Chef Christy Rost visits the Pittsburgh Today Live kitchen and pays tribute to famed chef, Julia Child, with one of her recipes – “Flaming Apple Crepes.”

Flaming Apple Crêpes
“The Way To Cook” by Julia Child (1989, Alfred A. Knopf)
As presented by PBS Chef Christy Rost

Dessert Crêpes
This recipe produces a lighter and more delicate crêpe, designed especially for dessert. It is made and cooked the same wau as the all-purpose crêpes.

For 8 to 10 crêpes 5 ½ inches across, or 4 to 5 crêpes 8 inches across

  • ½ cup flour (instant-blending suggested)
  • 1 large egg and 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ cup each milk and water
  • 1 ½ tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon kirsch, orange liqueur, bourbon whiskey, or rum
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • A pinch of salt

The crêpe batter: Measure the flour into a pitcher or bowl, then whisk in by dribbles the milk and water to make a perfectly smooth blend (if using regular flour, after mixing pour the batter through a fairly fine-meshed sieve to remove any lumps). Whisk in the egg, egg yolk, milk, water, and melted butter. Let rest 10 minutes, or 1 hour or more if using all purpose flour.

Cooking the crêpes: Heat the crêpe pan until drops of water dance on it, then brush lightly with melted butter. Pour ¼ cup of crêpe batter into the center of the hot pan and tilt it in all directions. The batter should cover the pan with a light coating; pour out any excess. After 30 seconds or so, the bottom of the crêpe should be lightly browned – lift an edge with a spatula to see.

Shake and jerk the pan by its handle to dislodge the crêpe, then turn it over either with your fingers or a spatula, or flip it over by a toss of the pan. Cook it 15 to 20 seconds – this underside is the nonpublic side, and is never more than a spotty brown.

Storing: Transfer the crêpes as done to the rack and, when thoroughly cool, you may stack them with no fear of their sticking. Slip them into a plastic bag; store in the refrigerator up to 2 days, or freeze for several weeks.

Apple Crêpes
For 4 servings, 2 crêpes each

Special Equipment Suggested:
An attractive lightly buttered baking and serving dish; an attractive small saucepan for the flaming spirits; a heat-proof tray; matches; a long-handled spoon and fork

  • 32-48 oven-baked or sautéed apple slices
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • A pinch of clove, cinnamon, or mace
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon whiskey

Christy Rost’s adaptation: Sauté apple slices with melted butter in a skillet until they are almost soft. In a small bowl, stir together sugar and cinnamon, pour the mixture over the apples, stir, and cook until the apples are tender when pierced with a sharp knife. Add bourbon, and stir just until it is well mixed. Cool.

The Flaming Finish
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup bourbon whiskey (or brandy)

Assembly: Arrange 4 to 6 apple slices on one half of the under side of each crêpe; fold the other half over. As you fill the crêpes, place them slightly overlapping in a buttered baking dish. Sprinkle on the sugar, and drizzle on the butter.

Ahead-of-time note: May be prepared several hours in advance; cover and refrigerate.

Baking – about 5 minutes at 425 degrees. Shortly before serving, bake in the upper third of the preheated oven until hot through and the sugar topping is beginning to caramelize.

To serve: Warm the spirits in a small saucepan and bring it on a tray with the hot crêpes to the table. Ignite the spirits, pour them flaming onto the crêpes, and spoon over all until the flames subside.

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