>> Saturday, May 23, 2009
I had been thinking about making a crepe tart for ages, but never got to it... Therefore last weekend I thought the big day had finally come... to get to it. The recipes I had seen implied multiple layers of pastry cream in between crepes. I decided I had another lazy day, so I'd rather make a proved cheese mousse for filling, easier to lay. And to add some more spark, dot the mousse with caramelized apples... yummy.
For a more professional look, I decided to build my tart into a mold, like here. The crepe recipe in fact is a "filloa" recipe. Filloas are very similar to French crepes, but typical to the northeast corner of Spain, from Galicia. I found it in this book Cocina gallega by Araceli Filgueira, although any crepe or thin pancake recipe will do, only the crepes must be thick enough to give some frame to the tart. And I also thought it was a grand day for freezer lightening, so I took out some frozen strawberries, almost fossilized, that dreamt about better days in the freezer depth... That's what I call gastronomic archaelogy.
Cheese mousse, caramelized apple and crepe tart
250 g water
250 g milk
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons rye flour (I used white rye flour, without bran)
1 pinch salt
2 teaspoons fructose or 1 teaspoon sugar (the recipe does not include any of those, but I thought it would agree with the tart)
Once you have the batter well mixed, you need to try and make a crepe, to check for the thickness and adjust the flour or liquid. I had to add another tablespoon of rye flour. The amounts yield more "filloas" than you will use in the tart (I only used five), but you can have the leftovers for breakfast the next day, heated up on a skillet and rolled with honey, maple syrup or yogurt or everything together... delicious. We're in a crisis!
Fine, next you mix all the ingredients, beat them well to avoid any lumps and start forming the crepes on a flat buttered skillet. I'm lucky that I have a mold with a removable base that is roughly the same size as a crepe pan someone gave me once. So the "filloas" were nearly perfect in size for the mold. If you're not as lucky as me (sorry!), you'll have to make your crepes slightly bigger and then trim them to fit. Cook the crepes one by one and put them on a plate, separated by plastic wrap, just in case, and leave them to cool while you make the mousse.
3 cooking apples
2 tablespoons fructose or 1 plain sugar
1 tablespoon butter
Peel the apples and dice them. Sprinkle with some lemon juice to prevent discoloring. Melt the butter in a pan, add the apples and fructose or sugar and cook them on low heat. Stir from time to time taking care not to break them too much until tender. Leave to cool.
3 egg yolks
50 g water
100 g sugar (I didn't dare to substitute fructose here, maybe the thickening would be affected)
400 g whipping cream (I used 450 g)
200 g fresh cheese (I used 250 g)
4 gelatine sheets (I used 4 and a half, because of the excess cream and cheese)
Soak the gelatine sheets for 8-10 minutes in cold water. Separate the egg yolks and mix them with the water and sugar. I use my Thermomix to beat the mixture for 5 minutes at 85 ºC and low speed. If you don't have a Thermomix, you need to thicken the cream in a double boiler, or use two pans to make it in a bain Marie, till the cream is thick and covers the spoon. When the cream is done, add the soaked gelatine sheets and mix thoroughly till they're well dissolved. Leave to cool.
When the cream has cooled to ambient, add the cheese and cream straight from the fridge and whip the mixture to very soft peaks. It doesn't need to be too hard, in fact I believe a very hard consistency is simply not achievable. Put the mousse aside.
I covered the base of the mold with plastic wrap so that I could take the tart easily on to a serving dish. First put two crepes on the base and then place a third of the apples and pour a third of the mousse on top of the apples. Lay another crepe on top of this and press slightly to even the filling below and to avoid air bubbles. Then another apple and mousse layer. As you can see in the picture, I made three layers, you end up with a crepe on top. And then to the fridge overnight. You can sprinkle the top with powdered sugar or fructose and also cinammon... delicious. It is a very light and delicate tart.
And the strawberry sauce recipe to go with it will follow in the next post, for no reason at all...