Soufflé Crêpes Filled with Wild Mushrooms and Bellwether Farms Crescenza Cheese
Pilar, Napa, CA
These crêpes were created by chef Pilar Sanchez to showcase Bellwether Farms Crescenza, a mild soft-ripened cow's milk cheese in the Stracchino family that is made by the Sonoma Valley cheese maker. It can be ordered on Bellwether's website, bellwethercheese.com, and is sometimes available at Murray's Cheese Shop in New York City. You could also substitute Taleggio or Teleme. While the recipe requires a number of steps, it is not difficult.
- 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons milk
- 5 eggs, beaten
- 1 1/3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
- Vegetable oil or nonstick spray for the pan
- 1/2 pound wild mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup minced shallot
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Savory Pastry Cream:
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 pound Crescenza cheese, cut into 1/2-inch dice
Beat together the milk and eggs. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Slowly pour the egg/milk mixture into the dry ingredients, while whisking to blend. When the batter is well combined, stir in the cooled butter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the batter to rest at room temperature for at least 2 hours.
After the batter has rested, place a nonstick sauté pan over medium-low heat. When the pan is hot, brush, or spray, it with the oil so that it is very thinly coated. Spoon or ladle a small amount of the batter into the pan just to coat the bottom. Swirl the pan to distribute the batter evenly. Cook one side until lightly golden brown, then loosen the edges and flip over with a spatula. Stack the finished crêpes on a plate. You should end up with about 25 crêpes, which is more than you need for this recipe. Set them aside and cover with plastic wrap.
Clean the mushrooms well and cut into uniform pieces of about 1/2 inch. Set aside. Pour the olive oil into a sauté pan over medium-low heat, and cook the shallots and garlic, stirring occasionally so they won't burn. Add the mushrooms to the pan and continue stirring. When the mushrooms are fully cooked and the pan juices have evaporated, take the pan off the heat. Stir in the thyme and season with salt and pepper. Allow the mixture to cool.
For the savory pastry cream, scald 1 cup of the milk in a nonreactive saucepan. Separate the eggs. Beat the egg yolks in a bowl until they are thick and pale. Stir in the flour and the 2 tablespoons of cold milk until the mixture forms a thick paste. Pour half of the hot milk into the egg mixture, stirring well. Combine the milk and egg mixture with the remaining milk in the saucepan and return to medium heat. Stir constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon until it thickens, about five minutes. Pour the pastry cream into a clean bowl and stir in the salt. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap against the top of the mixture to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool until barely warm, then stir in the cheese.
Once you have assembled all the components, preheat the oven to 350ºF and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Whip the reserved egg whites to stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites into the pastry cream and then gently stir in the mushroom mixture. Place about 1/4 cup of the cream/mushroom in the center of each crêpe and fold the crêpe into fourths. Place on the baking sheet. Repeat until you run out of filling. Bake the crêpes for 10 minutes and serve immediately.