Back at Lucia’s I used to come up with a different brunch every week, along with lunch, and the dinner menu. With such intense recipe generation, you’re bound to have a few hits and misses, and it can take some time to dial things in, especially if you’re working with new line cooks. Here and there I had home runs out the door though, and these wild rice flour crepes with all the fun garnishes were one of them.
The method is simple, make some crepes with a proporation of wild rice flour, fill them with a little cream cheese-goat cheese mix, fold them up and let sit until you need them. When service time comes around, gently brown the crepes and apples, sprinkle on some black walnuts, elderberry syrup and serve.
There are two sub recipes here (wild rice flour crepes and the elderberry syrup) but both of them are super easy and take only a little time to prepare. The sweet and sour elderberry syrup lasts basically forever in the fridge since there’s a decent amount of vinegar in it, and the crepes make a small enough amount that the cost of working with spendy wild rice flour and prep time are pretty negligeable.
In the end, as always, you can pick and choose. The crepes are great all by themselves, and the elderberry syrup is great on pancakes, or even on something like roasted pork, since it’s more of a sour gastrique than a typical overly-sweet pancake syrup.
I don’t have wild rice flour, but I have wild rice!
Don’t worry, you can always put some regular wild rice in a highspeed blender and buzz, then sift and repeat until you have a fine powder.
Wild Rice Flour Crepes with Elderberry Syrup, Apples and Black Walnuts
- 8 inch non-stick pan
- ½ cup wild rice flour or ½ cup wild rice, preferably the typical black, un-parched version
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup water + 2 tablespoons
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons melted butter or lard plus more for cooking, as needed
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 oz goat chevre
- 8 oz cream cheese
- Diced firm apples like honeycrisp or sweet tango
- Toasted black walnuts
- Berry gastrique
- Grind the wild rice to as fine a powder as you can in a spice grinder, working in batches if needed, then combine with the remaining ingredients and chill/rest for at least a few hours before cooking, and preferably overnight as it can take time for some of the wild rice particles to soften and hydrate if you’re using freshly ground wild rice.
- To cook the crepes, grease an 8 inch nonstick pan, and heat until gently smoking. Ladle scant ¼ cups of batter into the pan, swirling it to cover the bottom of the pan, then cook on one side only, until you can see browning around the edges, which will only take a few moments once the pan gets up to temperature.
- Fill each crepe with 2 tablespoons of the cheese filling, then fold up into rectangular packets, storing them seam down. From here the crepes can be stored ahead of time, and is how I prepped them for restaurant service.
- To serve, brown the crepes gently in the butter until hot throughout. Meanwhile, saute the apples quickly and toss with the walnuts. Serve the crepes sprinkled with apples and walnuts drizzle the gastrique over each portion, or pass on the side.
Sweet and Sour Elderberry Syrup
Yield: about 2 cups
- 2 cups frozen or fresh elderberries, picked over for stems and washed to remove grit if using fresh
- 1.5 cups sugar
- 1 cups highest quality red wine vinegar (I like Beaufort)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tsp chopped ginger
- 1/4 of a fresh vanilla bean, scraped (optional)
Bring all the ingredients to a simmer in a non-reactive sauce pot, about 2 qt size. Simmer gently until the liquid is reduced by about 25%, being careful not to over-reduce the liquid or caramelize the berries in any way, which will destroy the flavor. Strain the liquid through a chinois strainer, then reserve until needed. Remember the syrup will tighten up a bit as it cools too, so resist the urge to over reduce it. Transfer the syrup to a labeled, dated container and refrigerate until needed. The syrup will keep indefinitely in a tightly sealed, labeled, dated container, it could also be water bath-canned.