Crepes with Apple-Cranberry Chutney

 I get this feeling that this should instead be titled “Crepes avec Chutney de Pommes”.  After all, something this delicate and fancy could only be found in a French bistro. 

This crepe is basically what most of us expect of a crepe.  I’ve gone out specifically to get crepes at an actual creperie many a time, both here in town and when I spent a summer in Greece, but no matter where I am, or what crepe I order, I initially think “Paris” and “sweet.” 

Is that what pops into your mind, too?  Well, it wasn’t something I ate as a kid and I’ve never been to Paris… so why don’t we just blame it on the movies?

 Regardless.  As much as I love messing with tradition and being faintly irreverent to conventional cooking, I had to acknowledge something as pure and delightful as the sweet, fruity, crepe.

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One of the best things about this chutney, too, is its undeniable pronouncement of fall flavor.  The weather has begun to change just enough that I’m finally ready for things cooked with apples, cranberries, and cinnamon.  Thank goodness – I found this recipe just in time before the serious cravings hit!

 Speaking of cravings - as you may already know, I recently began a short culinary program at a local community college – something I’d been longing to do for the last few years.  You know, get a smidge of formal training under my belt and all that.  This recipe is slightly adapted from one I found in the “Professional Garde Manger” textbook/cookbook, by Lou Sackett and Jaclyn Pestka.  We made it in my cooking class, and it was absolutely delicious, if not a tad too sweet for me.

I made just a few tiny modifications, but otherwise, this is it.  We’re gonna throw in some festive cranberries, tart harvest apples, spices, a little white wine, reduce the sugar by 2 oz., give it time to simmer itself saucy… and voila – the sublimely sweet filling makes for a crêpe très magnifique!

 

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Apple-Cranberry Chutney

½ cinnamon stick

6 cloves

10 cardamom pods

1 tsp. coriander seeds

(Alternatively, I would totally consider trying a chai tea bag in place of spices.  Let me know how it goes if you do try it instead!)

1 lb. peeled apples

1 T. minced fresh ginger

2 oz. (½ c.) dried cranberries

4 oz. sweet or lightly sweet white wine

4 oz. sugar

2 T. lemon juice

Water, as needed

Powdered sugar, for finishing

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Wrap the cinnamon stick through coriander seeds in a layer of cheesecloth and tie off with a string – trim any excess string or cloth.

Dice the apples and set aside.

Bring the ginger, cherries, wine and sugar to a boil in a large saucepan.  Add the spice packet, apples, and lemon juice.  Add just enough water to cover the apples.  Simmer about 15 minutes, or until the apples are tender and mixture is thick and saucy. 

If there seems to be too much liquid when the apples are done, you can always take the apples out with a slotted spoon and boil the liquid down, before adding them back at the end.

Keep some chutney hot for the crepes.  Cool any leftover chutney to room temperature and put into a clean jar to refrigerate.  This will keep about 2 weeks in the fridge.

Makes 8-10 crepes

1 cup flour (all-purpose or half ww pastry and half all-purpose)

1 ½ c. almond milk or nonfat milk

2 eggs ¼

¼ tsp. salt

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Place all crepe ingredients in a blender and blend just until no clumps remain.

Heat a small non-stick sauté pan on the stove over medium high heat and spray with a canola or vegetable oil cooking spray.

Immediately pick up the pan and tilt slightly to one side.  Pour some of the batter on the pan while rotating the pan with your wrist to cover the entire bottom of the pan in an even coat.

Replace the pan on the stove and cook the crepe about one minute.  The edges will start to curl up and the top will look opaque.  Flip the crepe – if you can do this by simply flicking your wrist, I am impressed and jealous – or you can break out a large spatula and flip it my way – er… that way.

Cook about 30 seconds longer, or until done, and slide onto a plate.  Repeat, placing a sheet of wax paper in between each crepe to keep them from sticking.

Spoon about 3-4 T. of the chutney into each of the crepes and fold in half or roll up.  Sprinkle each crepe with powdered sugar (I like to sift it through a mesh strainer directly onto the crepes) and serve with tea and coffee and a doily.  Perhaps tell someone “bonjour!”  It just feels right.

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