Hello everyone! It’s been a while since I was on here, but in the wake of our current global crisis, and everything slowing down just a little bit, I thought I’d share with you a recipe that gave me a lot of enjoyment (both to make and eat ;-)) in the hopes that it might bring a bit of joy to your home and tastebuds too.
Easter is my favourite holiday, I think because of its association with Spring in the northern hemisphere, and therefore the symbolism of flowers, bunnies, sunlight and fresh beginnings. Before Covid-19 knocked us all off our feet, I had been planning an Easter brunch for my nearest and dearest, and when it became apparent that that was not going to be realised, I decided to go ahead anyway on a very reduced scale just for my own enjoyment.
I’m a massive fan of pancakes, thanks to my Dad, who makes the best ones I’ve ever had. I had earmarked a crepe cake recipe as a nod to my favourite breakfast, but made a little more special for the occasion.
Lemon Curd Crepe Cake
90g unsalted butter, softened to squishy (MUST NOT BE HOT)
4 1/2 cups milk
450g plain flour
30g caster sugar
1 tsp salt
Extra butter, for cooking crepes
Icing Sugar, for dusting
400ml thickened cream
400g crème fraiche
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
85g unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups honey
Juice of 3 lemons
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons (if you want a milder curd, reduce this to zest of 1 lemon)
- Make the lemon curd by placing all ingredients in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water, taking care that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Whisk continuously for around 20mins, or until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. I have regularly had to keep stirring for as long at 35mins to get my curd to thicken. You’re best to keep the heat low and take it steady, or else you risk the egg cooking in the curd. Remove from heat and cool slightly, then pour into a bowl, cover and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours. It should thicken dramatically as it cools.
- To make the crepe batter, combine the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl, and make a well in the centre. Beat in the eggs, butter and half the milk, and then continue to add the rest of the milk in stages until your batter has a milkshake consistency. Running mixture= lovely thin crepes. Rest your batter for 10mins.
- Heat a 22cm crepe pan over medium high heat. I invested in this one for this recipe, and it made everything go A LOT smoother. Drizzle a very small amount of butter into the pan. It should sizzle but not brown. As with pancakes, do not get impatient. It is imperative that your pan is hot enough or you will ruin your first crepe.
- Pour about 1/3 cup of the crepe mixture into the pan. Be ready to swirl it to the edges of the pan immediately. Your crepe mixture should be even and paper thin. When the crepe mixture starts setting and the edges start curling slightly, flip it and cook for another minute or so on the reverse side. When done, slide the crepe out of the pan and on to a wire rack to cool. Keep crepe-ing until you have 20 crepes. The amount of batter should give you room for making at least one wonky crepe.
- While the crepes cool completely, make the crème filling by beating the cream and vanilla until soft peaks form. Very quickly beat in your crème fraiche. Keep refrigerated until needed.
- To assemble your cake, place one crepe on a cake stand or platter. Place one heaped dessert spoon of lemon curd on the crepe, and spread evenly to the edges. Place another crepe on top, then spread on heaped dessert spoon of the crème. Repeat this process: crepe, curd, crepe, crème, until you have used all your crepes. If some of your crepes are too big, it is easy to trim the edges with a pair of scissors as you go.
- The recipe that I initially used as inspiration for this cake told me to put it in the fridge overnight. While this certainly set the curd and crème, and bound the crepes together, I think it would be far better to set in the fridge for half an hour so your crepes stay soft, and then serve dusted with icing sugar.
It’s a lot easier than it looks, but very impressive if you’re entertaining guests. If you don’t like the idea of lemon curd, I’m sure you could substitute it with a jam of your choice, but really, who could go past the layers of delicate, slightly tangy crème, juxtaposed against the real kick that the lemon curd delivers. If you’ve ever made a crepe cake, let me know!