Lane A. McFarland
Lane’s recipe of the week: Mascarpone crepes with raspberry sauce
There are many things out there with food I still do not understand. Desserts are one of the biggest mysteries to me. This is very confusing because I wanted to be a pastry chef as a child. Maybe it is the art of baking that scares me, or maybe having to follow exact recipes is too unusual. Whatever it is, I still steer clear.
Two things I will touch, however, are delicious sweet sauces and blended cheeses. I get to use skillets, pots, cheese, flames, and really everything else I am use to. No baking or exact directions. Tada!
This is one of the interesting, easy recipes I found when I first started writing my favorites down. It is actually a compilation of recipes from my leather bound book. I found the mascarpone cheese filling while trying out for a chef position right out of college. I ended up just thinking of what I wanted it to taste like and came up with this by accident. One day I put it in crepes and realized how delicious it really could be. After a few mishaps with syrup on my crepes, I tried this raspberry sauce and it worked perfectly.
Mascarpone crepes with raspberry sauce
Ingredients for crepes:
Buttermilk pancake mix
Water or milk (depending on brand of pancake mix)
For mascarpone filling:
½ cup mascarpone cheese
½ lemon zest
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 ½ Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ squeezed lemon juice
For raspberry sauce:
1 pint fresh raspberries
½ cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. Cointreau liquor
¼ cup water
First, mix up the mascarpone filling. It should be refrigerated while you are making your crepes. I would use a spoon because it is easier to fold the thick cream cheese with all of the ingredients. Fold your cheese with the lemon zest, sugar and cinnamon. Then add vanilla and lemon juice. Be sure to mix it thoroughly and mix out any clumps of cream cheese. Set aside in refrigerator to thicken up.
Since the raspberry sauce is going to require the most attention, start that next. Toss all sauce ingredients in a 2 quart pot over low heat, except the Cointreau. Once your sauce is started, then mix up the pancake mix. The directions on the pancake mix you choose will have how much milk or water to add to make pancakes. Just take whatever that amount is and divide it in half and add it to the mix. The mixture should be thinner than paint-like texture. When mixing pancakes normally, you should beat out all the lumps to promote fluffiness. With crepes, you want them all beat out. Crepes are traditionally better from scratch, but with pancake mix it is much simpler and still delicious.
Before you start cooking the crepes, check on the raspberry sauce. (The first time you burn it I am sure will be the last.) Use a spatula or wooden spoon to smash the raspberries and mix the sauce. While the sauce is still cooking, heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat with butter and pour ½ cup of the crepe mixture on the greased pan. Once the crepe appears halfway finished, flip and keep on for the same amount of time. About 2 minutes per side.
Keep an eye on the raspberry sauce while making the crepes, and once the raspberries are completely dissolved, add the Cointreau. Do not let the sauce cook to the point where it is thick like a paste. You want it thin enough, like a syrup, but not watery. Once everything is cooked, lay out your crepes and spread a generous about of mascarpone filling in the center and fold in the center, flip over and cover with the raspberry sauce.
This just shows that something so simple can look elegant and taste absolutely delicious with very little effort. Enjoy my little slice of heaven on your plate – maybe even share it with someone you are trying to impress.
In the words of Julia Child, “This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook - try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!” Web columnist, chef and blogger Lane A. McFarland is the executive chef at Beechies Place in Meadow Lands. Here at O-R online, he shares his recipes and stresses having fun in the kitchen! Visit McFarland’s blog Leather Bound Recipes, visit him on Facebook or hop over to Beechies Place.