Buckwheat — which, despite its name, isn't a type of wheat at all, but a seed — powers these satisfying crepes with both intrigue and nutrition. The flour imparts a deeply nutty flavor and dark color, giving the crepes a sassy Goth sensibility, while adding a wealth of protein, fiber, minerals and antioxidants. Ultimately, the crepes make the perfect seasonal cloak for a luscious, caramelized apple filling.
Making them is less complicated than you might think, because all the batter ingredients are whirred together in the blender. Since buckwheat has no gluten to provide structure and can be intense-tasting on its own, it is blended here with a choice of whole-wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour or, to keep the dish gluten-free, a GF all-purpose flour blend. While the batter rests and thickens a bit, you make the filling by caramelizing sliced apples in a skillet with a pat of butter, some cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and maple syrup.
There is a little extra crepe batter built into this recipe for a trial run, so you can afford to mess one up while getting the feel of it and still have enough for eight. Ladle in 1⁄4 cup of batter and tilt and rotate the pan so the batter covers the bottom evenly. It should be thin enough so that it spreads and coats easily. If the batter seems a little thick, stir in a tablespoon or two of water.
After a minute, the crepe will be browned on the bottom and a cinch to flip for cooking the other side. I just grab it with my fingers, but you can use a spatula or tongs to do the job. Pile the crepes on a plate as you cook them.
To serve, mound some apples onto a crepe. Add a dollop of yogurt (or ice cream if you are in dessert mode) and a sprinkle of nuts before wrapping it up — or wait and top the crepe with those two components, for an added flourish. Enjoy as an unexpected and healthful treat for breakfast or as a snack.
Buckwheat Crepes with Sauteed Apples
Buckwheat flour gives these crepes a deeply nutty flavor, intriguing dark color and whole-grain nutrition. It is naturally gluten-free, so using gluten-free all-purpose flour blend in the mix will make the dish GF.
For the crepes
1 C low-fat (1 percent) milk
3 lg eggs
2 TBS water
1 TBS pure maple syrup
1⁄4 tsp salt
2⁄3 C buckwheat flour
1⁄3 C whole-wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour or a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend
3 TBS canola oil or other neutrally flavored oil, plus more for the pan
3⁄4 C plain low-fat Greek-style yogurt, for serving
1⁄2 C toasted, chopped nuts, for serving (optional)
For the filling
1 TBS unsalted butter
2 med golden delicious apples, peeled, sliced into 1⁄4-inch slices
1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon
1⁄8 tsp ground ginger
1⁄8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
3 TBS pure maple syrup
For the crepes
Combine the milk, eggs, water, maple syrup and salt in a blender; blend on the “mix” or a low setting to incorporate. Add the buckwheat and whole-wheat pastry flours; blend for about 15 seconds until very smooth. Add the oil and blend for about 5 seconds. Pour the batter into a bowl, cover and place in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
For the filling
Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Once the foam subsides, add the apples and then sprinkle them with the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Cook for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned and softened but not mushy. Stir in the maple syrup and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
Heat a crepe pan or a 10-inch nonstick skillet (with an 8-inch base) over medium heat. Brush with oil. Use a 1⁄4 cup measure to ladle the batter into the center of the pan. Tilt and rotate the pan so that the batter forms a thin layer in the bottom of it. Cook until the top is no longer liquid and the bottom is nicely browned (use a spatula and/or your fingers to check), about 1 minute. Flip the crepe using the spatula and/or your fingers and cook the other side lightly, 15 seconds more. Repeat with the remaining batter until you have 8 crepes. Stack the finished crepes on a plate.
To serve, pile about 1⁄3 cup of the apple mixture onto each crepe on a plate. Top with a heaping tablespoon of the yogurt and a tablespoon of the walnuts, if using before wrapping it up in a cone shape — or wait and top the crepe with those two components. Serve right away.
— From nutritionist and cookbook author Ellie Krieger