Breakfast just may be my favourite meal of the day. And brunch? Don’t even get me started. In my eyes, it’s the part of the week that most able-bodied and stable-minded adults should look forward to… with dread. The ritual of going out to a hyped-up restaurant, waiting in line for what feels like the gestation period of an elephant, eating cold eggs with questionable, leftover seafood sauce while a neighbour’s child screams in your ear… Heaven. But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be like that? That you could enjoy a delectable, restaurant quality brunch in the comfort of your own home with a mere 15 minutes work, and a cost of about $10 for your whole family? With my buckwheat crepes with ricotta and peach thyme confiture, you’re on your way to true brunch heaven – without nary a note of sarcasm.
Your brunch heaven starts with a can of California cling peaches. Yes, you heard me right – a can of peaches. Because California cling peaches are picked and packed in their own juices quickly (usually within 24 hours of pick), they retain their appearance, texture, flavour and nutritional content. They are inexpensive and easy to get, and most importantly, California cling peaches retain their shape and firmness better than fresh or frozen peaches while cooking – which means no mushy parts in my peach thyme confiture. Canned peaches are your best way to get all the nutrients and that true taste of sunny, juicy stone fruit in the midst of winter, so trust me on this.
So back in our kitchen, after opening that darned can of peaches, we start cooking it with a bit of thyme – and then, a bit of butter. A sweet, caramel-like smell begins to waft through your apartment, starting to rouse your family members and calling them into the kitchen like a gentle siren song – melodious, but deadly.
While your confiture is working its magic on the stovetop, you work on your buckwheat crepes. A simple mixture of eggs and milk and buckwheat flour gives these crepes some character, body and a nutty flavour reminiscent of hazelnuts. I find buckwheat crepes so much more interesting than regular (though my mother’s Russian blintzes are always a hit!), and they stand up to the flavour of toppings so much better. In other words, you can bet that buckwheat crepes can handle ALL the flavour of ricotta and thyme peach confiture.
When your stack of buckwheat crepes has grown to towering proportions, and your confiture has been taken off the stovetop, you let people roll their crepes with a dollop of ricotta, and a few spoonfuls of thyme peach confiture. With a few cups of steaming coffee or milky tea, a pitcher of your favourite juice, and nothing but your favourite 8tracks mix to disturb the silence, you can bet you’re in brunch heaven.
P.S. – if you’re in the Montreal area this upcoming weekend and would like to taste some homemade buckwheat crepes, traditional Russian blintzes and a host of Russian toppings that will make you swear it’s the best cuisine in the world, come to my Maslenitsa: Folklore and Fairytales gathering. Delicious food, good company and unique entertainment are guaranteed.
Full disclosure: I received monetary compensation in exchange for this post. However, I am proud to only work with those companies and brands whose products I truly love. And as always, all opinions expressed here are my own; you can always expect me to be honest with you guys!
- 1 can California cling peaches, sliced
- 10 strands of thyme
- 5 TBs butter
- 3 large eggs
- 3 cups liquid (milk, water, or combination of 2 glasses of milk and one glass of water)
- 1 Tbsp. canola oil
- 1 Tbsp. sugar (more for sweet crepes)
- A pinch of salt
- 1-2 cups buckwheat flour, as needed
- Butter, as needed
- Ricotta, 1 small container
- Start by making the thyme peach confiture. Preheat pan to medium-high heat; add 2 TBs butter. Drain peaches from juice, reserving the juice for later. When butter has softened, add peaches. Let cook for 5 minutes, until they get a bit of a sear. Add thyme and peach juice, and let cook for an additional 5 minutes, until it reduces a bit. Add butter. Stir until butter has completely softened, and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and remove all thyme strands from the confiture.
- While thyme peach confiture is cooking, make buckwheat crepes. In a large bowl, whisk eggs and liquid until well combined. Add oil, sugar and salt. Continue whisking, gradually adding buckwheat flour in small portions. Continue whisking until mixture is perfectly even and the consistency of yogurt or low-fat sour cream (should be easily pourable, but not watery).
- Place just a touch of butter at the bottom of a large plate. Set aside.
- Preheat a pan to medium-high heat – the pan should sizzle when you add in the oil! Add a dab of butter, and pour in a ⅓ cup of the the batter, tilting the pan to spread it thinly and evenly. When the edges of the crepes curl and bubbles appear, use a thin spatula to flip it (this should be easy - otherwise, your batter is too runny or your pan not hot enough). Cook briefly on the other side, and remove from pan onto the buttered plate. Top the cooked crepe with a touch of butter.
- (Please note that the first crepe rarely turns out; use this one to taste and correct the amount of sugar, flour or salt in your batter. If mixture is too watery to cook properly, add a bit more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time).
- When the buckwheat crepes are ready, serve them to the table with ricotta and thyme peach confiture. To eat, put a tablespoon of ricotta in the middle of a crepe, top it with confiture, and seal all the edges.