Fifteen years ago I made this dessert for my mother’s birthday. It’s a delicious puff pancake that I topped with a warm chocolate-hazelnut sauce. It was nice and light for after dinner. Even though it was April, it was still really cold outside, so the warm puffy pancake was a perfect dessert.
I got this recipe directly from epicurious.com, so if anyone has an issue with the name “crespella,” please take it up with epicurious! I don’t know how crespella came about – I am aware that the Italian crespelle is more like a crèpe. And this puff pancake is more like a German version of a puff pancake, which is like a flat soufflé.
Instead of using a nutella sauce over the hot pancake, I’m using chilled, sugared berries. After all, it’s summer, and berries are delicious right now. Plus, I love the combination of hot and cold, just like sweet and savory.
So here is the recipe I used from epicurious. Be ready to serve it as soon as it comes out of the oven. Oh, and I just did one little thing different – I used goat’s milk instead of dairy cream.
Oven Crespella with Berries
3 cups of berries of choice, halved if necessary
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, mine included the seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups goat’s milk, divided
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Place the berries, I obviously used blueberries and raspberries, in a medium bowl and sprinkle with the sugar. I didn’t use much, maybe only 1 tablespoon, but if you like your berries sweeter, use more like 1/4 of a cup. Toss the berries together gently and set them aside to macerate. The crespella itself is not very sweet, so sweeter berries isn’t a bad idea.
Another option for the berries is to mash a few of the berries and mix that purée in with the whole berries. That will make them more sauce-like.
Put a 12-inch ovenproof heavy skillet in middle of oven and preheat oven to 450°F.
Whisk together flour, eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt, and 1 1/2 cups goat’s milk in a bowl.
Add butter to skillet and heat over the stove until golden brown, less than 1 minute. Pour batter carefully into the skillet.
Immediately place the skillet in the oven and bake until puffed, set, and golden, 20 minutes. Check at 15 minutes to make sure everything is going well.
It will puff up in the oven.
Cool pancake in skillet on a rack 5 minutes (it will sink).
Cut wedges and serve warm along with the sugared berries.
Dust with confectioners sugar if desired.
A dollop of crème fraiche would also be good with this crespella!
verdict: Since I made this before, I knew it already was good. But unfortunately, it didn’t benefit from the goat’s milk, which I was hoping it would. I love the flavors of goat’s milk and berries. Live and learn!