This morning, I stepped outside into 37* weather and heard the subtle crunch of a light frost under the dogs paws. The wind whipped and settled into my bones, as if it had never left and as it always does in fall, something in me changed. It was, after all, time to whip up a morning fire in the wood stove and get cooking Sunday breakfast. Today that meant making crepes. I had never made them before (surprisingly since I make ployes about once a month, if not more) but I knew I had to try them and today was the day.
Whenever it gets below 40* in the fall, I feel the need to do two things – make warm fires and start cooking Franco-American food. I don’t know the language, but it doesn’t negate the fact that I love everything to do with my heritage – mostly the food. There’s something about it that makes you feel like you’re being hugged tight by someone who loves you very much.
If you research Franco-American cuisine, you’ll find that much of it contains similar ingredients combined in different ways with different herbs. This means much of the food, as my Pepere would say, was what was in the back yard. Money wasn’t exactly falling off trees. People lived off what they raised, hunted, and grew in the garden. This normally meant chickens for eggs and meat, fowl and venison, pork for a fall slaughter, and lots of tubers & root vegetables – like potatoes.
As I was making them I decided that maple butter would be delicious on them – but how to do that? A quick search online (hey, I’m a modern Franco) turned up the easiest recipe ever. As I whipped it the steam came rolling out and it turned into this delicious maple ‘caramel’.(It wasn’t actually cooked into a traditional caramel, but it had the same consistency)
After the ‘caramel’ was done I spread it on the crepes, rolled in some bananas and drizzled the maple butter caramel over the top. Then, I ground some coffee, brewed it up – added a little milk and caramel to it and stirred it in.
Why did I do this all at 8am on a Sunday morning? Besides the aforementioned cold weather settling back into my bones, my fiance has been absolutely wonderful and fixed my car for me the last few days when the breaks got messed up. He’s been helping people all summer long with things he doesn’t have to, and he’s just a really great guy.
What guy like that doesn’t deserve a homemade breakfast in bed on a Sunday?
- Mix 1 cup white flour with 1 tablespoon baking powder
- Lightly whisk 2 eggs in a separate bowl and add a splash of milk
- Add the liquid mixture to the dry and stir together
- Add more milk slowly until the mixture easily fall off a spoon, but still leaves a slight coating.
- Place the mixture into a shallow large dish, that your pan you’ll be using for crepes can fit into, and touch the bottom (so you can easily get all the mixture).
- Heat up a pan with a rounded bottom (this is just my technique, try whatever you want!), flip the pan over. Yep, you’ll be using the bottom of it, and butter it. Dip the bottom quickly (or else it will cook there and make a mess) into the batter and flip back over onto your stove.
- Your crepe will take a very short period of time to be done on one side. Gently (with a spatula) release it from the edges, and then slowly slide the spatula underneath the crepe and flip it. Leave for a few more seconds and it’s done. Continue this method, while reapplying butter or non-stick spray for each crepe, until done. Mine aren’t the prettiest, but they were still pretty tasty.
Maple Butter :
- Bring 1 cup of pure maple syrup up to the hard ball stage (roughly 250-266 degrees F. The closer you get to 266 the closer you’re getting to making hard candy, so be careful. Do this over low low heat.
(Don’t make my mistake of adding in the butter, cold, and before the syrup hits soft ball stage. It cools it down way too much, and butter makes it foam like nuts as you heat it back up)
- Add in 3/4 cup of butter (you read right, I didn’t say this was healthy, Franco food is meant to keep meat on your bones and supply you with enough calories for a hard days work). I recommend preheating the butter so you don’t bring down the temp of the caramel
- Either pour into a deep bowl and use a hand-mixer or put into a kitchen aid and go for it. Either way if you stand over it you’re going to get a maple syrup steam bath but you can walk away with a kitchen aid. Let it whip up until it hits butter stage – this can take a bit.
If you want maple butter ‘caramel’ like me, only heat the syrup to thread/soft ball stage and then follow the same process. You will still whip it until thick, but keep checking and take it out when it gets very very caramel like (I let mine go for a while, and it was super thick but never turned to butter. I could still drizzle it).
Spread your maple mixture onto the crepe, fold in your favorite fruit (I used bananas), roll it up and drizzle the maple butter caramel over. Did I take a picture of the final product? Nope – I was too excited to eat it and forgot.
I put the rest in a jar for use in other items, like spreading between a cake, on ice cream or just for a little sneaky dip into it once in a while.