That’s right. In case you missed the title of this post, today is the first day of spring. It may not feel warm, but there are signs of seasonal change all around. Even though there was a dusting of snow this past week at my house, the tulips in the yard are starting to sprout and I found one lone pansy in my garden box (where did that come from?). Hopefully this is a hint of sunnier days to come.
One of the first indicators of spring to me, is when the market starts to sell beautiful, red California strawberries. Although typical harvest for strawberries is closer to May or June, the first of the season berries from Salinas are early, and they are succulent and sweet. After months of subsisting on citrus and dried fruit, they awaken the taste buds and are a reminder of the sweet summer fruit that will soon make its debut.
With a pound of fresh strawberries sitting on my counter this weekend, I saw so many possibilities. Should I make shortcake? Or how about jam? Or what about that strawberry tart recipe I have been wanting to try? But finally I settled on an old favorite: crepes. As mentioned in previous posts, I am in love with breakfast, especially crepes. I am spoiled, because every city I have lived in has authentic French creperies. I have eaten crepes in San Francisco, Portland, Denver, LA, New Orleans, France, and Italy. I actually consider myself a crepe connoisseur. The thing I love most about crepes is how versatile they are. They can be savory or sweet, thick or thin, soft or crisp. You can stuff them with just about anything you want.
This weekend though was all about the strawberries. Since the berries were so sweet and juicy on their own, I didn’t want to add too much else. My recipe for crepes I picked up while working at the Cliff House in San Francisco. It’s a sweet crepe batter, and I have used it many times without fail. The crepes are always light, delicate, and delicious! The only change I made to the recipe this weekend was swapping buttermilk for the milk. This is the first time I have tried buttermilk in crepe batter, and I think it added a great tangy and rich flavor. They were a perfect accompaniment to the strawberries, and just what I needed to kick-start the spring season.
*Makes about 10 – 8″ crepes
1 cup All Purpose Flour
2/3 cup Buttermilk (substitute regular milk if you don’t have buttermilk)
1/2 tsp Salt
1 TBSP Sugar
2 TBSP Butter – melted
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 cup Water – cold (if using plain milk instead of buttermilk, use 2/3 cup water)
1 tsp Oil
*Use an 8″ crepe pan or non-stick skillet
*Serve with fresh strawberries, melted butter, powdered sugar, & yogurt
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the flour, eggs, salt, sugar, vanilla, butter and 1/3 cup of the buttermilk. Whisk until smooth. This mixture will be thick and sticky. .
- Add the other 1/3 cup buttermilk, water, and oil. Whisk until combined. The batter should be silky, and relatively thin. Add more water if necessary.
- Heat an 8″ non-stick skillet or crepe pan over the stove on medium heat until hot. Using a ladle, pour 1/4 cup of crepe batter into the hot pan. At the same time, rotate the pan in a circular motion to disperse batter quickly. The batter should be evenly dispersed across the pan. Let the crepe cook for about a minute, or until the batter starts to look dry. Using a rubber spatula, loosen the crepe from the pan, and flip the crepe to cook the other side. It should only take about a minute more for the crepe to be cooked. .
- Fill the crepe with Fresh cut strawberries and yogurt. Finish with melted butter and powdered sugar.