I like New York, but there are days in which a bout of homesickness will hit me hard. Innocuous activities or insignificant landmarks will suddenly remind me of an old routine that I've lost because of my many moves, or of the similar locales that I regularly frequented in Portland. It's unpredictable and often times, irrational — I've been reduced to tears on the subway because of a fleeting memory and/or what is basically intense nostalgia.
Most recently, the neighborhood creperie (that I walk by everyday without a second thought) struck me hard with a memory. Crepes here are not as ubiquitous as they were in Portland. I can think of a number of crepe restaurants in Portland, whereas a Yelp search for "crepes" here yields about the same number. In Portland back in the day, the only late night place to eat as an under-21-year-old was at a cluster of food carts (like food trucks, but smaller and less mobile) named Cartopia. Cartopia these days is a fancy affair with a variety of carts to choose from. There are tents full of heat lamps and string lighting; on particularly festive nights, there's a bonfire. But at the time, none of that existed. Back then, Cartopia was just another sketchy parking lot with some haphazard food carts — a forgettable burrito cart, a decent poutine and french fries joint, and a crepe stand.
Having the world's biggest sweet tooth, I naturally gravitated towards the crepe stand. Their crepes were nothing special, but they had good flavor combinations (fried plantain + dulce de leche + rum was particularly inspired) and hand spun milkshakes to boot. But being cash only and coming in at $5 to $7 a crepe (which, at the time, seemed like a fortune to me!), my cheap and broke college self wondered if it would be more convenient to recreate them at home.
As a result, crepes were the third food that I specialized in (after box mix funfetti cupcakes and Paula Deen's red velvet cupcakes recipe, of course). I remember inviting friends over and offering them what I thought was quite the spread of toppings — pre-squeezed lemon juice from one of those plastic juice boxes shaped like the fruit, and what I thought was the ever winning combination of Nutella and bananas. But it turned out the lemon juice was expired, and one out of two of my guests didn't like bananas. Oops.
I've since upgraded my crepe game with these jams, jellies, and curds from Stonewall Kitchen. Even though I usually make my crepes from scratch, the fine folks over there also included a traditional crepe mix for me to try as well. I was pleasantly surprised and impressed — the mix made light, eggy crepes that were soft in the middle and crisp along the edges. After getting the hang of making crepes in my fancy new Staub pan (complete with an actual crepe spreader and special spatula for flipping!), Erlend and I spent the morning playing around with different flavors and combination. The five below are our favorite — enjoy!
French Crepes, Five Ways
1. Fresh Lemon Juice and Powdered Sugar
An untouchable classic. This flavor combination's simplicity really lets the crepes' buttery, eggy flavor shine.
2. Pear, Cardamom, and Maple Cream
Have you guys ever had maple cream before? This was my first time, and I am OBSESSED. Liquid maple syrup is boiled until it solidifies to a solid texture. Imagine a bottle of maple syrup, but with the texture of softened butter. It works best when slightly warmed, topped with fresh pear and generous pinches of cardamom.
featured: Stonewall Kitchen Maple Cream
3. Blood Orange and Bittersweet Chocolate
This was a fun riff off of one of my favorite flavor combinations, chocolate and orange. The bittersweet chocolate works wonderfully with the bright and tangy blood orange.
featured: Stonewall Kitchen Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce
4. Lemon Curd with Toasted Pistachios and Chia Seeds
This was MY ultimate favorite of the combinations we came up with. Stonewall Kitchen's lemon curd is just amazing. Its texture is buttery smooth, with a bright zesty flavor. It paired perfectly with the crushed toasted pistachios and chia seeds.
featured: Stonewall Kitchen Lemon Curd
5. Blueberry and Banana Crepes
Blueberry and banana pancakes are a thing... so why not crepes? I loved that the blueberry jam actually looked like preserved blueberries; the fruit kept its round shape! Its delightful texture felt like fresh fruit bursting in your mouth and contrasted perfectly with fresh banana slices.
featured: Stonewall Kitchen Wild Maine Blueberry Jam
This post was sponsored by Stonewall Kitchen, who provided the ingredients and the compensation to make the post happen. I love discovering high-quality ingredients and pantry staples and was thoroughly impressed by all the products they sent me. I genuinely believe that Stonewall Kitchen makes some of the best jams, jellies, and curds out there! As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own — thank you for supporting Hummingbird High and all my sponsors!