle with about 1 tbs of the berry sauce you reserved earlier (before you added the goat cheese) and with a sprinkle of fresh basil.
Serve immediately while they are warm and enjoy!