Spring Crespelle (crêpes)

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Easter is around the corner and this year it is going to be an unconventional one. My flights to Italy were cancelled last week, which means I will not spend the holiday with my family. If the weather is nice, we would normally have a massive lunch in the garden, eat crespelle (crêpes) with Spring vegetables, barbecue a few lamb chops, and drink some nice wine. At the end of the meal, we would crack our chocolate Easter eggs and eat it, as well as other traditional cakes.

This year, I will spend it for the first time in Cambridge together with my husband. We are already planning on what to cook for Easter. He has a completely different set of traditions for the holiday (foodwise and not), so we’ll combine his and mine and prepare a massive lunch, even if it’s just the two of us 🙂

Yesterday I prepared these delicious Spring Crespelle, with peas, carrots, ham, and ricotta (remove the ham for the vegetarian version). You can also use spinach and ricotta, or asparagus and ricotta. I prepared a whole tray of them, so I will freeze half of it and re-heat it in the oven on Easter Day!

With this recipe, you will be able to create between 8 to 10 crêpes.

Spring Crespelle (crêpes)

Difficulty: Medium Prep Time 10 mins Cook Time 40 mins Total Time 50 mins
Servings: 8

Ingredients

Crespelle / Crêpes

Filling

Top Layer

Instructions

Prepare the filling

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan with the clove of garlic. Cut the carrots in small cubes and add them to the pan. Brown them for a couple of minutes, then add the water and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the frozen peas and cook for 5 minutes or until there is no more water in the pan. Season with salt and set aside to cool.
  3. Transfer the carrots and peas into a large bowl. Add the ham, finely chopped and the ricotta.
  4. Combine well using a spoon. Finally, mix in the grated Parmigiano.

Prepare the crespelle

  1. Crack in the eggs in a large bowl. Whisk them and add the milk in a steady stream, continuing to whisk. Gradually incorporate the flour and combine well until the batter is smooth.
  2. Heat a crepes pan or flat pan, pouring roughly 1 tsp of butter. Once this is melted, "clean" the pan with a kitchen roll tissue and keep it to clean the pan each time you start with a new crepe. Pour the batter into the pan and swirl it around so the bottom of the pan is evenly coated. You want to use just enough batter to make a delicate, lacy pancake. Cook the pancake for about 45 secs on one side until golden and then using a palette knife or fish slice, flip the pancake over and cook the other side for about 30 secs until it freckles.
  3. Once the crespelle are done, set aside.

Assemble the dish

  1. Preheat the oven at 200C.
  2. Grease the bottom of an ovenproof tray with butter. Take one crepe and spread the filling on one half of it. Fold the crepe over the filling, and then fold in half again. Transfer it to the baking tray. Repeat until you use all the filling.
  3. Pour the milk on the bottom of the tray. Coat the crepes with a few nuts of butter and grated Parmigiano. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes, switching to grill for the last 2 minutes.
  4. Serve immediately.

Notes

I was able to make 10 crêpes, but I used only 8 of them for this dish (I ate the remaining two with some Nutella...). With this dish, you can either count 2 crêpes per person or 1 crêpe per person. They are quite filling, so if you plan on a large lunch/dinner, one crêpe per person is sufficient. As a top layer, I coated the crêpes with butter and grated Parmigiano, pouring some milk on the bottom of the tray. This will keep the crêpes moist and prevent them to burn and get dry. Alternatively, you can prepare a light bechamel (white) sauce and use it as the top layer. Coat each crêpes with the bechamel sauce and grate some Parmigiano on top. The baking time remains the same.
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