I had the pleasure of meeting Chef Debbi of Deb’s Kitchen this last summer while working at the Orange County Fair. We seemed to make an immediate connection and I remember thinking how much I liked her almost instantly. I had an inkling that we would be friends, and I was right. I was first and foremost impressed with her “parsley”. Yes parsley, you heard me right- parsley. She was demonstrating a “Gazpacho Cous Cous Salad” from her book, “What’s in Your Pantry“, and she had brought in this parsley that was out of this world. It was so fresh & alive, full of color, and super sized! She modestly smiled and told me it was from her garden- she’s a Master Gardener. Since then, Debbi and I have continued to eat, laugh, mix and mingle around Orange County together. She has inspired me to plant my first garden, introduced me to Melissa’s Produce, and together with Chef Renee we have started a community of “food lover’s” and writers here in Orange County- OC Bites, Fork and Pen Adventures. These Korean pears from Melissa’s Produce were so juicy and delicious, and I love the creative way Debbi used them in this recipe. It was especially fun for me to style and photograph some one else’s creation- enjoy! ~ Chef Louise
Caramelized Korean Pear Crepes by Chef Debbi
An unfamiliar winter fruit among the produce found in the vegetable aisle, the Korean pear is crisp, sweet and juicy. Think of it more as an apple rather than a pear, it’s texture holds up well in cooking without becoming mush. The pears are round, unlike Western style pears, and they have a thin light brown skin that is edible. Typically the Korean pear is eaten cold or at room temperature, I created this dessert crepe that could be served alone or on a brunch menu as well.
I sliced the pear in half and scooped out the core along with the seeds. After slicing the pear halves into very thin half moons, I then caramelized the slices in butter with a little sugar; let them cool while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. You might want to make a few extra so you can nibble on them while you put together the crepes. The caramelized pear slices refrigerate well so they can be made ahead and assembled at the last minute. For a quick tasty treat, top toasted bread with peanut butter and caramelized pear slices and enjoy before anyone can catch you!
Homemade crème fraiche is easy to make and much more delicious than what you can purchase; you should make the crème fraiche a day in advance, see recipe below.
If you can’t find Korean pears at your local market, Melissa’s Produce has them available right now!
Caramelized Korean Pear Crepe
2 Tablespoons butter, unsalted
1 Korean Pear, cut in half, cored and thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 Tablespoons toasted coconut shreds
2 Tablespoons toasted macadamia nuts, chopped
1/2 cup crème fraiche
2 teaspoons pomegranate arils
2 large crepes*
In a large, heavy sauté pan, melt the butter low on and add the pears in a single layer. Sprinkle the pears with sugar and raise the heat to medium, let them cook until slightly browned around the edges, about 10 minutes, turn and cook the other side until lightly browned. Set aside while you ready the remaining ingredients or place in a single layer separated by parchment paper, let cool and cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate until ready to use.
Lay one crepe out on a dessert plate and spoon 1/4 cup of the crème fraiche onto one third of the top part of the crepe. Layer with some of the pear slices and other ingredients, fold the crepe in half over the ingredients and place remaining 1/4 cup crème fraiche and ingredients in the center of the crepe leaving enough of the crepe to fold over the filling. Top with a swirl of chocolate sauce, a dollop of crème fraiche and scatter some of the filling ingredients over the top before serving.
From Chef Debbi’s book ‘What’s In Your Pantry’
recipe created by Brenda Hock, slocooking.com
1 cup manufacturing cream
1 Tablespoon buttermilk
Combine the cream and buttermilk in a small saucepan and heat just to lukewarm over medium-low heat. Do not let it boil. Immediately remove it from the heat and cover. Let it thicken at room temperature for 8 to 48 hours, until it reaches the desired thickness and flavor. Chill.
* About 9″ crepe or so, homemade or also available from Melissa’s Produce.