Crepes for a crowd!
Pancakes for a posse!
Blintzes for all you mensches!
That’s right ya’ll, it’s brunch time! And this is my gift to you; the lazy girl’s guide to serving crepes in quantity.
Because, really, who can be bothered with standing boringly next to the stove, painstakingly eking out crepe after crepe? There finicky to make, yo! I don’t need a bunch of my well-meaning family hovering over my shoulder saying ’tilt the pan left, LEFT!”. That’s so stressful.
I want my brunches to be l e i s u r e l y. Laid back, relaxed, possibly even boozy affairs. My favourite kind of cocktails are the ones that masquerade as appropriate breakfast choices! I don’t want to have to reign it in coz I’m flippin’ crepes!
The method is thus: you make your crepes the day before, in a quiet kitchen, very stress free. You then fold said crepes into neat little shapes, however you like. I prefer a square package arrangement, you may like a ruffly triangle shape, the choice is yours. Now, in order for these crepes to reheat perfectly in the oven, we need something to keep them damp, so they don’t dry out. Enter, butterscotch sauce.
So, we layer our crepe bundles in an oven proof pan and douse them in a healthy portion of butterscotch. Heaven, but perhaps a little sweet for the average brunch goer? This is breakfast after all. To temper that sweetness and get a little fruit on the table, I chose to rain down the apricots. Tart, fresh, tender-bellied apricots crumple and become juicy in the oven, and they are basically butterscotch’s best friend.
So there you have it! I just douse the crepes in sauce, slice over the fruit and then hive the whole bake into the fridge where it can wait happily until the next morning. To heat the sucker up, and bring bubbling to life, I just throw it in a 180C/375F oven for 20 minutes, and then plonk it straight on the table. It’s such a brilliant method, and the crepes taste like perfection.
You can go crazy on the variations with this too. Some sauteed apples instead of the apricots would be delicious, as would any selection of stone fruits or berries, or even a mix. Plum and blackberry? Pear and raspberry? Peach and blueberry? Ugh, you know it’s going to be good. Do you entertain much around brunch? What’s your go-to recipe?
Butterscotch and Apricot Crepe Bake
An original recipe by Sarah Coates for The Sugar Hit.
Serves 4, generously.
For the Crepes:
1 cup (150g) flour (spelt flour makes great crepes, as does buckwheat)
pinch of salt
pinch of sugar
1 1/2 cups (375ml) milk
For the butterscotch:
1/2 cup (100g) butter
1/2 cup (110g) brown sugar
1/2 cup (125ml) cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 pound (500g) apricots
To make the crepes, place the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Make a well in the centre and crack in the eggs and then begin to whisk them into the flour slowly, incorporating the milk as you go to make a smooth batter. Set aside to rest.
While the crepe batter is resting, the butterscotch sauce can be prepared by combining all the ingredients in a small saucepan and placing over a medium heat. Bring the mixture up to a boil and leave for about a minute before turning it off, and setting it aside to cool.
Cook the crepes in a large, shallow non-stick frying pan, spraying it regularly with oil as you go. Each crepe should use about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of batter, and this amount will make 8x24cm crepes, but it doesn’t really matter how big or small they are. To cook the crepes, wait until the pan gets fairly hot, then ladle in enough batter to form a thin layer, swirling the pan around to spread the batter. Leave until the top of the crepe looks dry and then carefully flip it with a spatula. Leave for another 20 seconds and remove. Continue until all the batter is used up.
Fold the crepes into whatever shape you like, and then layer then into a large oven-proof dish. Pour over the cooled butterscotch, and then halve and de-stone the apricots before placing them on top. The bake can now be refrigerated overnight. When you want to serve up, the crepe bake just needs 20 minutes in a preheated 180C/375F oven, or until the sauce is bubbling and the fruit is soft and cooked.