Sweet crepes of Friuli Venezia-Giulia
by gina depalma
These delicate pancakes are enjoyed not only in Friuli, but in neighboring Austria, Hungary, Istria and Romania. The best way to enjoy them is filled with slightly sweetened ricotta or with the finest fruit preserves. At Babbo, I fill them with a plum “marmellata” and top with a Slivowitz-perfumed mascarpone cream. Slivowitz is a distillate of plums – if you can’t find it, try using a plum brandy or Friulian Grappa.
I do not recommend attempting to make crepes without the use of a hand blender or stand blender, since it is nearly impossible to whisk the batter enough by hand to remove all of the lumps. Also be sure to use a non-stick crepe pan for your Palacinche – they should be whisper-thin and lacy.
Makes 18-20 Palacinche
Place milk, water, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, sugar, Slivowitz or brandy, melted butter and flour in a blender and blend on high speed until lump-free and smooth. Allow the batter to sit for about 30 minutes before making the crepes.
Heat the crepe pan until very hot, and swirl a small amount of vegetable oil around to make the first crepe. (you should only have to use additional oil every 5 crepes or so). Pour only enough batter to coat the bottom of the pan; the batter should not pool in the center or the crepes will be too thick and gummy. When the edges turn golden brown, carefully flip the crepe to cook on the other side. Lay the crepes out on a cookie sheet, slightly overlapping. As they cool, you can use parchment paper to layer them.
To serve, lightly dust a plate with confectioner’s sugar. Lay a crepe off center. Spread with some of the preserves and flip over the crepe to create an attractive fold. Dust with additional confectioner’s sugar and serve with Mascarpone Crema.
Plum-Scented Mascarpone Crema
8 ounces mascarpone
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons Slivowitz, Plum Brandy or Grappa
Place all ingredients in bowl of an electric mixer, or use a balloon whisk by hand to whisk until soft peaks form. Chill 10 minutes before serving to allow the flavor to develop.