Baking crepes in the kitchen with my mom, I heard many stories of how she worked in a small chain restaurant called the Magic Pan. Her job was to pour crepe batter over the bottom of large cast-iron pans and then flip the cooked crepes onto a plate to be filled. Together, we ended up cooking crepes in a regular pan, but mom never failed to mention her working adventures as a teen. Each time I make crepes, I remember her stories as the batter turns into a light crepe, ready for sweet or savory fillings.
I really think this cake takes crepes to a new level. Crepes have a distinctly light taste and with berry sauce and lemon curd, they are transformed into a summer cake. Baking this cake with my fiancée, I had a little trouble keeping the berry sauce in the pan and you might be tempted to eat it from the spoon as well!
Prepare your berry sauce and lemon curd first, followed by your crepes and finish by assembling your cake.
3 pints of any kind of berries
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch of fresh nutmeg
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
2 large eggs
6 tablespoons salted butter
2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, melted
Lemon Curd: Juice the lemons, removing all seeds. Whisk lemon juice, sugar, eggs, and the egg yolks together in a medium sauce pan. Add the butter cubes to the mixture, cooking over low heat, whisking until the butter is melted. Melting the butter actually takes quiet a long time, so keep stirring. Once the butter is melted, increase to moderate heat, whisking constantly until the lemon curd thickens.
The curd is done when it holds form momentarily, as you remove the whisk. The entire cooking process can last 20 minutes or so. Remove mixture from the stove and with a spoon, press through a strainer to remove unwanted pulp.
Berry Sauce: In a small sauce pan, place all of the ingredients over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Simmer on low heat for 8-10 minutes. If you’d like seedless sauce, remove the pot from the stove and strain with a fine mesh strainer. Place the strained juice back into pan and place over low heat. Add the cornstarch and slowly whisk it into the berry mixture. Bring the sauce to a simmer again and then remove from the heat and let cool completely.
Crepes: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, water, flour and eggs. Add the salt and butter; beat until smooth. Your batter should be very runny. Heat a very lightly oiled frying pan over medium high heat. Pour the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each crepe. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly. As soon as the top of the crepe stops running, loosen with a spatula, flip and cook the other side until light brown. Cooking each crepe shouldn’t take more than two minutes. If your crepes turn golden brown, then you’re over-cooking them.
Place the crepes on a cooling rack with wax paper or tin-foil between them. If you’d like to tier your cake like we did, bake small to large crepes as needed.
Preparing Your Cake: We slid our cake into the oven, sprinkled with a few tablespoons of granulated sugar to brown the edges and top. If you have a chef’s torch (any torch will work), then you can brown the crepes without using the oven. Decide which browning method you’ll use before building your cake, so that you can plan if you’re going to use a cake stand or a baking sheet.
Place a spoonful of lemon curd onto your cake plate or cookie sheet to steady your fist crepe. Add a layer of berry sauce to the crepe, making sure to keep it thin. Add another crepe and a layer of lemon curd and dust with powdered sugar. Repeat the process, alternating between berry sauce and lemon curd until you use all of your crepes.
You can place you cake in the fridge for an hour to set, however, the cake is also perfect served warm, with tea on the side. Dust with a liberal coating of powdered sugar, and serve!