Saturday, January 18, 2014

Apple Crepes with Cinnamon Custard and Salted Caramel Sauce

I love making crepes for my family, whether it be for dinner or dessert.  When I started making it, I was a bit worried that the crepes would tear or stick.  But with time and practice, I got the hang of it and it got easier.  What I adore from crepes was when it was just done with crispy edges and fluffy center; I'm sure they're as good plain as well as filled.  A while ago I borrowed Martha Holmberg's Crepes:  50 Savory and Sweet Recipes from the library because I wanted to try a new recipe.  All her recipes in the book looked delicious but I had to choose one so I chose this apple crepes with cinnamon custard.  The sauce to go along was salted caramel sauce.  I know, it's a lot to prep to enjoy these delicious crepes--from making the crepes, the sauce, and the apples--but it was worth the time.  Now, my only disappointment was that the cinnamon custard didn't look like the photo in the book at all.  The custard's color in the book was definitely yellowish which was understandable if it was a regular custard sauce.  When I made the sauce, I made sure I followed the recipe to a T; but achieving yellow color from brown sugar & cinnamon was impossible.  So I might be wrong but nonetheless, the sauce was quite delicious.

Squeezable salted caramel sauce:  rich, buttery, caramely, oh, just heavenly.  I licked too many spoons from making this sauce.  It's good with vanilla ice cream as well.

Apple Crepes with Cinnamon Custard and Salted Caramel Sauce

Makes 6 filled crepes; serves 6

For salted caramel sauce

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoon light corn syrup

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream or creme fraiche

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

For cinnamon custard sauce

1 cup half-and-half or 1/2 cup whole milk plus 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

2 large egg yolks

1/4 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Tiny pinch of kosher salt

For sauteed apples

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 firm, tart apples (about 1 3/4 lbs), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch dice--I sliced them instead

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Tiny pinch of kosher salt

6 Crepes--use this crepe recipe

Make the salted caramel sauce:

Put the granulated sugar, corn syrup, and about 2 tablespoons water in a small, heavy-bottom saucepan over medium-high heat.  Bring to a boil, stirring just until the sugar is moistened and beginning to dissolve.  Let the mixture boil without stirring but do an occasional swirl of the pan, until it is a deep amber and very fragrant, 9 to 12 minutes.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and carefully pour in a small amount of the cream; it will bubble up furiously.  Whisk in the remaining cream a little at a time so it doesn't bubble over, and then whisk in the butter, vanilla, and salt until the caramel sauce is very smooth.  Transfer the sauce to a serving bowl and let it cool at room temperature; it will thicken as it cools.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Make the cinnamon custard sauce:

Heat the half-and-half in a medium saucepan over medium heat until it's just beginning to steam but don't let it boil.  Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt until well blended, but not foamy.

When the half-and-half is hot, slowly pour about half of it into the bowl with the yolk mixture, whisking constantly and quickly.  Return the pan with the remaining half-and-half to the heat and whisk the yolk-cream mixture back into the pan.  Gently cook the sauce, scraping the bottom and sides of the pan, until the custard thickens and registers 175 to 180 F on a candy thermometer.  Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve if needed; transfer the custard to a serving bowl and chill in the refrigerator until cold, about 2 hours.

Make the apples:

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  When the butter is foamy; add the apples and cook, stirring occasionally, until they're almost tender, 7 to 8 minutes.  Sprinkle the apples with the granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt and cook, stirring often, until the apples are tender when pricked with a fork, 3 to 4 minutes more. Remove the pan from heat and keep the apples warm in a preheated oven.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 300F.  Put the crepes on a large plate and cover the plate with foil.  Heat the crepes in the oven until they're hot, about 10 minutes.

Lay the crepes presentation-side down on a clean work surface.  Spoon a portion of apples into the center of each one.  To fold the crepes, lift an edge of each crepe and fold it over the apples, pleating about six times as you work your way around the crepe to create a pleated border.  Spoon a thick ribbon of the cinnamon custard sauce around each one.  Drizzle a thin zigzag of the salted caramel sauce over everything, and serve right away.

Source:  adapted from Crepes: 50 Savory and Sweet Recipes by Martha Holmberg