I suddenly found myself thinking of crepes a few weeks ago. Really, my mind had wandered to manicotti, the Italian version of crepes. Most people don’t realize that manicotti are not made from pasta. The thin pasta-like wrap filled with ricotta cheese and topped with sauce is actually called a crespelle. The batter is simply eggs, milk and flour, and prepared in a blender.
Well, one thought led to another, and I wondered why not make a French crepe batter and use ricotta cheese in place of Gruyere. Still unsure of whether to make savory or sweet crepes, I decided to compromise and make a not too sweet pear filling. The sauce was easy enough, just some brown sugar, butter and fresh orange. I also took liberties with the batter, adding black pepper for a whisper of heat to contrast the creamy coolness of the ricotta. The resulting flavors were refreshing and light, and left me wondering if I should’ve added some praline walnuts for a crunchy topping. Guess I’ll just have to make them again to test that theory.
Pear and Ricotta Crepes with an orange brown sugar sauce
makes 8 to 10
Save time and prep the filling up to a day in advance. Just heat it gently in the microwave until the pears are warm and the juice is bubbly.
For the Filling:
2 pears, peeled
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup (1.65 ounces/46 grams) packed dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon (2 grams) sea salt
Juice and freshly grated zest from 1/2 an orange
1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese, at room temperature
For the Savory Crepe Batter:
1 large egg
3/4 cup (6 ounces) milk
1/2 cup (70 grams) flour
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons melted butter, divided