Crepes with Dulce de Leche
We have a few rituals when vacationing in Mexico: fresh salsa and tortilla chips after a day at the beach, whole fried snapper for dinner and crèpes with dulce de leche for dessert. I have an “assembly line” for making the crèpes in two pans, to keep up with the demand. I even flip them in the air to turn them over, and have the video to prove it. Latin American cuisine has this wonderful dulce de leche product made by simmering milk and sugar until the water evaporates and a caramel-like creamy substance emerges. You can prepare it at home but I tend to buy it in a can and thin it into a pouring consistency with Mexican crema, a cross between sour cream and crème fraiche.
There are several options of skillets on the market designed for crèpe making. At home i cook them on a cast iron crèpe skillet and find that it works really well. The crèpes come out golden and thin and they never stick to the skillet. There are good non-stick skillets as well, but then choose the specialty ones with straight and low rim. The crepes will be more symmetrical that way. If you don’t have one, now is the time to invest in a proper crèpe pan.
Crèpes are simple to make but you need to get used to the right consistency of the batter – it should feel like cream, not too watery, not too thick, yielding crèpes that are light and thin, not doughy. I prepare the batter in the blender and let it sit for a few minutes before starting to cook them, to allow the flour to absorb the liquids.
If you don’t have authentic dulce de leche then serve the crepes with caramel sauce or a scoop of Dulce de Leche Hagen Daaz ice cream and don’t look back. You can also melt the dulce de leche ice cream and serve it as the sauce. Scatter a few berries on top to add a touch of acidity. Enjoy.
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter or canola oil
Dulce de Leche (purchase from a Mexican or south American food store)
Crema (purchase from a Mexican food store)
Alternatively use caramel sauce or melted dulce de leche ice cream
Place milk, oil and egg in a blender and whip to combine.
Add flour and sugar and blend to a smooth consistency.
Let batter rest about 15 minutes before using.
Lightly spray a cast iron or non-stick crepe pan or a small skillet with oil and place over medium heat, not too high.
When the pan is hot lift it from the heat and (depending on the size of your pan) pour 1/4 – 1/3 cup batter into the pan. Quickly rotate the batter in the pan so it coats the bottom in an even layer. This takes a bit of practice. Twirl the pan with a rotating wrist motion to spread the batter evenly around the edges of the pan.
Place the pan back on the burner on medium heat and cook until the underside is just golden.
Gently lift the edge with a knife or a spatula (or find your own system) and flip it over to cook the underside. By now the crepe should move freely in the pan so you can shake it a bit.
When underside begins to colour slide it off the pan into a plate. Repeat with remaining batter.
Warm up the dulce de leche in the microwave and then thin it with crema, creme fraiche or whipping cream to desired consistency. Fold the crepes in half and then in half again and arrange on serving plates about 2-3 per serving.
Drizzle dulce de leche over crepes and scatter a few berries on top. Serve warm.