Crepes with Sweet Cherries

Crêpes with Sweet Cherries
This version is an homage of sorts to the Hungarian palascinta. Very similar to French crepes, Hungarian palascinta are paper-thin pancakes served rolled, folded into triangles or filled, sometimes with fruit, cheese or even savory meat stuffings. Palascinta are tender, delicious and actually quite easy to make – and their batter doesn’t require the several hours of resting time typical of French crêpes. If you can make pancakes, you can make palascinta.

2 pounds sweet cherries
4 tablespoons kirsch or cherry liqueur
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar or superfine sugar (or to taste)
1 recipe crêpe batter (see below)
1 recipe crêpe filling (see below)
1/4 cup roasted pistachios, chopped for garnish (optional)
chocolate, grated for garnish (optional)



Crêpe Batter:


4 large eggs

1-1/4 cups milk, more as needed

pinch of salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter, plus more for cooking crêpes


In a bowl, whisk the eggs with 1/2 cup of the milk and the salt. Whisk in the flour until smooth, then whisk in the remaining milk and the butter; the batter should have the consistency of cream. Cover and refrigerate the batter and let it rest while you prepare the cherries and the filling (see instructions below).


Making the crêpes: After the cherries and filling have been prepped, come back and check the consistency of the batter (it may have thickened up slightly while resting; it usually does). Whisk in a little milk to achieve the correct consistency, if necessary. Heat a heavy-bottomed, 8-inch non-stick pan over medium high heat and add a small knob of butter (about 1/2 teaspoon or so). Once the butter is melted and bubbling, pour a scant 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan.


Here’s the important part: immediately lift the pan and rotate it until the batter coats the bottom evenly. Reduce the heat slightly and cook the crêpe until it is lightly browned on the bottom and moves freely in the pan when shaken, about 30 seconds. Using a heat-proof spatula (or free-hand, if you’re feeling confident), flip the crêpe and cook the second side until brown dots appear, about 10 seconds longer. Slip the crêpe out of the pan and onto a large plate.


What you want is a very thin, delicate crêpe; if it’s too thick, use less batter for the next one, adjusting until you’ve got it just right. Don’t worry if the first couple of crêpes aren’t perfect – they seldom are. Remember, in cooking, we can almost always eat our mistakes!


Wipe the pan with a paper towel (you usually won’t have to wipe the pan again until you’re done), add another little knob of butter and do another crêpe. Hint: Place a small square of waxed paper between each layer of crêpes to make it easier to separate them when you’re ready to use them.


Repeat with the melted butter and batter until it’s all used up. You should end up with about 18 crêpes.


The Cherries:


Select the freshest, ripest sweet cherries you can find. Wash and pit the cherries, then slice them in half and place them into a medium bowl. Drizzle the kirsch over the cherries, toss together gently and set aside to macerate, unrefrigerated.


Crêpe Filling:


1-1/2 cups ricotta cheese

1/4 cup sugar 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup minced candied citron or grated zest of 1 Meyer Lemon


Put the ricotta, sugar, vanilla and minced citron into a medium bowl; stir well to combine. Cover and refrigerate.


Make the Whipped Cream:


Pour the cream into a very clean, chilled medium-sized non-reactive bowl (glass is best). Add the sugar and vanilla. You can whip the cream by hand with a traditional wire whisk, but it’s much easier with an electric hand mixer, preferably with a whisk attachment. Start out on medium speed, moving the beaters around the bowl constantly, until the cream begins to thicken, about 3 minutes. Increase the speed, continuing to move around the bowl, until the cream forms soft peaks. Put the whipped cream into the refrigerator until ready to assemble the crepes.




Using a spatula or the bottom of a large spoon, spread a couple of tablespoons of the ricotta filling on one half of a crêpe. Fold the crêpe in half, then again into a quarter. Repeat with the remaining crêpes.


Arrange the filled & folded crêpes on dessert plates, 3 or 4 per serving. Spoon some of the fresh cherries over the top, then add a dollop of whipped cream. Sprinkle with the grated chocolate and chopped pistachios, if using. Add a sprig of fresh mint and/or a whole cherry with stem, if desired, and serve.



Earthy Delights

2871 Jolly Road

Okemos MI 48864

tel 855.328.8732

fax 517.253.7366

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