Lemon Crepaze with Red Lentil Confit

19 April 2006

I’ve never been a fan of crepes – I know they are just plain pancakes but I always prefer thicker fluffier sponges for some reason. Having said that, I’m gradually being converted to ingredients that I’m not normally mad about and this desserts was no exception. The recipe is from Wild Sweets by Dominique and Cindy Duby – I actually waited for almost year before getting this book – having ordered it from amazon US, they never had it in stock
and ended up having Clement send a copy for me (sincere thanks again). It’s a beautiful book and as the title suggests, it’s full of exotic and interesting desserts.

As well as the intriguing recipes, I also liked how clear their instructions are considering the complexity of them. I still have trouble reading US books because of the differences of the terms/measurements, but apart from that, I find some books are far more complicated than they need to be, sending you back and forwards all the time. (I think I still prefer Japanese books, most of which are accompanied by step-by-step pictures :))

Anyway, I’ve bookmarked quite a few recipes from the book already and chose this lemon crepaze with red lentil confit and crispy apple pasta as my first. It seemed reasonably easy to make and doesn’t require any hard-to-get ingredients.

It consists of, from the bottom, lemon and mint sucrees, lemon crepaze, red lentil and apple confit, crispy apple pasta, and lemon balm emulsion for the sauce. Making sucrees was fun – basically the same as making biscuits/cookies, but for this recipe, add a little mint oil (whiz the blanched mint with grapeseed oil in the blender, then strain) and grated egg yolks (yes, grated) instead of adding raw eggs. It was delicious on its own, I normally try to avoid minty things but the subtle lemon & mint flavour was really lovely.
 


For the crepaze, make lemon-apple emulsion first – it’s similar to lemon curd, but use half each of lemon and apple juice. Then make crepes as thinly as possible (I liked the idea of browning butter for the crepe batter, it adds more flavour), and alternate thin layers of emulsion and crepes evenly. Press firmly on top, and freeze (it makes cutting easier).

For the red lentil confit, cook apples (I used Granny Smith this time) in syrup with vanilla seeds, grated ginger and lemon zest until very soft, then add cooked lentils. I was sceptical about this combination even after I tasted it, but when you try the whole dessert you’ll be convinced :)

For the apple pasta, cut apples into long spaghetti-like strands – as you can imagine, it is quite difficult and in the book they suggest using a Japanese turning slicer – which I’ve never used :) so I ended up cutting rather wide strips and in turn cutting these lengthways. Toss them with syrup (with a little lemon juice and butter) and shape, then sprinkle a little sugar and bake until dry and crispy.

For the lemon balm emulsion, combine the herb and grapeseed oil in a food processor, and with the motor running, slowly pour hot syrup until the liquid itself becomes green and then strain. They suggest using ascorbic acid to prevent herbs from turning brown when exposed to air – but I didn’t have any and although it tasted fine, my emulsion not surprisingly did so…
 


It may sound like there are too many flavours going on, but all of the components have very subtle flavours and worked well together. I really enjoyed the combination of earthy lentils and the refreshing lemon & apple flavours. It amazes me to think there are so many possibilities that I’ve never imagined and I’m already looking forward to trying other recipes from this book.
 


 

        34 comments    Permalink

  • Wow Keiko, this is a surprising mix. Beautiful work you did, once more. It looks gorgeous. Like you, the lentil combination surprises me! I will have to try to be convinced as well!

    Posted by Bea at La Tartine Gourmande | 19 April 2006 #
  • Keiko, what an interesting recipe. You are so sophisticated on your choice of recipes. Fantastic. Could I ask where you get the mint oil from?

    Posted by Valentina | 19 April 2006 #
  • What a bizarre, yet oddly alluring combination of flavors and textures. As always, your pictures make everything look tempting! I haven’t heard of this book, but now I’m intrigued and want to check it out!

    Posted by Brett | 19 April 2006 #
  • Keiko,

    It looks like I might have to make friends with Clement - I am having the same problem as you in tracking the book down. Congrats on getting your copy! The recipe looks stunning visually as well as tastewise.

    Posted by Anita | 19 April 2006 #
  • good combination of flavors and textures. never would’ve thought of it either! the presentation lends to the overall surprise factor of the recipe, i totally dig it!

    Posted by vanessa | 19 April 2006 #
  • very very interesting recipe....I like red lentil confit, I’ve just made nearly the same confit with azuki trying to taste japonise flavours !! As usual your photos are great !!!

    Posted by mercotte | 19 April 2006 #
  • Molto interessante!! Really, I never would have thought about making a layered desert using crepes (on the other side: in some italian regions people use akind of crepes in stead of pasta, layering them with tomato sauce and mozzarella to obtain a kind of lasagna... ;-), anyway, the result looks amazing!! (got to try this!! :-)

    Posted by Cenzina | 19 April 2006 #
  • Very interesting combination of ingredients! Your presentation definitely convinced me to try it.

    Posted by Cenk | 19 April 2006 #
  • c’est magnifique! It’s a great idea :-)

    Posted by ooishigal | 19 April 2006 #
  • hi keiko, absolutely stunning, as always! i’d heard about this title via clement as well and have been really curious about it - your beautiful dessert has just convinced me i definitely need to find myself a copy ;) i can only imagine that unusual lentil confit must have a texture somewhat akin to azuki bean paste...

    Posted by Joycelyn | 19 April 2006 #
  • Hi Keiko,

    Beautiful presentation and truly extraordinary composition!

    We’ve had layered crepes before, using Nutella and thin banana slices as a filling. This may not sound very extravagant, but it’s delicious nevertheless - at least if you like Nutella ;)

    Posted by Nicky | 19 April 2006 #
  • another beautiful dessert....I love the pictures on your blog and how you always cook extraordinary things. the combination of flabours sounds strancge but nice and I’m looking forward to making it at home!

    Posted by eva | 19 April 2006 #
  • this looks (oy, god, can’t believe i am going to say it but) AWESOME. the mix of lemon and apple and lentil sounds so incongruous, it’s very tempting.

    And your photos are great.

    Thanks for this!

    Posted by rose | 19 April 2006 #
  • What a coincidence, Keiko, my wife and I just prepared a DC Duby recipe from the Wild Sweets cookbook this past weekend. We’ll be posting about it for IMBB next weekend. I’ll say this: the final product was delicious, even if it did take five seperate preparations and many hours to put together.

    I’ve actually become quite familiar with DC Duby’s products recently, even though they’re on the other side of the country (I’m in Toronto, they’re in Vancouver). For Valentine’s Day, my wife ordered me their "Science Kit" and a box of their chocolates. I’ve posted about both -- one post for the kit, two for the chocolates (my name links to an index page with all three).

    The Duby’s produce some really fascinating flavour combinations, many of which are fantastic: who knew apricots and chanterelles go so well together, or lentils, apple, and lemon, for that matter?

    Another wonderful post, Keiko, and I’m thrilled to see you cooking Canadian!

    Posted by rob | 19 April 2006 #
  • Gosh!!! keiko

    I hate you for making so hungry all the time...looking at the picture makes me want the recipe and eat the picture. You have such a natural talent for making the picture come out so well.

    lol

    Posted by shanna | 19 April 2006 #
  • Keiko- I used to make a mint syrup for ice cream. We would boil the mint leaves until they turned bright green, blanch them in ice water, strain and then mix with simple syrup in the blender. You could try this method with the lemon balm because our mint syrup always stayed really green.

    Posted by Lee | 19 April 2006 #
  • I love crepes though they have to be sweet, just havent managed to covert to savoury yet

    Posted by Ange | 20 April 2006 #
  • It looks delicious. As always the pictures are stunning.

    Posted by Glutton Cat | 20 April 2006 #
  • oh i love crepes, both sweet and savoury alike... must give this a try one of these days.. :)

    Posted by Lil | 20 April 2006 #
  • Hi Keiko- the plating is absolutely wonderful. The dessert is really interesting.

    Posted by Cathy | 22 April 2006 #
  • These photos just knocked my socks off Keiko! You just keep surprising us. Your visual take on food is so unique. I am in awe. THANK YOU!

    Carolg@pb

    Posted by carolg @ pb | 22 April 2006 #
  • Wow - this picture is definitely one of my favorites. It’s absolutely incredible!

    Posted by Christiane | 22 April 2006 #
  • Hey we’re both riding high on crepes! Just did a posting on it too but yours look so elegant. My attempt was far simpler, the run of the mill good ole crepe type! Love the photos.

    Posted by steffles | 24 April 2006 #
  • Keiko, YUM! I love crepes and I’d certainly love this one too. Never tried something like this ever before...your photos brought up so much more flavors, always :-)

    On another unrelated subject, I have a question for you...

    How do you protect your recipes, blog, authenticity, style, photos, creativity etc. from copycats who benefit a great deal from this whole experience? Just wondering...Are you not bothered? What’s really behind you sharing your best here on public? Thanks in advance for responding to my curious mind :-) ’til next time...

    Posted by Maya | 24 April 2006 #
  • Mmm... all the food here look so delicious!

    You’re so talented! ^_^

    Posted by Irene | 25 April 2006 #
  • You take the most beautiful photographs! Either you have an incredible camera or you’re already a food photographer. No fair!

    Posted by Summi | 25 April 2006 #
  • Keiko - this is really impressive! I really like the fine layers of that creation. Lemon balm is such a delightful herb as well!

    Posted by pille | 25 April 2006 #
  • those beautiful layers of crepes! Again your presentations are top-notch. And very interesting flavors combo.

    I like the idea of apple pasta too.Sounds so intriguing & delicious! but before that, I guess I need to hunt for the Japanese turning slicer.

    Posted by slurp! | 26 April 2006 #
  • Hi Keiko

    So beautiful, as always - and the flavour combinations sound really interesting! I love the idea of the apple "pasta" in particular...

    Posted by Jeanne | 27 April 2006 #
  • Wow, now that’s a crepe! Great flavors, looks delicious!

    ~Dianka

    http://na-zdravi.blogspot.com/

    Posted by Dianka | 27 April 2006 #
  • oh wow. thats looks absolutely fantastic!

    Posted by shaz | 28 April 2006 #
  • Hi Keiko, I’ve just stumbled across your site and just want to let you know that your work is just amazing. Beautiful photographs, amazing pastries.........you could publish a cookbook some day because you already have all the material!

    Anyway, your work is an inspiration to me and it also makes Japanese pastry more accessible to everyone. Just through you, I’ve learnt more about Japanese pastry and amazing chefs like Hidemi Sugino and Sadaharu Aoki.

    You’ve certainly given lots of ideas as well as many places to visit the next time I’m in Japan!

    Posted by Nick Lam | 30 April 2006 #
  • Very interesting flavour combination. I must try that one time.

    And as expected great pictures with those lovely layers of crepes.

    I was talking to Andrew B. yesterday in Henley - well actually he was selling my husband the idea of a Christmas gift for me of a Canon 350D because he said you recommended it. LOL! I hope he got convinced. ;)

    Posted by celiaK | 1 May 2006 #
  • HI there, thanks so much for all your kind notes.

    Valentina - I made the mint oil - as I wrote down above, whiz the blanched mint with grapeseed oil in the blender, then strain. Easy to make and you can keep it for a long time.

    Anita - they had stock at amazon Canada for a while but it seems they are out again now. You should check there often.

    Mercotte, Joycelyn - I didn’t think about it until you mentioned, but you are right - azuki and lentils have something in common...

    Cenzina - look forward to seeing your beautiful lasagna :)

    Nicky - Nutella and banana combination sounds fabulous!

    Rob - your creation from the book was beautiful. I’m not familiar with some of the ingredients in the book, so I might ask you about them if you don’t mind :)

    Lee - thank you for your tip on herb syrup, I’ll do that next time and can enjoy ’green’ syrup!

    Ange - I like savoury ones from Bretagne, they are made with buckwheat flour and I think they are lovely :)

    Steffles - I’d like to have your lovely crepes for breakfast ;)

    Maya - I wouldn’t say I’m not bothered, but there isn’t much you can do about it, is there? I love your style, though :)

    Slurp - let me know when you get a Japanese slicer, I’d like to take a look :)

    Nick - I’m glad you find my site interesting. I just tried some new cakes from Sadaharu Aoki in Paris and they were pretty good. I haven’t been to Japan for a while so I’ll need to do research myself :)

    Celia - it was a shame I couldn’t make it, but hopefully see you soon in London. I hope your hubby is convinced about the camera, if you get one we’ll be all canon users!

    Posted by keiko | 9 May 2006 #
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