Dinner for One
It’s about half a year since it was crêpe time. Maslenitsa, mardi gras – you know, the time of the year when everyone in the upper latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere is pining away for sunshine and warmth. The time of the year to mix together a batter of eggs, milk, and flour, heat up a skillet, let a pat of butter sizzle, and pour in the batter which fills the pan and creates a sun. Like so:
So why on earth did I decide yesterday, the day that the record for the hottest day in Austria was broken, to make crêpes? (New record: 39.9°C/103.82°F) Was I feverish from the heat? Was it cloudy and I needed the sun? Was I feeling solidarity for those in the Southern Hemisphere? Or were there overripe apricots and figs that were calling out to be stewed in voices too loud to be ignored?
I read in the newspaper it was so hot in China that people were frying eggs on the manhole covers. Seriously. I saw a picture. I suppose I could have tried the same (we’ve actually discussed making a solar cooker for our balcony, which definitely gets enough sun to do something like that) but the northern-facing kitchen is actually the room least affected by the fiery August sun. Though my first idea was to make a cold soup, I settled on crêpes because there were certain ingredients that needed to be used up. Stewed fruit and fresh cheese make wonderful toppings for crêpes, filling you up without weighing you down in the heat. Retreating into the cool, I started cracking eggs.
Buckwheat crêpes with apricot-fig compote and goat cheese
Whey or milk (same weight as the eggs)
Buckwheat flour (half the weight as the eggs/milk)
Enough apricots and figs to fill the bottom of a small pot (see photo above), cut into 1 cm/ 1/2 inch pieces
Butter to fry
Goat cheese to taste
Crack the eggs in a bowl. Beat until uniform. Add the whey and mix. Add the buckwheat flour and mix. Let the batter rest in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes.
When you are ready to start frying the crêpes, heat up the diced fruit in a covered pot and stew, stirring occasionally.
Heat up a cast-iron skillet on high heat. Turn down the heat slightly. Add a pat of butter and enjoy watching it sizzle. Spread it into a thin layer on the bottom of the skillet.
Ladle in batter to cover the whole surface of the skillet. Fry the crêpe on one side until the edges start to curl up. Flip over and fry it a little bit longer.
Serve with fresh goat cheese on top.
I’m quite proud with how the crêpes turned out – I often have trouble with frying things, a cooking technique heavily affected by temperature and patience. Last night I got lucky and had the right mix. So what do you enjoyed eating and cooking on hot summer days?