Silver Dollar Crepes with Blood Orange Roasted Rhubarb


I always thought I was a Big City Person, but these last few weeks in San Francisco have surprised me a fair number of mildly shocking observations that shouldn't have been all that surprising. I blame the influence of TVs and movies — years of watching the Sex and the City girls go out for nightly cocktails, or Monica and Rachel from Friends living in that gorgeous 2-bedroom corner unit on their chef and waitress salaries apparently left some sort of impression. I mean, let's face it — every TV character who lives in New York City, San Francisco, or Los Angeles seems to have a spacious, loft apartment with bountiful natural light and a closet full of designer clothing. And that's just really not real life... at all.


But since moving back, there are a couple of truths I've noticed in the last few weeks that I'd like to share about Big City Living. You know, the stuff that the books, movies, and TV shows all seem to gloss over because they are boring and unglamorous:

1. 90% of the people who live in the city wear comfortable shoes.
You know how everybody in the the freaking shows and movies is always running around wearing 6-inch stilettos? Yeah, no. My sturdy, comfortable ballet flats were inadequate for the hills of Noe Valley; to scale those hills in anything more than flats would be cruel and painful. Real Big City Dwellers (at least those in San Francisco) wear running shoes with their hip outfits. It's true.

As for all those wearing heels? They take taxis.

2. Similarly, everybody seems like they're carrying 2 to 4 different kinds of bags at any given moment.
Is this a San Francisco thing? Because bags here cost 10 cents? I'm being serious. Everybody, including the folks decked out in designer clothing and expensive accessories, is carrying a variety of different bags at any given moment, usually ranging from an expensive purse, a backpack, tote bags, and reusable grocery bags. What gives.

3. Nobody eats breakfast.
You know how the Sex and the City girls were always grabbing breakfast together, or the Friends gang were always hanging out in that coffee shop together? Ain't nobody got time for that here. Even brunch, which is a much revered meal everywhere else, seems to be reserved only for three-day weekends or when friends from out of town are visiting. Otherwise, the line's just too damn long. People got code to write, ya know, bro.

And even though I've only been here for a month and change, I assimilated on the first two points fairly quickly. I walk around with an extra bag or two stuffed into my formal leather purse (just in case I need to go buy groceries after work, okay?!), and spent most of my first paycheck on buying comfortable shoes. All that's good and well, but... I still can't quite get my head around the breakfast thing! How can you not eat breakfast?!


Which brings us to these miniature crepes. These crepes are my ode to breakfast, and taking the time to enjoy the most important meal of the day (even though that's apparently not true). I made these crepes back in Portland a few months ago at the start of the spring, when the last of the winter citrus crop was still around to yield blood oranges at the same time rhubarb was just coming into season. Together, blood orange and roasted rhubarb make a bold, full-bodied, and combination that's pretty hard to beat.

So eat your breakfast, kids!


Some baker's notes:
  • Did you know that you don't need a crepe pan or a crepe spreader to make crepes? I know that a crepe spreader will make your crepes thinner and crispier, but the crepes that I had in France were actually a little bit spongy. These crepes are more like that — thin and slightly spongy in the middle, crisp and crunchy on the outsides. All you need to make them is a nonstick pan with a handle. However, to get perfectly round miniature crepes, I used a 2 1/2 inch round cookie cutter (the smallest shape from this cookie cutter set) to mold the pancakes into their perfectly shapes. You can also get creative and use other shapes like hearts and animals — Amazon has a wonderful collection of actual pancake molds that you can choose from. 

  • If blood orange is no longer available, feel free to swap out the fruit with any other kind of citrus! Regular orange and lemon would also work beautifully with the rhubarb.


Silver Dollar Crepes with Blood Orange Roasted Rhubarb

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Ingredients

Special Equipment:

    For the Blood Orange Roasted Rhubarb:
    (makes around 1 cup of compote)
    • 1 pound rhubarb, trimmed and sliced into 1-inch thick pieces
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/4 cup fresh blood orange juice
    • zest from 1 blood orange

    For the Silver Dollar Crepes:
    (makes... a lot of mini crepes. I lost track. Sorry.)
    • 1 large egg
    • a pinch of kosher salt (around 1/8 teaspoon)
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

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    Recipe

    For the Blood Orange Roasted Rhubarb:
    1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350 (F).

    2. Place 1 pound chopped rhubarb in a glass 9 x 13-inch baking pan. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup fresh blood orange juice, and zest from 1 blood orange — don't worry if the sugar doesn't dissolve, you should end up with a thick, grainy syrup. Drizzle over the rhubarb and use a rubber spatula, tossing the fruit until all the rhubarb pieces are covered in syrup.

    3. Roast in the preheated oven until the rhubarb is very tender and the juices are syrupy, around 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool slightly on a wire rack.

    For the Silver Dollar Crepes:
    1. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 large egg and a pinch of kosher salt until uniformly yellow.

    2. Add about half of the flour (around 1/4 cup) to the eggs, whisking gently into the eggs. The batter will be a little lumpy, but that's okay right now. Add about half of the milk and continue whisking. The milk will thin out the batter. Alternate between the flour and milk until you've added it all. Continue whisking until smooth — be careful not to overmix, it should only take a minute or two. 

    3. Once the batter is smooth, add 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter and whisk again until the butter is just incorporated into the mixture. Cover the batter and refrigerate for 1 hour.

    4. Once the batter has chilled, heat a medium (at least 8 inches) non-stick skillet pan on medium heat. The surface of the pan needs to be pretty hot to make crepes — test its heat by adding a drop of water to the hot pan. If the water sizzles and bubbles and evaporates, the pan is hot enough. Place your pancake mold on the pan and pour about a teaspoon of batter into mold, twirling the pan gently so that the batter fills out the mold. Continue cooking until the crepe has set and the edges begin to crinkle up — a set crepe will usually slide around the pan when it is ready. Remove the mold, slip a spatula under the crepe to flip it over and continue cooking for another 20 seconds, or until the crepe's surface has browned. Repeat the process until the batter is finished, allowing the crepes to cool on a wire rack completely.
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    46 comments

    1. This a stunning meal! I am such a fan of sweet tangy rhubarb with winter citrus as a compote for any sweet delight. Also it is hard to beat have tiny crepes! They remind me of pikelets we have in Australia; I could eat a whole plate full of these babies.


      So true on real city life. I am traveling to work before the dawn and NOBODY on train is looking runway ready....

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    2. never lived in sf, but we'd always wear really comfortable shoes (i'm partial to my running shoes) when going there for day trips. how else are you supposed to rush between all the different bakeries otherwise?!?! love how vibrant the compote is! i'll have to squash in time to make it before it gets too summery around here.

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    3. I'm with you on the comfy shoes, but no brunch? I mean sure, we skip the trendy brunches, or try them out before they get too big, but I feel like the San Franciscans I know are pretty into brunch any weekend of the year. You don't have to give up brunch Michelle! ;)

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    4. Sam @ sugarspunrun.comJune 11, 2015 at 10:47 AM

      What a beautiful ode to breakfast. I love the idea of blood orange roasted rhubarb... yum!
      Oh and i would definitely be wearing comfy shoes, can't do heels for more than like 20 minutes so I'm sure that comfy shoes with your first paycheck were a wise investment :)

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    5. Oh my, this is so cute! And yes about shoes - after my freshman year in college I interned with a fashion designer in SF, and I wanted to be all fancy and wore heels. But commuting there on bart + muni + walk? I switched to flats from then on. And I'm so with you on breakfast - if I'm skipping a meal then I'd rather skip lunch. Big breakfasts get me going for the day :). Love these silver dollar crepes. So cute. You and Nik are killing me with the rhubarb posts !

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    6. Well these are just perfect. And that blood orange roasted rhubarb topping? Don't even get me started. Also, I'm with ya on the breakfast dilemma. Moses never wants breakfast unless it's Saturday or Sunday whereas I'm a breakfast every day kind of gal and would rather breakfast and lunch vs. lunch and dinner any day.

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    7. P.s. I don't think I properly expressed my enthusiasm for these cuties. OMG OMG so cute is what I was really thinking.

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    8. Nobody eats breakfast?! That is literally my nightmare. Breakfast is my FAV!! Montreal is bigger than SF, I think (at least in population) but being a small town girl in a big place means that I will (and must) eat breakfast no matter what. And this looks like just the breakfast for me. I have SO MUCH rhubarb right now!!

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    9. i live vicariously through sex and the city and friends (i know i know) so i refuse to believe all of the above :P but seriously, people not eating breakfast is strange no? i go to bed because i have breakfast waiting for me....i love the idea of roasted rhubarb and orange together here.

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    10. These are so beautiful! I love breakfast food so much I could never not make time for brunch. I think I might have to make these this weekend with the last of my rhubarb crop!

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    11. Haha, your list was hilarious, and I love your impressions of the city...hope San Francisco is treating you well, Michelle!

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    12. I had to look up pikelets and now I'm obsessed. Please share a recipe with one of your fabulous twists on your blog soon!!!

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    13. Yes! I like where your head's at. Running shoes = getting to the bakeries faster.

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    14. Hahah, yeah, several of my San Francisco friends have called me out on the no-brunch thing already. They keep telling me I've just aged out of the scene. Like a dinosaur, I guess? I don't even know.

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    15. Hahah, yup. 20 minutes is also my threshold for heels. I usually have flats tucked away in my purse. ;-)

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    16. I'll agree that I'm too old to do the wait in line for an hour thing for brunch. But there are tons of great little breakfast/brunch spots that I love to check out on weekends. Let me know if you need suggestions.

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    17. These are absolutely adorables! I love everything about them, especially this flavor combo! I so have to try this!

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    18. Well, as far as I know, everyone in SF & the surrounding areas carry lots of reusable bags because plastic bags have been illegal for several years. Anyway, crepes! These sound super delicious with fresh spring rhubarb. So tangy. :)

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    19. hahaha, about your SATC comment. I love it. But yeah, I guess folks are too busy for breakfast? It's the worst.

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    20. Thanks Caroline! Despite my gripes above, SF is indeed treating me pretty well :-)

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    21. Thanks Tori! I hope you get a chance to try it soon!

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    22. Not to mention the fact that paper bags also cost an additional 10cents. I love it! I was recently on the East Coast and was very much appalled to find that folks used plastic bags instead of paper. My West Coast sensibilities are strong, I guess.

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    23. Hahah, yeah, learning how to navigate a big city has its quirks. When we visited SF I found myself just trying to take in all of the social cues in order to fit in! On this recipe: I haven't done much with rhubarb before, but the blog circuit is making me have fomo. Buying rhubarb soon okkk! Also, gorgeous stuff here, as always!

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    24. This post really made me LOL. Visiting our friends in DC recently, it felt so weird not to pack heels for a night out, but it made no sense to since we'd be walking and taking the metro everywhere. ;)

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    25. Omg this list is hilarious!! Bahaha I love it so much. (Like how I carry heels in my purse whenever I plan to wear them and then have to pause awkwardly outside wherever I'm going to change shoes on the sidewalk. Aka last Wednesday!!!) As for these crepes, I LOVE these lil babes, so so cute!!!! That rhubarb on top looks like heaven -- so perfect.

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    26. Abby | Lace & LilacsJune 11, 2015 at 7:31 PM

      These photos are gorgeous, Michelle, and this recipe looks delicious! It's interesting to hear your perspective on city living... I've always lived outside of a city, but in a couple months I'll be heading off to college in a major one. It's going to be quite a shock, I'm sure - but I'll be sure to bring comfy shoes. :D xx

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    27. What social queues were you looking out for?! Now I'm intrigued.

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    28. Hhahah, yep. Heels are a LIE. Unless you don't mind spending a ton on Uber.

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    29. Hahahah, it makes me so happy that you do that too! I always carry flats in my purse whenever I wear heels. You never know when you need to run somewhere (a.k.a. my survival motto for the zombie apocalypse).

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    30. Thanks Abby! That's so exciting that you're heading off to college! Where will you be moving to??? Can't wait to follow along on your blog!

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    31. Haha, like the small stuff! If people say hello in passing you on the street (they don't ) or like how to dress and how to not act like a confused southern boy. You know, that kinda stuff.

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    32. Haha the hills, I can attest that they are crazy! Also totally agree, breakfast should NOT be neglected! Especially if they are as beautiful as these! Love this so much. Excited to read posts on your SF life :)

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    33. Yay! Thanks so much Erica! Hope you enjoyed your trip here!

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    34. I just got back from the US and spent the first few days in San Fransisco and I TOTALLY get you... what's with the lack of Brunch?! I had visions of some amazing big brunches every single day, but I think we only ended up getting it once. Still, loved the city and would totally love to go back again and explore some more!

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    35. Jessie Snyder | Faring WellJune 12, 2015 at 8:55 AM

      Oh girl do I hear you. Whenever I tell anyone I'm from Orange County their like "I loved The OC", or even worse, the movie "Orange County" - and I just cringe and try not come off rude like... Yeah... That's great? Haha! SO not a true reflection on living life there at all! Loved your list of real life isms compared to movies in this. But I still can't wrap my mind around not having breakfast?!?! Aren't they hungry?! I'd walk in front of one of those cute trolly trains if I didn't get my early morning grub on first. Hope you don't succumb to that insanity! ;)

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    36. You should try b patisserie!! they have the most amazing pastries, lines out of the door for breakfast. I have gotten a little bored with brunch.

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    37. While you're in San Fran, make sure to try the Swedish pancakes at Sears Find Food - classic SF!

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    38. You pretty much described my life to a tee (although I do try, at least, to make time for breakfast when I can). When I think back to my first few years at work, I used to wear heels all the time. How on earth did I do that? Now it's a good day if I wear anything other than flats for more than 10 minutes...


      Anyway, pancakes! These are the absolute cutest! I love how dinky they are and that combo of orange + rhubarb is totally the way to my heart.

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    39. Moved to London in October. Loved this article. So true about the shoes ;)

      http://uk.complex.com/pop-culture/2012/05/the-10-most-unrealistic-apartments-in-tv-shows-movies/sex-and-the-city

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    40. Our Food StoriesJune 13, 2015 at 3:55 PM

      Looks like rhubarb heaven!!!! <3

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    41. Those look great! I'd love to try these flavors with fluffy pancakes too, the rhubarb sounds scrumptious:)

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    42. Ooooh I love this post! Living in the city is definitely not as we see it on TV. And I'm the biggest fan of breakfast ever, so YES to an ode to breakfast with these cuties!

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