Crepes in Switzerland… sigh…

Swiss-Inspired Pumpkin Apple Crepes

…can I go back?  C’mon, Santa, I’ve been good this year.  A plane ticket would be such a light item to tuck into your sleigh.  I mean, really, I’m just trying to help you out here!

Sigh.  A girl can dream.

Go ahead and laugh, but check out these photos from the lovely little Creperie we found tucked away in the otherwise bustling Right Bank in Geneva…

Swiss Crepe with Fresh Cherry Preserves
Swiss Crepe with Chestnut Puree and Chantilly

“But crepes are French!” You say.  Well, yes, but remember that France and Switzerland are neighbors, and Geneva is practically swallowed up by France on three sides.  This is pretty darn convenient for those of us with minor (OK, major) obsessions with French food.

Today we are making crepes with pumpkin applesauce.  This impressive-looking dish is seasonal and is quite simple to prepare (remember, toppings and garnishes make even flawed crepes look fabulous!).  Your kitchen will smell wonderful and your dining companions will be impressed.  Let’s get started!

Bains des Paquis, a popular destination for swimming and casual dining in Geneva

Ingredients for Pumpkin Apple Crepes (serves 4 with leftovers)

1 small pie pumpkin

6 apples

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

2 beaten eggs

1 cup milk

1/2 cup half & half or cream

1 cup flour

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons sugar


WIN_20140927_130304Step 1) Prepare the pumpkin applesauce.  This takes a little while, but it’s worth it!  If you need a shortcut, combine 1 cup of canned pumpkin with 2 cups of jarred applesauce and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon.  It’s not quite the same, but it will do.  Otherwise, proceed as follows:

Cut pumpkin in quarters and scoop out the seeds.  Place pumpkin quarters on a baking pan with shallow sides, skin side down, and roast in a 375 degree oven for 1 hour.  Remove from oven and scoop pumpkin flesh into a large pot.  Cover – barely – with water and turn heat to medium-low.

Peel and core 5 of the apples, and add apple chunks to the simmering pot.  After 20 minutes or when everything is fork-tender, remove from heat and puree contents of pot using an immersion blender.  Stir in cinnamon.  Taste; add a bit of brown sugar or a bit more cinnamon if you think it’s needed.  Set aside.

Step 2)  Combine eggs, milk, cream, flour, oil, vanilla, and sugar.  Whisk well until lumps are gone!

Step 3)  Heat an 8 inch, nonstick sauté pan over medium heat and grease with a bit of oil and a pastry brush (a paper napkin works fine, too).  Add about 2 tablespoons of batter to the pan and “swirl” the pan to spread batter in a wide, thin circle.  It might take 2 or 3 tries to figure out exactly how much batter to add to the pan (remember, you want the circle to be THIN).  Don’t stress out about this – plan to wreck a crepe or two, call it a learning experience, and move on with your day!  🙂

Step 4) Let your circle of batter cook over medium heat for about 1 minute, then check to see if it’s done.  Just lift the edge of the crepe to see if it’s lightly brown on the bottom and comes off the pan easily.  If so, it’s done!  Crepes are only cooked on one side (you aren’t making pancakes).  Remove from the pan grease the pan again, and make another crepe.  Repeat until you run out of batter.  Keep cooked crepes warm on a pan in a barely warm (170 degrees F) oven.

Step 5) To serve, spread 1 tablespoon of pumpkin applesauce onto the uncooked side of each crepe.  Fold crepes into thirds, cooked sides out.  Place 2 or 3 crepes on a serving plate.  Top with additional pumpkin applesauce.  Garnish with thinly sliced apple and chopped walnuts.  Serve immediately!

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