We recently had a lovely few days in Amsterdam – currently one of two destinations that can be reached from Cambridge International Airport! I must confess that apart from the cheese, we didn’t really experience much in the way of Dutch cuisine, but we did manage to develop a taste for Dutch mini pancake puffs, or poffertjes.
In an effort to recreate these yummy mouthfuls of yeasty buckwheat deliciousness, I bought a bag of buckwheat flour. My first attempt at poffertjes was not an unqualified success. I will persevere and post the recipe when it’s a little more <ahem> honed.
Meanwhile, I have the best part of a kilo of buckwheat flour kicking around. I remembered that when I made this caramelised onion and feta galette, I had to differentiate the ‘rustic tart’ kind of galette from the ‘buckwheat crepe’ kind of galette. So I decided to have a go at the buckwheat crepe kind, as well.
The buckwheat flour does have a slightly sweeter taste than regular flour, and also makes the batter more goopy. Overall, I’m not sure that I could have distinguished the buckwheat crepes from regular wheat ones in a blind tasting, but they were certainly tasty, and the batter fried up nicely into golden, even crepes. I got 12 out of this much batter, but only filled 10 of them – Kipper had already eaten a half a one before I’d even started putting the filling in them…
You could really put any filling you like in these – sweet or savoury. I think buckwheat is gluten free, so these would be a good GF alternative to standard crepes. I made this creamy vegetable filling because it made use of various items that had arrived in our organic box. Yum yum. We grated some of the fabulous vintage Gouda that we brought back from Amsterdam over the top. Use parmesan or a similar hard cheese, or skip it altogether.
With only a few days to go before Shavuot, it strikes me that these would also make a lovely, light Shavuot meal. The crepes bring to mind traditional blintzes, and the cream cheese in the filling is very appropriate. Make them in advance and reheat when you’re ready. Serve with a leafy salad.
- 100g buckwheat flour
- 1 egg
- 300ml milk
- 50g butter, melted
- Butter or oil, for frying
- 125g green beans
- 200g asparagus (1 bunch)
- 125g mushrooms
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 75g cream cheese
- Gouda, parmesan, or other hard cheese for sprinkling
- Put the buckwheat flour into a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre.
- Whisk the egg and milk together, and pour a small amount into the well in the flour. Begin whisking, gradually adding more egg/milk and incorporating the flour from around the edge. Continue until all the liquid is added and everything is combined into a smooth batter.
- Cover with cling film and allow to stand for an hour. Whisk in the melted butter.
- Heat a heavy based omelette pan over a medium heat and brush with a little butter or oil.
- Pour around 50-60ml of batter into the hot pan and swirl to cover the base of the pan. Cook for a minute until the crepe loosens from the pan, then flip over and briefly cook the other side. Remove the crepe to a plate and repeat until all the batter is used up - I made 12 crepes.
- Top and tail the beans, and trim the woody stems from the asparagus. Thinly slice the mushrooms, and crush the garlic.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet over a medium heat. Cook the mushrooms and garlic for a few minutes until the mushrooms become soft. Add the asparagus and cook for another minute, then add the beans. Cook everything for a few minutes more, until any water from the mushrooms is driven off, and the beans and asparagus are just cooked.
- Lower the heat and stir in the cream cheese - mix gently to avoid breaking up the beans and asparagus.
- Heat the oven to 180C. Butter a baking dish.
- Divide the filling between 10 crepes. Roll each one up and arrange them in the baking dish. Dot the top with butter and bake in the hot oven for 15-20 minutes, until the tops are crisp and golden and the filling is piping hot.
- Serve with hard cheese to grate/sprinkle over.