In his latest book, Chez Jacques: Traditions and Rituals of a Cook, Jacques Pepin reminisces about cooking with his mother and growing up in pre-war France. Pepin's mother greatly impacted his cooking style, and the heat, sounds and chaos of her kitchen were some of the early impressions that led him to being a chef. In honor of Mother's Day, Jacques presents a recipe cooked up just for Mom.
One of America's best-known and most endearing chefs, cookbook authors, and cooking teachers, Pepin has published 24 books, numerous articles, and hosted nine acclaimed public television cooking series.
Pannequets (Crepes) with Jam
6-8 cups all-purpose flour
1 dozen eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup confectioner’s sugar in shakable container
1 quart whole milk
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 or 3 varieties of excellent quality jams or preserves—apricot, seedless raspberry, blackberry, plum, strawberry, cherry, etc.
Good quality bittersweet chocolate
A container each of fresh strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries
Small bunch of fresh mint
For 8 large crepes, measure out 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour, and put it in the bowl of a food processor with 2 eggs, 1 tablespoon of grape seed, peanut, or canola oil, 1 teaspoon sugar, a dash of salt, 3 /4 cup milk, and 1 tablespoon of dark rum. Process for 8 to 10 seconds, until smooth. The yield will be 1 2/3 cup of batter mixture.
Using an 8-inch nonstick skillet, melt 1 generous teaspoon of unsalted butter. When it is
sizzling, add 3 tablespoons to 1/4 cup of batter to the pan and tilt the pan to spread it around as quickly as you can. It should not be too thin. Cook over medium to high heat for about 1 minute, until brown and lacy around the edges. Flip the crepe, or turn it over with your fingers and a fork, and cook it on the other side for about 1 minute. It should be well browned with a crunchy, buttery edge. One or two crepes per person is certainly enough, and they can be served slightly warm (if necessary, warm them in the microwave) or at room temperature.
To fill, spread each crepe with about 2 teaspoons of excellent quality jam or preserves
(apricot, raspberry, quince, blackberry, strawberry, or the like, or a small amount of
chocolate). Fold in half, enclosing the filling, and then in half again, and arrange on dessert plates. Garnish with berries and mint.
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