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Crepe Gateau with Strawberry Preserves and Creme Fraiche

This towering dessert is made with alternating layers of crepes, creme fraiche, and fruit preserves.

  • Servings: 8
  • Yield: Makes 15 crepes

Source: Martha Stewart Living, July 2003

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 large whole eggs, room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups milk, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups creme fraiche
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup strawberry or other fruit preserves

Directions

  1. Into a medium bowl, sift together the flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, and the salt. Make a well in the center, and fill it with the eggs, egg yolks, and a few tablespoons milk; whisk until a thick, smooth paste forms. Add the remaining milk, and whisk until no lumps remain.

  2. Melt the butter in an 8-inch nonstick skillet with a 6-inch-diameter bottom; pour into the batter, leaving a coating of butter in skillet. Let the batter rest at room temperature 1 hour.

  3. Over medium heat, warm skillet thoroughly. Lift skillet off heat; stir batter, and carefully ladle 3 tablespoons into skillet. Immediately rotate skillet so batter is thinly spread evenly across skillet to the edges. Return skillet to heat; cook crepe until edges are golden brown and lacy, about 1 minute. Using a heatproof rubber spatula, carefully flip crepe; cook other side until golden brown, about 30 seconds. Slide crepe out of skillet onto a plate. Repeat with remaining batter, stacking cooked crepes on top of one another. Let crepes cool completely.

  4. Prepare an ice bath. Place creme fraiche in a medium bowl set in ice bath. Add vanilla and remaining 3 tablespoons sugar to bowl; whip until mixture holds a line drawn by the whisk.

  5. To assemble: Place a crepe on a serving platter. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon preserves on top; using an offset spatula, spread in a thin layer over crepe, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge. Cover with another crepe, stacking neatly. Spread 2 heaping tablespoons creme fraiche mixture evenly over crepe, again leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges. Continue alternating fillings with crepes, finishing with a crepe on top. If necessary, insert two long toothpicks through the layers to keep gateau in place. Refrigerate at least 15 minutes. Remove toothpicks; cut into wedges before serving.

Cook's Notes

Crepe batter can be made through step one up to one day in advance and stored, covered, in the refrigerator. When assembling the gateau, do not spread cream and jam to the edges on the bottom layers, because the weight of the top will push out the filling. The gateau should be assembled no more than two hours before serving.

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