Not sure how much I really need to say about this one to convince you that you MUST try it: the name really says it all, don’t you think? This is a decadent weekend or special occasion breakfast or brunch or even a delightful dessert! There is nothing wrong with having dessert for breakfast once in a while… 😉
Crepes are very easy to make, so don’t be afraid! It’s like making a thin pancake! And once you know how to make them, they are super versatile! Besides your traditional breakfast fare, you can make all sorts of savory crepes like using them for cannelloni, to turkey ranch to seafood Alfredo (which I plan on devising a recipe for SOON!). I’m thinking a lasagna crepe would be amazing as well… But we’re talking strawberry cheesecake here right now! So imagine this delicate, thin, slightly sweet, eggy crepe, filled with a cream cheese, whipped cream, powdered sugar and strawberry filling and then topped with more of the same! I gave my rolled crepes a quick trip under the broiler to get them warm and the filling slightly gooey and topped them with cool cheesecake filling and macerated strawberries. Nom nom nom….
One thing I will do differently next time is to prepare MORE strawberries! I found that I wanted more of the fruit in the filling. But besides that, I don’t plan on changing a thing!
I made my crepe batter, the cheesecake filling and the macerated berries the night before so when I got up in the morning all I had to do was make the crepes and fill them. Typically, you must let crepe batter rest for at least an hour before using it so it can thicken up a bit so making it the night before and popping it in the fridge alleviated any extra waiting time for hungry Saturday morning risers. Many recipes call for making crepe batter in a blender because you want it to be perfectly smooth, unlike pancakes which you leave slightly lumpy. I used a tall cylindrical container with my immersion blender to do the job and it was a breeze! You could use a blender if you like or really get in there with your whisk. If using a whisk, it may be beneficial to pass the batter through a seive to remove any remaining lumps afterwards, although it’s really not the end of the world if there are a few. As you cook your crepes, simply stack them one on top of another on a large plate, covering with foil to keep them warm- they won’t stick together at all. You can make crepe shells ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze them (place wax paper between them if freezing) but I really recommend making them fresh right before you eat. Crepes only take a couple of minutes to make and you don’t need a fancy crepe pan. I just use an 8″ nonstick skillet with a touch of melted butter (or neutral oil like canola) over medium heat. Cook the first side until the top is beginning to look dry (about 45-60 second), give it a flip with a large, thin spatula and cook the second side for about 45 seconds. When making crepes, you really aren’t going for any kind of browning, instead they ill be a pale yellowish color when they are done and will almost feel spongy. If you break one while flipping it, just give it a taste test! Yum!
Check out this great video for a brief tutorial on making crepes. You can use this guys recipe but I found that I wanted to add a bit of sugar to mine. If you are making savory crepes, omit the sugar and increase the salt a touch.
Strawberry Cheesecake Crepes
*Prepare the batter at least 1 hour ahead, or the night before (also try making the cream cheese filling and macerated strawberries the night before)
*This should make 8-10 crepes, depending upon the size of your pan and how much filling you put into each
Ingredients for the Crepes:
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted + butter for greasing sauté pan
- ½ tsp. fine kosher or sea salt
- 1 cup milk (+ more if needed after the batter rests to reach a thin cream-like consistency)
Ingredients for the Cheesecake Filling:
- 1 cup heavy cream, whipped into soft peaks
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 ¼ cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
- 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
- ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
Ingredients for the Macerated Strawberries:
- 1 ½ lb. fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- Make the crepe batter: blend all crepe ingredients (except extra butter for satue pan) in a blender or in a large bowl with an immersion blender until smooth and lump-free. Alternately, whisk thoroughly, straining to remove lumps. Place in a medium bowl, cover, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Make the cheesecake filling: Make the whipped cream (whisk with hand blender or whisk attachment of stand mixer to soft peaks), set aside.
- Blend remaining ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until smooth and fully incorporated, scraping down the bowl as needed. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture with a rubber spatula until incorporated. Place in medium bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Make the macerated strawberries: after washing, hulling and slicing the strawberries, place into a medium bowl, sprinkle with the sugar and mix to thoroughly coat. Cover bowl and refrigerate until ready to use, stirring before using.
- Preheat a medium sauté pan or skillet (8 or 9 inches) over medium heat
- Melt ½ tbsp. of butter and swirl to coat the pan
- Pour ¼ cup crepe batter into the center of the pan and immediately swirl the pan to thinny and evenly coat the pan with the batter (it will start to set up immediately so don’t wait to distribute the batter)
- Allow to cook for 45-60 seconds, or until the edges and top begin to look set and dry
- Flip carefully with a thin spatula and cook on the second side for about 30 seconds
- Remove and place on a large plate and cover with foil
- Repeat with remaining crepe batter, stacking each crepe onto the last and covering again with the foil. This should make 8-10 crepes depending on the size pan you use
- Preheat your broiler to low (if warming the crepes at the end, optional)
- When all the crepes have been cooked, fill them by spreading a few tablespoons of cream cheese filling over each, topped by a few slices of strawberries (don’t put the juices from the strawberries inside unless you want a runnier filling), and roll from once side to the other. Place onto oven-safe serving dishes
- Place under the broiler for 1 or 2 minutes or until just warmed through (you don’t want the edges to get too crispy). Remove from oven
- Drizzle the remaining strawberry juice and slices evenly over the crepes and dollop remaining cheesecake filling over each
- Serve while still warm