Oh, what buckwheat can do for these blender crepes

Buckwheat crepes with sauteed apples.
Buckwheat crepes with sauteed apples. PHOTO: DEB LINDSEY FOR THE WASHINGTON POST

(WASHINGTON POST) - Buckwheat – which, despite its name, is not a type of wheat, but a seed – powers these satisfying crepes with both intrigue and nutrition.

The flour imparts a deeply nutty flavor and dark colour, giving the crepes a sassy Goth sensibility, while adding a wealth of protein, fibre, minerals and antioxidants. Ultimately, the crepes make the perfect seasonal cloak for a luscious, caramelised apple filling. 

Making them is less complicated than you might think because all the batter ingredients are whirred together in the blender.

Since buckwheat has no gluten to provide structure and can be intense-tasting on its own, it is blended here with a choice of whole-wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour or, to keep the dish gluten-free, a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend.

While the batter rests and thickens a bit, you make the filling by caramelising sliced apples in a skillet with a pat of butter, some cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and maple syrup.  There is a little extra crepe batter built into this recipe for a trial run, so you can afford to mess one up while getting the feel of it and still have enough for eight.

Ladle in ¼ cup of batter and tilt and rotate the pan so the batter covers the bottom evenly. It should be thin enough so that it spreads and coats easily.

If the batter seems a little thick, stir in 1 or 2 Tbs water.  After a minute, the crepe will be browned on the bottom and a cinch to flip for cooking the other side. I just grab it with my fingers, but you can use a spatula or tongs to do the job.

Pile the crepes on a plate as you cook them. To serve, mound some apples onto a crepe. Add a dollop of yogurt (or ice cream if you are in dessert mode) and a sprinkle of nuts before wrapping it up – or wait and top the crepe with those two components, for an added flourish.

Enjoy as a healthful treat for breakfast or as a snack. 

Buckwheat Crepes With Sauteed Apples

For the crepes

1 cup low-fat (1 per cent) milk
3 large eggs
2 Tbs water
1 Tbs pure maple syrup
¼ tsp salt
 cup buckwheat flour
⅓ cup whole-wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour or a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend
3 Tbs canola oil or other neutrally flavored oil, plus more for the pan
¾ cup plain low-fat Greek-style yogurt, for serving
½ cup toasted, chopped walnuts, for serving (optional) 

For the filling
1 Tbs unsalted butter
2 medium golden delicious apples, peeled, sliced into 0.5cm slices
½ tsp ground cinnamon
⅛ tsp ground ginger
 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of salt
3 Tbs pure maple syrup

1. For the crepes: Combine the milk, eggs, water, maple syrup and salt in a blender and blend on a low setting to incorporate. Add the buckwheat and whole-wheat pastry flours and blend for about 15 seconds until very smooth. Add the oil and blend for about five seconds. Pour the batter into a bowl, cover and place in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.  
2. For the filling: Melt the butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Once the foam subsides, add the apples and then sprinkle them with the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Cook for about six minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned and softened, but not mushy. Stir in the maple syrup and cook for one to two minutes. 
3. Heat a crepe pan or a 25cm-wide non-stick skillet over medium heat. Brush with oil. Use a ¼ cup measure to ladle the batter into the centre of the pan. Tilt and rotate the pan so that the batter forms a thin layer at the bottom. Cook until the top is no longer liquid and the bottom is nicely browned (use a spatula to check) for about one minute. Flip the crepe using the spatula and cook the other side lightly for 15 seconds more. Repeat with the remaining batter until you have eight crepes. You will not need to re-oil the pan. Stack the finished crepes on a plate.
4. Pile about  cup of the apple mixture onto each crepe on a plate. Top with a heaping tablespoon of yogurt and a tablespoon of walnuts (if using) before wrapping it up in a cone shape – or wait and top the crepe with those two components. Serve immediately.

Serves four