Can’t bring yourself to make the same old pancakes again? Pick up a copy of Posh Pancakes, a new cookbook by recipe developer Sue Quinn, and refresh your repertoire with awesome and budget-friendly recipes for this delicious staple enjoyed around the world. These onion, apple, bacon and Comté crepes are every bit as rib-stickingly delicious as they sound.
The combination of the nutty cheese, soft, sweet onion and sharp apple is a French classic that makes a gorgeous light lunch – it’s kind of a pancake tart.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus an extra splash
- 1 pound 5 ounces onions, chopped
- Leaves from 1 thyme sprig
- Pinch sea salt flakes
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- freshly ground black pepper
- 4 slices smoked back bacon, chopped
- 1 crisp red apple
- 3 1/2 ounces Comte, grated (Gruyère or even Cheddar would be fine)
- 4 crêpes (1/2 quantity crêpe batter)
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
Crêpes (makes about 10 6-inch crêpes)
- 1 cup all-purpose or wholemeal plain flour
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted and cooled
- melted butter or vegetable oil, for frying
For the crêpes
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt, and make a well in the center. In a jug, whisk together the egg, milk, and melted butter. Gradually pour the egg mixture into the well and whisk, incorporating the flour as you go, to make a smooth batter. Don’t overbeat or the crêpes will be tough. Leave to stand for at least 30 minutes. The batter will thicken over this time, so stir in 1–2 tablespoons cold water before cooking.
Heat a non-stick frying pan or crêpe pan over a medium heat and when hot enough – a sprinkle of water should hiss and sizzle – brush with butter or oil. Pour ¼ cup batter into the pan, quickly swirling the pan to cover the base. Cook for 1–2 minutes until the edges of the crêpe look dry and the underneath is golden. Loosen the edges with a palette knife, flip, and cook for a further 1–2 minutes. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Serve the crêpes immediately or layer them between sheets of greaseproof paper and cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Alternatively, keep warm for a few minutes – any longer and they may dry out – in a 225°F layered between sheets of greaseproof paper.
For the savory crêpes
Line a baking sheet with baking paper and set the grill to high.
Warm the oil in a large frying pan and add the onions, thyme, and salt. Fry gently for about 15 minutes, until soft and starting to turn golden. Stir in the garlic, season with black pepper and fry for a couple of minutes more. Transfer to a bowl, then wipe out the pan.
Return the pan to a medium–high heat, add a splash of oil, and cook the bacon, until starting to crisp at the edges. Pull the pan off the heat and pour out all but 1 tablespoonful of the oil. Finely slice the apple, then gently toss with the bacon over the heat.
Place a crêpe on the prepared baking sheet and spoon one-quarter of the onion mixture into the middle, leaving a 2-cm (¾-in) border. Top with one-quarter of the bacon, apples, and Comté, pressing down slightly to flatten just a little. Fold over the crêpe border to make a square, pressing down to keep it in place. Brush the folded edges with butter. Repeat with the remaining crêpes. Place under the grill and cook for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and the edges of the pancakes are crisp and golden.