By Suzanne Baby
Crespelle are the Italian version of crepes. This is an elegant, earthy
and perfectly balanced dish for that very special brunch.
Makes 4 servings
6 large eggs
2 cups whole milk
2 Tbsp melted unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp granulated sugar Chestnut mixture
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 lb peeled cooked chestnuts
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup red wine
1/4 cup Port
1/4 cup water (approximately)
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste Ricotta mixture
1 lb fresh ricotta
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup melted butter
Make the crespelle batter: In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and melted butter. In another large bowl, whisk together flour, salt and sugar. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until smooth. Cover and allow to rest in the refrigerator a minimum of 2 hours. Strain the mixture through a mesh sieve into a bowl.
Prepare the chestnut mixture: In a large saucepan, heat butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the chestnuts, sugar, thyme, bay leaf, red wine and Port. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally until chestnuts are very soft and liquid is almost completely reduced. Using a food processor or blender, purée the mixture, adding water as needed to loosen slightly. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Let cool.
Prepare the ricotta mixture and filling: In a large bowl, combine ricotta, sugar, nutmeg and vanilla. Add the chestnut mixture and stir well to combine.
Make the crespelle (crepes): Heat a 7- or 8-inch crepe pan or non-stick skillet over medium heat. Brush lightly with some melted butter. For each crespella, pour 1/4 cup of batter into the centre of pan, swirling pan to coat. Cook until bottom is golden, about 1 minute. Flip the crepe and cook until the other side is golden, about 1 minute. Transfer to a plate. Repeat until all batter is used, stacking crespelle one on top of the other. (Note: this recipe should make more than the 12 crespelle needed, but they freeze well, tightly wrapped.)
Stuff the crespelle: Working on a large cutting board or baking sheet, brush one side of each of 12 crespelle with some melted butter and flip over. Spoon equal amounts of the filling onto a one-quarter section of each crespella. Fold twice to form a triangle.
Cook the crespelle: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cover the surface of a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Place 6 filled crespelle in the pan. Cook until golden brown on the bottom. Flip over and place the crespelle on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining 6 crespelle. Place into the oven and cook until both sides are golden and slightly crisped and the filling is hot, about 5 to 8 minutes.
To serve: Place 3 crespelle on each plate. Drizzle with pure maple syrup or top with Sautéed Shiitakes, Crispy Sage and Balsamic Honey (as shown in the photograph), the recipes for which you can find on our website, under Explore/Seasonal Recipes.