Monday, December 05, 2011

Cheese Filled Baked Crepes with Pumpkin Sauce

The only real trick to making crepes that I have to share is permitting the batter a proper rest before using-two hours at the very least. This is a rather plain crepe batter, not the sort one would use for dessert crepes.

Honestly, you can make this dish as filled pasta, or even a lasagne if you find crepe making daunting. I do not have a crepe pan, but have always had good results using my well-seasoned 20 year old cast iron pan. I use the tiniest bit of oil or butter at the start, and then never need to add more as I make the crepes. That is a common mistake-using too much fat in the pan.

You will need to make sure your pan is hot enough first. A drop of water should, "skip" across the pan when it is sufficiently heated. Cast iron tends to distribute heat well and retain it-medium is usually hot enough for crepes. You'll have to learn to judge your pan, but that's why the first crepe often fails-after a while you'll get the hang of it and there will no longer be, "test crepes."

The crepes may be prepared well ahead and any extras may be frozen for future use.

For the crepes:

1 cup cold water
1 cup cold milk
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups plain flour
4 tablespoons butter melted and cooled

Whisk together the water, milk, eggs, and salt. Whisk in 1 cup of the flour, then the butter, then the remaining flour. You will need to keep whisking until it is smooth and free of lumps. You may use a blender, or hand mixer for this, but really a whisk works fine and why wash a blender jar if you don't need to?

Chill the batter and let it rest at least two hours before preparing crepes. This recipe makes about 10 medium sized crepes.

For the cheese filling:

1 cup drained, 4% milkfat cottage cheese
1 cup grated Swiss cheese
2 large eggs

Mix all together well and keep chilled until ready to use.

For the Sauce:

1 15 ounce tin of pumpkin puree (unflavoured)
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup sour cream

Combine pumpkin, broth, butter and spices in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until butter melts and sauce is warm but not boiling. Remove from heat. Whisk in sour cream.


3/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan

Put it together:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a 9x13 pan, place a bit of the sauce in the bottom to thinly coat. Take a prepared crepe and fill it with a couple tablespoons of cheese filling. Roll and fold it into a square, and place in the pan. Continue until you run out of space, or ingredients. Any extra crepes can be frozen. Cover with remaining sauce and top with shredded cheese. Cover tightly with foil, and place on a baking sheet. BAke 30 minutes, then remove foil and bake 20-25 minutes longer until cheese is browned and bubbly. Let stand a few minutes before serving.

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