Saturday, April 14, 2012

Crepes with Strawberries and Sabayon

Strawberries are in season. They are not quite sweet yet in California, but getting sweeter every week. This is the first dessert I learned to make (along with creme caramel) when I was in culinary training many years ago. It was a very popular dessert in the restaurant where I was working, and we made a lot of them in spring. Plus, I remember when I made it at home for my sisters they loved it. It was the first time I received a compliment from my sisters... so this dessert is a bit nostalgic for me.

Top with whipped cream, any remaining Sabayon filling, or pureed fresh strawberries, then one or two reserved strawberry halves.


Crêpes with Strawberries and Sabayon – Crêpes Fourrées aux Fraises
(Makes 8 filled crepes)

For Crêpes (makes about 12 eight-inch crepes):
¾ cup all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons sugar
 pinch of salt
2 whole eggs
1 cup of milk
1 ½ tablespoons butter, melted
melted butter or light vegetable oil for the pan

For Sabayon cream:
½ cup sweet white wine (e.g., Marsala, Muscat)
¼ cup sugar
4 large egg yolks

1 pint strawberries (or more, if making a puree for topping)
1 tablespoon Kirsch (optional)
1 tablespoon sugar
whipped cream for topping (optional)

Rinse the strawberries and pat dry. Halve 4 to 8 small strawberries and save for top of the crepes. Dice the rest and place in a bowl, then sprinkle with Kirsch and sugar and mix well. Set aside.

Making the Sabayon:
In a medium bowl, whisk together wine and sugar. Add egg yolks and whisk the mixture briefly.
Set the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water and whisk vigorously until the mixture becomes frothy and stiff (keep whisking... you may slow down, but try not to stop until peaks form). The sabayon is ready when the mixture is thick and holds its shape when you lift the whisk.

Pour the sabayon over the diced strawberries in the bowl and mix well. Place the bowl in refrigerator while making crepes.

Making the Crêpes:
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Then add briefly-beaten whole eggs and whisk well. Add the milk until the mixture becomes smooth (you may do this part in a blender). Strain the mixture through sieve into a clean bowl. Add the melted butter and mix.

Using a nonstick frying pan (about 8-inch diameter) over low-medium heat, wipe the butter or oil onto inside of pan using a folded paper towel. Pour in about a 2-ounce ladle (1/8 cup) of the crepe batter, spreading quickly to cover bottom of pan. Cook about 40-45 seconds or until the crepe moves/slides inside the pan. Turn the crepe using a small spatula or a chop stick and cook about 10-15 seconds more. Place the cooked crepe on a clean large plate. Repeat the process to cook all crepes. You can stack one crepe over another without any paper or foil between.

Place about 2 tablespoons of the strawberry/sabayon filling in the middle of a crepe, fold over crepe onto the filling about 1 inch from left and right, and roll up from an un-folded side to make a log. Top with whipped cream, any remaining sabayon filling, or pureed fresh strawberries, then one or two reserved strawberry halves.