These elegant crepes make a delicate starter for a special meal, and look very beautiful on a plate.
140g/5oz plain flour, sifted
2 large free range eggs
300ml/½ pint dairy or soya milk
150ml/¼ pint water
1 tsp vegetable oil, plus extra oil for frying
pinch of sea salt
36 small, fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
2-3 tbsp freshly chopped tarragon
200ml/7fl oz crème fraiche
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp unrefined caster sugar
black pepper to taste
For the batter, put the flour, eggs, milk, water, oil and salt into the blender, and run it for 1 minute. Alternatively, sift the flour into a medium bowl, add the eggs and slowly whisk in the milk, water, oil and salt to make a smooth batter. Leave it to stand for 2 hours.
Heat an 18cm/7inch frying pan until hot, then moisten it with a small amount of oil. Carefully pour in 2 tablespoons of the batter and swirl it around the base of the pan to form a thin pancake. Cook the crepe until it is golden and crisp on both sides. Remove it from the pan and keep it warm in a moderate oven between sheets of foil or greaseproof paper while you make the other crepes. Repeat the steps until you have made twelve crepes in all. Brush the pan lightly with a little more oil if necessary between crepes, and regulate the temperature of the pan to prevent them from burning.
Cook the asparagus until tender, standing it in boiling water so that the tips steam above the surface and the base of the asparagus is soft. This will take around 6 – 7 minutes. Drain the asparagus thoroughly; allow it to cool slightly before laying three spears in the middle of each pancake.
Mix the chopped tarragon into the crème fraiche and season with the lemon juice, sugar and pepper to taste.
Spoon a little of the sauce over the warm asparagus, fold both sides of the crepe over the centre so that the asparagus protrudes at each end and serve at once with the remaining sauce on the side.
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