As I transition from the printed page to the web, I'm taking real pleasure in sharing my food with an audience that talks back.
To encourage further communication and to take our relationship to the next level, I've recently added some new functionality: clickable, printable pdfs for every recipe; categories so you can easily locate topics of interest; a "share this" button so you can email posts to your friends; and a search box to help you find what you're looking for.
You may have noticed that the titles of my posts often bear little resemblance to the recipes therein, so the search capability may prove particularly useful. ("I really liked that banana bread recipe, but I can't remember if the post was called 'I'll take exotic fruits for $500, Alex' or 'A 9-letter exception.")
Today's dish draws inspiration from the very first recipe I ever published, way back in 2004, in the San Jose Mercury News. I created a parfait using a mixture of sweetened ricotta and mascarpone cheeses (dubbed 'cannoli cream' after my favorite Italian pastry), layering it with gingery peaches and crushed amaretti cookies.
I'm resurrecting the cream here as a filling for crepes -- cheater-blintzes, if you will. They're actually the ideal way to use up the leftover ricotta from the Lemon-Ricotta Waffles you clearly made last weekend.
The crepes take a bit of time to prepare but aren't difficult. You can always cook them while, I don't know, your spouse sleeps in and your kids play Wii.
I'm just saying.
Recipe for Weekend Crepes with Cannoli Cream
These crepes are a lazy man's blintz. Try to make the cream first so it comes to room temp by the time you're ready to eat.
Makes 16 filled crepes
For the cannoli cream:
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
2/3 cup ricotta (whole milk or part-skim, not nonfat please)
3 teaspoons sugar
For the crepes:
1 cup milk
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon brandy (optional, but nice if you have it)
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons melted butter, cooled slightly, plus an additional tablespoon for brushing the pan
Maple syrup, for serving
Make the cannoli cream: Combine the mascarpone, ricotta, and sugar in a mixer and blend for 30 seconds or until smooth and well combined. (You can also do this by hand.) Let stand at room temperature while you make the crepes.
Make the crepes: Throw the eggs, milk, water, brandy (if using), flour, and 3 tablespoons melted (and cooled) butter into a blender and process until smooth.
Heat a 7" nonstick skillet or crepe pan over medium high heat. When drops of water sizzle and evaporate, brush the crepe pan with a thin sheen of melted butter. Tilt the pan forward, add roughly 2 tablespoons of batter to the lip of the pan, and quickly swirl to coat. This takes practice. (Eat your mistakes.)
Cook until the underside is golden brown and lacy, about 20-40 seconds, then flip and cook the other side about 30 second longer. (The cook time varies based on the heat of your pan.) Stack the crepes directly on top of one another. Brush the pan with additional melted butter between each crepe and repeat until you've used up all the batter.
To fill, place one crepe on a plate. Dollop 1 tablespoon of cannoli cream into the lower quadrant of your crepe. Fold down the top, then fold in the side, making a little triangular package.
Serve with warm maple syrup.