Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Announcing "Small Batch" and Peach Lavender Crêpes



When I was in culinary school, one of my favorite courses was "Jams, Jellies, Chutneys, and Tarts."  I had other favorites too, but "Jams & Jellies" is one that perhaps has had more influence over my daily life than the others did.  We learned how to make a great number of different preserves: Jelly, Jam, Preserves, Fruit Butter, Pickles, Relish, Marmalade, Conserves, Chutneys, Condiments.... and the list continues.


It was during that course that the "canning bug" truly hit, and since then, I have made many many different preserved items at home.  Some, I've made for personal consumption (a PB & J sandwich is really the best when you use homemade jam) and some, I make to give as gifts (I love giving gifts that people can "use up").  One of my favorite preserved-item to make (and eat) is Peach Lavender Preserves.  We made a batch of it when I was in "Jams & Jellies" and I have subsequently made several batches at home. I enjoy this preserve so much that once I motivated myself to get up from a nap (when all I really wanted to do was go back to sleep) with the promise of a piece of fresh baguette slathered with peach lavender jam :)  I promise it does not taste like soap or potpourri, provided that culinary lavender is used.  


If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter or Facebook, you may have noticed that I've been busy canning, but, none of those jams nor preserves have made an appearance on this blog.  That lack of appearance is due to a very exciting new development in my life!  I am in the process of launching a brand new, home based baking & preserve business called "Small Batch Pastry & Preserves." Please feel free to check out the website and "like" the new Small Batch Facebook Page.  In preparation for the launch, I've been trying to build up a stockpile of preserves using as much local, fresh, in season produce as possible!  I've also been designing like crazy, working on developing a website, as well as labels (one of the law requirements for everything I sell) & packaging materials.


In the past (and in most other states) running a baking business required a state health department certified kitchen (and getting a certified kitchen is no picnic).  Under the Texas Cottage Food Law, you may operate out of your own home, so long as you meet their very detailed requirements.  The only big bummer is that you're prohibited from selling things online :(  So, if you want to buy anything, you'll have to come visit me in Texas!  I also anticipate doing a few jam give-aways on this site, so watch for those.

part of the stockpiled jams & preserves (so far) 

Later this week, I'll be handing out samples at an event my apartment complex is hosting for residents.  I'm excited, and I'll admit a bit terrified. This is a big step for me!  I'm hopeful this new venture will succeed, but only time will tell.  I plan to still keep this blog up and running, but my posting schedule may be a little less frequent, depending on how busy Small Batch gets.   

 

Ok, on to crêpes!  Crêpes may seem intimidating to make, but I promise they aren't as complicated as you may think.  Three of my favorite tools for crêpe making include a blender, a non-stick skillet (or an actual crêpe pan, if you have it), and a heat tempered spatula. I like to make my crêpe batter in the blender the night before I plan to actually cook the crêpes (if you don't have overnight, at least an hour will suffice), then refrigerate the batter in the blender jar.  The spout makes it easy to pour the batter right into the hot pan when you're ready to cook the crêpes.


As soon as the batter has set on the top of the cooking crêpe & the bottom of the crêpe has developed a hint of color, use the heat tempered spatula to easily flip it over.  One time, I accidentally used a regular spatula & melted it to my pan, so make sure you have a heat-tempered spatula instead :) The crêpes can be made ahead (with parchment between each crêpe so that they do not stick together) and even frozen, if needed.  Simply reheat slightly before serving.  


I love the combination of the crêpe, spread with a little of the peach lavender preserves, garnished with some additional sliced peaches and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  The flavors & aroma remind me of traveling in France, mixed with culinary school, mixed with the summer classic "peaches and cream."


Dessert Crêpes
adapted from Crêpes
makes 10 to 12 crêpes 

2 large eggs
1 cup Milk
1/3 cup Water
1 cup All Purpose Flour
2 Tbl Granulated Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Tbl butter, melted, plus additional for the pan.

1.  Add the ingredients in the order they are listed to a blender.  Blitz until smooth.  Move the batter to the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

2.  Heat a nonstick crepe pan (or other large nonstick pan) over medium heat.  Grease it slightly with butter (I like to swipe a stick of cold butter over the surface of the hot pan to grease it).  If your batter has separated at all, stir it gently.

3.  Pour 1/4 cup of the batter into the hot pan, tilting and rotating the pan until the batter covers the entire surface.   Cook until the batter has just set and the edges are lightly brown.  If necessary, use a heat tempered spatula to loosen the edges.  Flip the crepe over and cook until the second side is lightly browned.

4.  Turn finished crêpe out onto a plate to cool. Repeat with the remaining batter, greasing the pan between each crêpe.

5.  Serve immediately, or keep crêpes covered and warm in a low oven.  If you want to freeze them, layer parchment between each crêpe before wrapping them well.

Peach Lavender Preserves
Because this is an item that I am now selling, I won't be posting my official recipe, but Lindsay over at Love and Olive Oil has a great version.  If you don't want to do the entire jam making route, you can cook peaches with sugar and a little bit of lavender water (made by adding culinary lavender to boiling water, allowing it to steep a few minutes, then straining off the lavender buds) until the peaches are tender.  

Assembly
Dessert Crêpes, warm
Peach Lavender Preserves (or homemade spread)
Sliced Peaches
Vanilla Ice Cream 
Culinary lavender buds optional for garnish

1.  Spread peach lavender preserves liberally over half of a warm crêpe.  Fold to make a half moon, then fold again into quarters.

2.  Garnish with sliced peaches & a scoop (or quenelle) of vanilla Ice cream.  Add a sparse sprinkling of culinary lavender buds, if desired, but note that less is more when it comes to whole buds.

3.  Enjoy immediately!  

3 comments:

  1. Does the Texas Cottage law prohibit over the phone sales? I'm quite intrigued by the idea of Peach Lavender Preserves.

    PS: I found your blog via the Facebook page for Small Batch. It turned up on my newsfeed when some of our mutual friends "Liked" the page.

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  2. Hi Lynsey. Can you send me an email smallbatchpastry@gmail.com ? I have an idea and it would be easiest to discuss it via email. Thanks!

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  3. Is there a way to make these as AIP compliant? I'm DYING for some crepes ;)
    Thanks!

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