This July 8, 2013 photo shows corn crepes stuffed with summer fruits in Concord, N.H. One of the earliest French culinary imports to make a dent in America was the crepe. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)
BY SARA MOULTON The Associated Press
Published: August 3, 2013
Updated: August 3, 2013 at 02:53 PM
One of the earliest French culinary imports to make a dent in America was the crepe. As a kid in New York during the '60s, I remember dining with my family at quite a few creperies. But making crepes at home is another matter. Why bother? Because if you have some crepes in the freezer and some leftovers in the fridge, you can put an elegant dinner on the table in no time. And if you make the crepes without sugar, they can be used in sweet or savory preparations. You can stuff them with everything from leftover cooked pork chops, to broccoli and cheddar cheese, to fresh berries and vanilla yogurt. The crepes in this recipe are made not with white flour, but with stone-ground cornmeal and whole-wheat flour. This gives them not only better nutrition, but heartier taste and texture, too. As you cook them, be sure to re-stir the batter every time you reach into the bowl for more. That way the cornmeal will be evenly distributed in every crepe. Here in the heart of summer, it's natural to take advantage of the abundance of summer stone fruit. Any variety will shine in this recipe - peaches, plums, cherries or nectarines - and in any stage of ripeness. We are poaching them, after all, which allows us to transform even an unripe and tasteless piece of fruit into something tender and deeply flavorful.
The magic ingredient in this process is wine, which - thanks to its taste and acidity - boosts the flavor of any dish. If you can't use wine, just swap in your favorite fruit juice, keeping in mind that you will probably have to adjust the sugar before you're done. Finally, I realize that the fresh vanilla bean called for here can be pricey. It's worth the splurge. Vanilla beans perfume a dish in a way that vanilla extract can't come close to. Corn Crepes Stuffed with Summer Fruits † Start to finish 1 hour; servings 4 † 2 tablespoons unsalted butter † 1 cup 1 percent milk † 2 large eggs † 1/4 cup cornmeal, preferably stone ground † 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour † Pinch table salt † 3/4 cup dry white wine † 1/3 cup sugar † 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract) † 6 cups, pitted and cubed fresh summer fruit, such as nectarines, plums and peaches † 3/4 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt † In a small skillet over low heat, cook the butter until it starts to turn brown and smell nutty. Transfer the butter to a blender, then add the milk, eggs, cornmeal, flour and salt. Blend just until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and let rest for 30 minutes. † While the batter is resting, in a medium saucepan over low heat, combine the wine, sugar and vanilla bean. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. (If using vanilla extract, add it to the fruit after the fruit has cooked for 20 minutes in the next step.) Add the fruit, bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. † While the fruit is poaching, make the crepes. Mist a 10-inch nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Heat over medium heat. † Stir the crepe batter and quickly pour 1/4 cup of it into the skillet, tilting the batter in the pan to make sure the bottom is completely covered. Cook the crepe until it is lightly browned on the bottom, about 1 minute. Flip, cook for another 30 seconds, then transfer it to a rack to cool. Repeat with the remaining batter to produce 8 crepes. Once cooled, the crepes can be stacked. Set them aside. † After the fruit has poached for 20 minutes, use a slotted spoon to transfer it to a bowl, making sure to leave most of the cooking liquid in the saucepan. Scrape the seeds inside the vanilla bean out with the tip of a paring knife and add them to the fruit. † Bring the cooking liquid remaining in the saucepan to a boil and cook it until it is reduced to about 1/2 cup. Transfer the liquid to a small pitcher and return the fruit to the pan. Heat over medium until hot. † To assemble the crepes: Mound a bit of the fruit filling down the middle of each of the crepes, then roll up. Arrange the filled crepes, seam side down, on dessert plates, then drizzle them with the reduced sauce and top with 2 tablespoons of the yogurt. † Nutrition information per serving: 410 calories; 90 calories from fat (22 percent of total calories); 10 grams fat (4.5 grams saturated; 0 grams trans fats); 110 milligrams cholesterol; 66 grams carbohydrate; 6 grams fiber; 44 grams sugar; 11 grams protein; 125 milligrams sodium.