Monday, 12 October 2015

Salted caramel apple crepe recipe (gluten free)

Salted caramel apple crepe recipe (gluten free)

Salted caramel apple crepe recipe (gluten free)

Makes four depending on the size of your pan.

This recipe was inspired by this summer's visit to L'ile de Ré near La Rochelle in France. For years I've been buying their squidgy tan coloured squares of salted caramels sold in bags, which uses the famous fleur de sel from the island. But every time I indulge myself with a chewy sweet I end up spending a few hundred pounds at the dentist: my sweet tooth is an expensive habit, every bag of sweets ends up costing me about £300! (The packet of lemon bonbons I had in Dublin ended up like this.)
But all the ingredients in this recipe are favourites in the North of France: the salted caramel (which will not pull out your fillings), the buckwheat, a gluten-free flour used in savoury crepes from up the coast in Brittany, and lastly apples, famous in Normandy when used in their excellent cider.  This is a gorgeous brunch or dessert recipe, a bit naughty while being healthy.

For the salted caramel:
125ml of cold water
330g caster sugar
250ml double cream
big pinch of good quality sea salt

For the apples: 
2 apples, cored and thinly sliced
50g salted Butter
2 - 3 tbsp Brown sugar
Cognac (optional)

For the crepes:
110g Buckwheat flour
1 egg plus 1 yolk
275ml of single cream or milk 
15g of butter, melted
a pinch of sea salt
1 tsp of Xanthan gum

A small bowl of melted butter for cooking the pancakes.

Combine the sugar and water in a medium sized saucepan and heat gently under the sugar has dissolved. turn up the heat and bring the mixture to a boil without stirring but giving the pan the occasional swirl until it turns a caramel colour. This takes around 15 to 20 minutes.Brush down the sides with a pastry brush dipped in water to prevent crystallisation or keep the lid on which will make condensation run down the sides.
Once the caramel has reached the desired shade of brown carefully whisk in the cream.
Then add the salt to taste. You can pour this into jars when it has cooled and keep in the fridge for at least two weeks.

Core the apples then slice them very finely. Using a medium pan over a medium heat fry the apple slices gently in the butter and brown sugar. When slightly golden, set them aside.
(You could add a little cognac to them if you want).

Combine the flour, egg, yolk, cream/milk, butter, salt and Xanthan gum. (Xanthan gum add stretchiness to the pancake batter, which is useful when you don't have gluten which acts as a glue for baking and batters). Stir around until well mixed but don't overheat as it will make the batter rubbery.
Heat up a flat frying pan or even better, a crepiere, a kind of flat cast iron pan that I bought in France. Dip a bit of kitchen towel in some melted butter and wipe the surface of the pan with that.
Add a ladle of the batter to the pan and tip the pan until it spreads in a thin layer all over.
The first pancake will probably be rubbish. Keep going though.
Once the crepe has set and started to cook, you can flip it over but if it's thin enough don't bother, it'll cook through. Add 2 or 3 apple slices in the middle then fold over the sides, add some more apple slices on top. 
Put it on a plate and drizzle the crepe with the salted caramel you made earlier.
Repeat until all the batter is used.You'll get about four or five out of it so double the recipe if you want more.

Coming soon: my trip to Greece.
Secret Garden Club date on 29th of November, grow your own curry. 

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