Welcome to the Weekly Yum, Coast to Coast with Sacks and Katz. This week on Stirring the Pot radio, cookbook author and culinary translator, Rebecca Katz joins the conversation to deconstruct Buckwheat Crepes with Honeyed Ricotta and Sautéed Plums (listen here) from Whole Grain Mornings by Megan Gordon. Sacks and Katz will lure you into the kitchen to create meals that enhance your health and well being while caressing your tastebuds. Nutritious always meets delicious on the Weekly Yum.
From Whole Grain Mornings
My friend Keena lives less than a mile away and has a plum tree she can’t keep up with. In early fall, she makes jam with as many plums as she can and sends me home with a big grocery bag full of them every time I see her. I’m not much of a canner, so I began sautéing them and using them as a topping for yogurt and porridge, and as a filling for these simple buckwheat crepes. While buckwheat groats have a pretty distinct flavor and can be a hard sell for many folks, buckwheat flour is commonly used and adored in both sweet and savory crepes. For this recipe, use oval-shaped Italian plums (or prune plums) if you can; they’re nice and firm and lend themselves well to sautéing—or just plain snacking.
Makes about 12 crepes
Morning Notes: The crepe batter needs to rest for at least an hour, so plan accordingly or make the batter and refrigerate it overnight. If you go that route, the crepes cook best when the batter is at room temperature, so let it sit out for at least 30 minutes before cooking them.
1⁄2 cup / 65 g buckwheat flour
1⁄2 cup / 60 g unbleached all-purpose flour
1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup / 240 ml milk
3⁄4 cup / 180 ml buttermilk
2 tablespoons butter, melted, plus more for greasing the pan
2 large eggs
1 tablespoons coconut oil or butter
1⁄2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon honey
1 pound / 450 g Italian plums (6 to 7 plums), each sliced into 6 wedges
Honeyed Ricotta (see recipe below)
Honey, for serving
To make the crepes: Whisk the flours, salt, milk, buttermilk, butter, and eggs together in a large bowl until very smooth. To save arm power, you can blend the ingredients in a blender instead. Let the batter sit for at least 1 hour at room temperature and up to 1 day in the refrigerator.
Rub a small dab of butter (1⁄2 tablespoon or so) onto the bottom of a 9- or 10-inch nonstick crepe pan or sauté pan over medium heat and wait until it melts completely. (Too much butter will make for a soggy crepe.) Pour 1⁄4 cup of the batter into the hot pan and tilt it in a circular motion to ensure the batter spreads out into an even layer. Cook over low heat until the edges start to pull away from the pan, about 2 minutes. Using a nonstick spatula, carefully flip and cook the other side until golden brown, about 1 minute. Lay the crepe on a large plate and repeat until you’ve gone through all of the batter (it’s okay to stack the crepes on the plate). If the crepe pan starts to get too dry, add another little dab of butter. I tend to cook these quickly while the plums are sautéing and assemble them right then, but if you’re chatting with friends and taking your time, keep the finished, unfilled crepes warm in a 200°F oven until ready to assemble.
To sauté the plums: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the coconut oil. Add the vanilla and honey, swirl the pan so they combine with the coconut oil, and then add the plums. Sauté until juicy and warm, 2 to 3 minutes.
To assemble: For each crepe, gently fold the crepe in fourths (fold in half, then in half again) and dollop 1 to 2 tablespoons of the Honeyed Ricotta and a few sautéed plums on top. Finish with a generous drizzle of honey.
Make It Your Own: These crepes work in any season. Swap out the plums for stone fruit in the summer or pears and cranberries in the winter. For a more decadent brunch, I’ve used mascarpone thinned with just a little Greek yogurt as a topping instead of the ricotta. Alternatively, try a spoonful of Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Spread (page 133) or, for a jammy filling, try Apricot Cherry Compote (page 98) or Strawberry Rhubarb Quick Jam (page 71). For a savory option, make wraps filled with the Greens and Grains Scramble (page 140).
Make Ahead: You can cook the crepes and store them in the refrigerator, stacked between pieces of waxed or parchment paper, for up to 3 days. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months by allowing the crepes to cool completely, wrapping them well in plastic wrap, and placing them in an airtight container. To reheat, place them in a glass baking dish or a pie plate covered with aluminum foil. Heat in a 250°F oven until just warmed through.
This may be my favorite accompaniment in the book. It’s wonderful on pretty much everything, especially Buckwheat Crepes (page 118) or Whole-Grain Buttermilk Pancakes (page 36), or stirred into The Very Best Oatmeal (page 30). Ricotta is traditionally made from the whey that’s left over from the cheese-making process, and it’s often extremely mild. This recipe brightens the simple cheese with a combination of honey, vanilla, and lemon zest—transforming it into a light morning topping that could rival any high-end yogurt or jam.
Makes about 2 cups
15 ounces / 425 g part-skim ricotta
2 tablespoons honey
1⁄4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1⁄4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
In a small bowl, use a whisk to whip all the ingredients together until light and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Reprinted with permission from Whole-Grain Mornings: New Breakfast Recipes to Span the Seasons by Megan Gordon (Ten Speed Press, © 2013). Photo Credit: Clare Barboza.