Peach season is upon us and why not take advantage while we can! This wonderful Crepe Cake with Peach Compote makes for a delicious Sunday brunch item or a seasonal dessert. The combination of the fresh peaches and nutty buckwheat will have your guests in awe.
*Note: Each component needs to be made a day ahead of being served. Assemble the day of.
2 Cups homogenized milk
1 TBSP sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
80g melted butter
70g buckwheat flour
105g all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
1-2 TBSP milk
1/2 Cup clarified butter
The night before you plan to serve the cake, blend all of the ingredients, except the clarified butter and 1-2 TBSP of milk, until smooth and store in a non-reactive container. Allow to rest in the fridge overnight.
Remove crepe batter from the fridge one hour before you plan to fry them. Stir the batter briskly to loosen. It should be the consistency of 35% cream. If it’s too thick, loosen with the 1-2 TBSP of milk.
To fry the crepes, heat an 8-9″ skillet on the stove on medium-high (either a seasoned crepe pan or a non-stick skillet work best). Add a touch of clarified butter into the hot pan and swirl to coat its bottom (you can also use a pastry brush for this). Lift the pan off the heat, add 4oz of batter and tilt the pan to distribute evenly in a thin layer. Place back on heat. After approx. 1 minute, loosen the edges of the crepe with a non-stick or offset spatula and flip. Cook for another 30 seconds and remove from pan. Place on plate and cover with a clean dishtowel to keep from drying out.
Continue this method for the rest of the batter, stacking crepes on top of each other. Be sure to stir batter regularly to maintain consistency.
This recipe should yield about 16 crepes. Keep in mind, the first crepe never turns out (don’t let that discourage you!).
4lbs peaches, peeled, cored, and cut into a large dice
150g white sugar
1 TBSP vanilla paste
3 tsp xanthan gum* (use as needed, probably won’t require the entire amount)
Mix sugar with the peeled and diced peaches. Allow to sit and macerate for about 15 minutes. Transfer to a blender and blend on high to make a smooth puree. Turn to low and remove lid. Slowly add xanthan gum a 1/4 tsp at a time, wait a few moments for it to “bloom” before adding next 1/4 tsp, until desired consistency is reached. Puree should be a bit thicker than applesauce without a lot of liquid seeping. If desired, pass through a fine mesh strainer to make sure the puree is super smooth. Store in fridge until 1 hour before assembly.
*Xanthan gum is a thickening agent. Unlike cornstarch, it does not need to be heated to activate, which makes it a great alternative to use for fresh fruit purees like this recipe. You can find it at baking supply stores, health food stores, or Bulk Barn.
300g dried apricots, chopped
600ml boiling water
3 bags Earl Grey tea
Steep tea bags in boiling water for about 10 minutes. Strain and bring back up to a boil. Pour the boiling water over the chopped apricots, allowing them to hydrate. Strain the apricots, reserving the liquid, and place apricots into a blender. Puree in blender, adding reserved liquid as needed just to get it moving, until consistency is like that of a thick jam. If desired, pass through a fine mesh strainer to make sure it is super smooth. Store in fridge until 1 hour before assembly.
Pine Nut Praline
100g white sugar
15g glucose (corn syrup)
100g pine nuts, toasted*
In a small pot, add sugar, water, and glucose. Be sure to not move the pot around, or it may crystallize. Place on burner on low heat until the sugar is dissolved and it begins to boil. Increase heat to medium and allow to continue to cook. Keep a pastry brush in a cup of warm water handy – you can use this to brush down the sides if you notice sugar sticking.
Bubbles will form around the edges and the water will evaporate; the sugar won’t caramelize until all of the water has evaporated, so it may take awhile. Once the water does evaporate, caramelization is quick – so keep a close eye on the pot. You are looking for a dark amber colour – like Coca Cola. Once this is reached, remove from heat and add toasted pine nuts and coat with the caramel. Transfer to a parchment lined baking tray and allow to cool.
Once the praline has cooled, transfer to a freezer bag and break into a crumble using a mallet or rolling pin. Crumble should be quite fine without being powdery.
*To toast pine nuts, place them into a dry pan over medium-low heat. Constantly shake the pan over the heat to keep the nuts moving. Cook just until a light colour is added and they become fragrant. Transfer out of the pan immediately and allow to cool.
Once all of your components are complete (crepes are fried; praline is crumbled; puree and compote have come to room temperature), you are ready for assembly!
Place a crepe on your serving dish. Thinly spread some of the apricot puree over the crepe, followed by a sprinkle of the praline. Keep in mind that you have about 15 more layers to do, so ration accordingly (and reserve some praline for the top!). Continue layering crepes, apricot puree, and praline until you run out of crepes. Your final crepe should remain bare on top.
If you are planning to serve the entire cake at once, top the final crepe with the peach compote and a sprinkling of the reserved praline. Otherwise, slice the cake and serve with a spoonful of the compote and some praline. We also recommend serving it alongside your favourite vanilla ice cream.