Crêpes with Apple-Pear Compote and Honey

A classic fall combination - apples, pears and spices - plus some bourbon and honey to "kick it up a notch."  This recipe takes a bit of time, but you can make everything in advance and then assemble right before serving. There will be plenty of praise from your guests when you do.

INGREDIENTS:

For the crepes:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • pinch of salt

For the compote:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large pear (or two small/medium)
  • 1 large apple (or two small/medium)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • grated nutmeg to taste
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons honey

For the assembly:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • honey

DIRECTIONS:

For the compote:

  • Peel, quarter and core the apple and pear. Dice into small pieces (about 1/2 inch cubes).
  • Melt butter over medium heat in a large saute pan. Add the diced fruit, cinnamon and 8 to 10 grates of whole nutmeg, and then saute until the fruit just begins to soften.
  • Add bourbon and light to burn off the alcohol. Turn off heat, add the honey, stir to blend, and set aside.

For the crepes:

  • Add milk to a Pyrex measuring cup, and then add the butter in 2 or 3 pats. Microwave on high for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes until the butter is melted. Be careful not to let the milk boil over.
  • Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl, and beat well. (A stainless steel bowl with a fluted spout is perfect for pouring the batter into the crepe pan.)
  • In a very slow stream, add about half of the milk and melted butter to the eggs while you whisk quickly. You want to temper the eggs, but not allow them to cook. The flour will incorporate much better into the warm milk and eggs.
  • Add the flour, sugar, salt and vanilla, and whisk until smooth. Then slowly add the remainder of the milk and eggs.
  • Whisk until very smooth and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes before cooking the crepes one at a time in a non-stick fry pan (or a seasoned crepe pan if you have one).
  • Crepe batter is very thin, and takes some practice to get it just right. After you make the first crepe, you may need to add a bit more flour (1 to 2 tablespoons) depending on how thick or thin you like your finished crepes.

For the assembly:

  • Whip the cream until it holds soft peaks. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and continue to whip until stiff.
  • Take one crepe, place on a dessert plate, and fold in half and then again into quarters. Lift the top layer of the crepe and spoon in some of the warm compote into the pocket.
  • Add a dollop of whipped cream to the top, and then drizzle the dessert with some fruity raw honey (tupelo, orange blossom, or blackberry are good choices).
  • Serves 6 to 8.


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