Brown butter crepes with strawberries

April 17, 2009 4:14:05 PM PDT
Just in time for strawberry season, Nick Smith visits James Beard award winner and executive pastry chef of Waterbar in San Francisco, Emily Luchetti.

Tips for buying/handling strawberries

  • Buying: Deep red color, juicy looking, no white shoulders or shriveled green tops

  • Washing: Fill a bowl of water, place berries in bowl. Gently swish so sand and dirt settles to bottom. Scoop out berries and place on a towel.

  • Sweetening: Taste berry for natural sweetness before adding sugar. Sugar will vary depending on which part of the season it is, how much sun it got etc. Only add enough sugar to bring out flavor, do not over sweeten. Do not put sugar on until ready to serve. Sugar draws out moisture from the berry and it will start to break down. Add a pinch of salt and a couple of drops of lemon juice to help bring out flavor.
Recipe:

Brown Butter Crepes with Strawberries, Ricotta and Orange Beurre Blanc
Serves 6

Brown Butter Crepes

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • Large pinch salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/3 cups milk
Process:
  1. Make a brown butter with the butter.

  2. Sift together the flour, confectioner's sugar and the salt.

  3. Whisk together the eggs, egg yolk and the milk. Add to the dry ingredients.

  4. Whisk in the brown butter.

  5. In a 6 inch nonstick skillet with 1 ounce of batter for each crepe, make 12 crepes.
Filling

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups ricotta
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • Pinch of salt
  • Zest of one orange
Process:
  1. Mix together all the ingredients. Place a tablespoon in the middle of 12 crepes. Fold into quarters.
Orange Beurre Blanc

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  • Pinch salt
Process:
  1. Reduce the orange juice and sugar by half. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter a nugget at a time. Sauce should not break. Add salt. Keep warm in a Bain Marie until ready to serve. 2 pints strawberries, hulled and diced.

  2. Warm the crepes briefly in the oven. Spoon some orange beurre blanc in the middle of each of 6 plates. Place two crepes on top. Spoon strawberries over the crepes. Serve immediately.
About Emily Luchetti:
Emily Luchetti, executive pastry chef at Waterbar in San Francisco, is recognized around the world for her award-winning sweet creations. With four cookbooks to her credit and numerous awards, including a 2004 James Beard Award, patrons can always count on a delectable, exotic and innovative end to their meal.

Luchetti has written five cookbooks: Stars Desserts (HarperCollins, 1991), Four Star Desserts (HarperCollins, 1995), A Passion for Desserts (Chronicle Books, 2003), A Passion for Ice Cream (Chronicle Books, 2006), and Classic Stars Desserts (Chronicle Books, 2007). She contributed to The Revised Joy of Cooking (Simon & Schuster, 1997) and created the dessert recipes for The Farallon Cookbook (Chronicle Books, 2000).


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