Friday, 29 August 2014
You know how sometimes you meet someone and it feels like you've known them forever? When you sidestep the slightly awkward beginning of a friendship and immediately feel easy and relaxed?
It was like that when I met Erin.
At the time of that first visit to California, Erin had just got her book deal and was about to begin writing. I was at the beginning of my will-I-won't-I book saga and so we talked a lot about the whole process. It feels crazy that I can now, over two years later, hold her book in my hands. It's called Yummy Supper after her lovely blog and it came out a few days ago.
Last spring Erin let me test a few of the recipes. I tried the poached eggs with greens and hash browns (p.27), spring omelets (p.22) and the brown butter almond tea cakes (p.205), which were all delicious.
I was also sent this recipe. When it first popped into my inbox, I was a bit apprehensive. I've nurtured a lifelong love for crêpes and they're one of my favourite things to make and eat. But millet? I'd never bought it or eaten it before and I had to go to a health food shop to find it. I'm also rather wedded to wheat flour and don't like several of the alternative flours (rice flour being my particular enemy). Then, when I actually made the batter, it smelled different. Unidentifiable.
Yet once I'd eaten one, I immediately asked if I could write about the recipe once the book was out. There's something really lovely - sort of nutty, but hard to describe - about the flavour and the slightly nubby texture is wonderful. The combination of maple syrup and crème fraîche makes them sing and is my favourite topping by far. They may not be my classic crêpes, but they're definitely worth trying.
They are slightly harder to handle as they tear easily. Having said that, if you're relatively happy making normal crêpes/pancakes it shouldn't take long to figure out how to cope. Making them in a small pan makes it easier.
I'm interested to see what other types of crêpe you could make using this method (blasting the millet in a processor with some of the milk before adding the other ingredients). Oat? Nut?
Golden Millet Crêpes
(adapted from Yummy Supper by Erin Scott)
100g golden millet grain
180ml whole milk
15g unsalted butter + a bit extra to fry
1 large egg
2 tsp maple syrup
pinch of salt
more maple syrup and crème fraîche to serve
Tip the millet into a sieve then wash under the tap. Scrape into a food processor and add half the milk. Blast for a minute (I time this as it's always longer than I think). Scrape the sides down then give it another 30 seconds or so - you should have a thin gritty mush. Place the butter into a small pan and melt (you can keep going and make brown butter if you fancy). Add the rest of the milk along with the butter, egg, maple syrup and salt. Blend for 2 minutes until smooth. Scrape into a jug and chill for at least 30 minutes and up to two days.
Place a small 6" or 7" skillet or frying pan over a medium-high heat. When it is properly hot (hold your hand a few inches above the centre - you should be able to feel the heat), turn the heat down to medium. Add a little piece of butter to the pan and move it around as it sizzles so that it coats the bottom of the pan. Stir the batter throughly then pour a splash into the pan, tipping it so it coats the bottom (Erin suggests 2 tbsp batter - I've been doing it by eye). Once the edges start to brown, loosen the sides and flip carefully. Cook for another minute or so then slide out onto a plate and serve immediately.
Stir the batter and add a little nugget of butter to the pan before making each crêpe. Any remaining batter keeps for two days (overall, including your original rest).
(Makes about 12 small crêpes)
Three other posts involving maple syrup:
Maple Nutmeg Mini Madeleines
Ginger Bourbon Pecan Pie