I love making crêpes to fill with summer fruits. They are so light and make a really impressive summer dessert.
Crêpes aren’t difficult to make. My tip is to start off with a really hot pan and then turn the heat down a little. The pan only needs to be smeared with melted butter between cooking each one. It should just glisten, not be running with the butter.
I hope you will want to try them and enjoy them too.
Thin, light, crêpes are filled with a selection of delicious summer berries, then topped with velvety, whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
450g/1 lb a selection of fresh berries, such as blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, redcurrants, or strawberries
240ml (8 fl oz) double/whipping or heavy cream (1 cup)
28g (1 oz) plain/dark chocolate
A heavy gauge aluminium frying pan
Warm 5 plates in the oven.
Mix the milk and water together.
Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.
Make a well in the centre of the flour and break in the eggs. Using an electric whisk or a balloon whisk, whisk the eggs into the flour gradually adding the milk and incorporating the flour from around the edge of the bowl. Scrape any remaining flour down from around the edge of the bowl with a rubber spatula and whisk again until all the mixture is smooth. It should be the consistency of thin cream. Leave to rest for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, wash the berries and pat dry. Hull any strawberries, if using. Place in a bowl and set to one side.
Over a shallow bowl, grate the chocolate to create chocolate shavings to be used for decoration.
Then, in a large bowl, whip the cream until stiff and put to one side while making the crêpes.
When the batter has stood for its 20 minutes start cooking the crêpes.
First melt the butter in the pan. Spoon 2 tablespoons into the batter mixture and whisk it in. Pour the rest into a small bowl and set aside. Use a wodge of kitchen paper dipped in the melted butter to smear the pan between cooking each crepe.
Get the pan really hot, then turn the heat down to a medium setting.
Use about 2 tablespoons of batter for each crêpe. It is easier to measure this into a ladle or measuring cup first and use this to tip the batter into the pan in one go. Using the ladle or cup, hold it so that the base is very close to the bottom of the pan in the centre and then pour it in. As soon as the batter hits the hot pan, tip it around from side to side to get the base evenly coated with the batter. If there are any holes, just fill them in with the batter using a teaspoon. It will take less than a minute to cook. Lift the edge with a palette knife to check the underside is golden.
Flip the crêpe over with the palette knife and cook the the underside until it is golden. It will cook very quickly. Then slide it out of the pan onto a piece of kitchen paper on one of the warmed plates.
Continue until you have 8 crêpes, overlapping them on the plate with a sheet of kitchen paper between each one. Return the plate to the oven to keep warm.
Divide the fruit between the crêpes spooning it into the middle. Fold in two sides of the crêpe over the fruit to create a cone shape.
Spoon a generous dollop of cream on top of each crêpe and sprinkle with some of the chocolate shavings.
142ml carton double/whipping cream or heavy cream (⅔ cup)
1 tbsp powdered gelatine
1 tbsp kirsch (optional)
For the coulis
170g (6 oz) blackberries
1½ tbsp icing/powdered sugar
6 ramekin dishes
For the mousse
Line the dishes with cling film/wrap, pressing well down into the edges and letting it hang over the rim.
Push the raspberries through a sieve to remove the seeds, using the back of a spoon. Then stir in the sugar.
Whisk the cream until it forms soft peaks. Fold into the raspberry sauce and then set to one side.
Sprinkle the gelatine over 3 tablespoons water in a small bowl and leave for 3 minutes for the gelatine to become spongy.
Pour some hot water into a dish that is just larger than the bowl of gelatine and then sit the bowl of the gelatine in it. Make sure there is only enough water to come halfway up the sides of the smaller bowl. Leave for 2 minutes for the gelatine to dissolve.
Once it has dissolved, remove the bowl of gelatine from the water and let the gelatine cool for a couple of minutes. Stir into the raspberry sauce. Then stir in the kirsch, if using.
Divide the mixture between the ramekin dishes and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
For the coulis
Reserve 8 blackberries for decoration. (If the blackberries are large just reserve 4.) Push the rest through a sieve to remove the seeds. Add the sugar and stir until it has dissolved. Pour into a jug, cover and refrigerate until the mousse is ready.
Lift each mousse out of the ramekins and invert onto serving plates. Then, carefully peel away the cling film/wrap. Pour the coulis round the outside of the mousse.
Put a dollop of crème fraîche on the top of each one and decorate with the reserved blackberries.
85g (3 oz) unsalted butter, diced (⅜ cup or ¾ stick)
2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolks only
½ tsp vanilla extract, optional
For the filling
250g (8 oz) cream cheese/Philadelphia (1 packet)
85g (3 oz) caster sugar/white sugar (½ cup less 1 tbsp)
1 lemon, zest only
3 tbsp double cream/whipping cream
For the topping
170g (6 oz) blackberries
icing sugar/powdered sugar to dust
6 tartlet tins
For the rich sweet pastry (using a food processor or mixer)
Put the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor or mixer. Whizz for a couple of seconds to mix. Add butter and whizz for a few seconds to blend. Then add egg yolks and vanilla extract, if using, and whizz until the mixture starts to bind together. knead lightly, then wrap in clingfilm. Chill for 10 minutes.
Roll out the pastry thinly and then cut rounds 3.8cm (1½ in) larger than the tartlet tin, re-rolling the pastry until there are six rounds. Line the tartlet tins, pressing the pastry gently down into the edges of the tins. Roll the rolling pin over the top of each tin to remove the excess pastry. Prick the base using the tines of a fork, to allow air trapped underneath to escape. Now chill again while the oven is heating up.
Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) (gas 5).
Lay the tins on a baking sheet and cover with baking parchment. Pop in the oven for 10 minutes and then remove the baking parchment and cook for a further 2 minutes to crisp up.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a couple of minutes before carefully removing the cases from the tins to completely cool on a wire rack. They will be very delicate until completely cold.
For the filling
Using a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese, sugar and lemon zest together until creamy and well blended. Add the cream and beat again until there is a light, soft mixture.
Once the pastry cases are cold they can be filled. Divide the mixture equally between the cases using a small pallet knife to spread the mixture into the edges of the pastry and then smooth the top.
Divide the blackberries between the cases pressing them down a little into the filling. Cover the tartlets loosely with clingfilm and then chill for 1 to 2 hours.
Just before serving, dust the icing sugar/powdered sugar over the top of the tarts using a small sieve.