Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Recipe Do-Over Courtesy of Foodbuzz and Frigidaire...Featuring Cinnamon-Apple Crepes with Maple-Vanilla Whipped Cream

 I was so excited when I found out that I had been selected to take part in a special recipe do-over post sponsored by Foodbuzz and Frigidaire. Entrants were asked to share a recipe that didn’t quite work out as planned...and those chosen receive a stipend to re-create that recipe and redeem their foodie credentials! I’m the first to admit that not every kitchen experience of mine is a hit. Today, I’m going to share my story with you...and show you the results when I had a chance to re-do my recipe! Last year, I had planned to share a lovely crepe recipe with you. There was one problem: my crepes were soggy and not at all photogennic...nothing like the gorgeous, golden-brown crepes I had eaten in the past. I chalked it up to inexperience and used the apple filling in a Dutch baby pancake instead. Score: crepes 1, Wendy 0.

Luckily, I have a sense of humor about kitchen fails...I’m not a professional cook, so cooking is always a learning experience. I asked for a second chance to make Cinnamon-Apple Crepes with Maple-Vanilla Whipped Cream so I can finally share them with y’all! I researched crepe recipes to figure out what could have gone wrong the first time. I decided to go with Alton Brown’s crepe batter recipe after reading rave reviews...and because I respect the science behind the recipes he develops. I made one modification, adding cinnamon and nutmeg to the batter. The filling and topping are a Weekend Gourmet original: apples cooked in butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and maple syrup until soft and caramelized. I topped the crepes with maple-vanilla whipped cream and drizzled some of the sauce from the apples on top just before serving. If crepes intimidate you, let me show you step-by-step how to make to conquer your fears!

Cinnamon-Apple Crepes with Maple-Vanilla Whipped Cream
adapted from Alton Brown via The Food Network

Step 1:  
Make the crepe batter by combining the following ingredients in the bowl of a food processor: 1/2 cup AP flour, 1 large egg, 2 tbs. sugar, 1.5 tbs. melted butter, 1/3 cup milk, 1/4 cup water, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 4-5 grates of fresh nutmeg, and 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste. Process for 10 seconds, until combined. Refrigerate for 1 hour before making the crepes. 

Step 2:  While the crepe batter rests in the fridge, make the apple filling. Melt 1/2 stick butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add two peeled and thinly sliced Gala apples, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup white sugar, and 1/4 cup maple syrup. Stir until the sugars dissolve into the butter. Cook over medium heat until the sauce bubbles and turns caramely and the apples are tender. This takes 10-15 minutes. Set aside. 

Step 3:  Make the whipped cream by combining the following ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer: 1/4 cup whipping cream, 1/4 cup maple syrup, and 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste. Whip on high until the cream is stiff. 

Step 4:  Make the crepes as follows: Heat a medium skillet on med-high heat until hot. Rub a stick of butter in the bottom to evenly coat...it will be bubbly. Immediately add 1/4 cup of the crepe batter and swirl round and round to coat. Cook until the crepe loosens itself from the pan and is golden brown...this took 1-2 minutes for me. When it's cooked and golden, it will easily flip. Cook for 10 seconds on the other side. 

Step 5:  To assemble the crepes, spoon some of the apple compote on a crepe, roll up, and top with the maple-vanilla whipped cream...and drizzle some of the caramel sauce from the apples on top.

The verdict? My crepes still aren't perfect, but these came out MUCH better than my first attempt!! These crepes cooked up golden-brown and had a great flavor. The filling is decadent...tart apples in a brown sugar-butter sauce. The whipped cream on top was lightly sweet, but the maple-vanilla combo combined very nicely with the apple compote inside. I served these crepes as a special dessert, but you could certainly serve them as part of a leisurely weekend brunch too. 

Best of all, I can now say with confidence that I CAN make crepes at home...and with continued practice, I may just perfect the art of making crepes. Redemption is sweet...in more ways than one!! This post was sponsored by Frigidaire. When you share your own do-over moment at Facebook.com/Frigidaire, Frigidaire will donate $1 to Save the Children's U.S. programs. Plus, Frigidaire will help cover the costs for one lucky visitor to win the ultimate do-over.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. In exchange for sharing my personal cooking do-over moment, I will receive a monetary stipend.

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