Buckwheat Crepes with Apple, Bacon, and Cheese or Whatever Else You Like

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An unexplained craving for crepes hit me a few days ago. Particularly, I wanted to eat them with sautéed apples, bacon, and sharp cheddar cheese inside, and a dribble of maple syrup on the outside. This rose out of a recollection of a winter trip to freezing cold Quebec City one year, and a visit to a warm creperie and a hot plate of food. That particular combination appealed to me, I enjoyed it mightily, and it lodged itself in my memory.

Crepes are so darned flexible. You can put just about anything inside them, sweet or savory, and eat them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner as a main dish or dessert. Why I don’t make them more often baffles me. Maybe it is the business of mixing them, and then having to wait for a little while before baking them.

This time around, I dug out a recipe that called for making the batter in a food processor and letting it rest for thirty minutes. That thirty minutes looked like just the right amount of time to assemble the filling. With lots of stored apples still waiting for service in the cellar from gathering this past fall, most still in fine condition, I have plenty to use. I sautéed slices in butter. I fried one slice of bacon per crepe, and grated a small pile of the sharpest cheddar I could find.

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Bless my old Silver Palate cookbook, copyright 1982, half my lifetime ago, that has a good crepe recipe. Equal quantities of buckwheat flour, and that good King Arthur white whole wheat, with milk and butter, and our own eggs, whirled up in the old family Cuisinart, make for a fairly wholesome meal. You know that buckwheat isn’t actually wheat, but rather belongs to the legume family? That’s why those avoiding gluten can use it.

So empty out your fridge and see what fragments of good stuff you have in there that might go well in a crepe. Leftover chicken in gravy? Some ham, shreds of spinach? A bit of smoked salmon? Cream or goat cheese and a dab of jam or jelly? No, not the leftover spaghetti.

Buckwheat Crepes

1½ cups milk

2 tablespoons butter, cut up

½ cup of buckwheat flour

½ cup white whole wheat flour

Pinch of salt

2 eggs

Vegetable oil

Heat the milk and butter together until the butter melts. Let cool. Briefly whirl the buckwheat flour, wheat flour, and salt together in the processor, or whisk in a bowl. Gradually add the milk and butter while running the processor, or constantly whisking by hand. Then add the eggs one at a time, processor running, or constantly whisking by hand, until the batter is smooth. Let stand for about a half hour.

To bake, oil the pan very lightly, whip up any excess with a paper towel. Pour a pool of batter in the middle of the pan, then pick up the pan and swirl the batter to coat whole pan. As soon as the crepe looks mostly dry on the surface, slide a spatula under it and flip it over for a moment, then take off the pan and keep it warm until it’s time to serve.

Makes five to six nine-inch crepes.

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About Sandy Oliver

Sandy Oliver Sandy is a freelance food writer with the column Taste Buds appearing weekly since 2006 in the Bangor Daily News, and regular columns in Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors magazine and The Working Waterfront. Besides freelance food writing, she is a pioneering food historian beginning her work in 1971 at Mystic Seaport Museum, where she developed a fireplace cooking program in an 1830s house. After moving to Maine in 1988, Sandy wrote, Saltwater Foodways: New Englanders and Their Foods at Sea and Ashore in the 19th Century published in 1995. She is the author of The Food of Colonial and Federal America published in fall of 2005, and Giving Thanks: Thanksgiving History and Recipes from Pilgrims to Pumpkin Pie which she co-authored with Kathleen Curtin. She often speaks to historical organizations and food professional groups around the country, organizes historical dinners, and conducts classes and workshops in food history and in sustainable gardening and cooking. Sandy lives on Islesboro, an island in Penobscot where she gardens, preserves, cooks and teaches sustainable lifeways.