These sweet apple and ricotta baked crepes are part crepe, part cannoli, and completely delicious. Try them for brunch or dessert.
This Saturday, the award-winning Italian chef Lidia Bastianich visits the Paramount Theatre in Rutland. The show is part of her live tour where the restaurateur, author, and television star will talk about her life’s experiences. After the show, I’ll see if she is free to stop by my house and cook us a quick dinner.
Who is Lidia Bastianich?
Bastianich has had quite a life. When her hometown in Italy became part of communist Yugoslavia in the 1940s, her family had to leave home for an Italian refugee camp. She later relocated to the United States at the age of twelve. She found herself in Queens, New York, where she worked in a bakery and pizzeria. Eventually, she married, opened her first restaurant with her husband in the 1970s. Later, in the 1980s, she started her flagship restaurant, Felidia.
Plenty of hard work, good reviews, and family involvement led to Bastianich's restaurants across New York and Pittsburgh and Kansas City. After appearing on television with Julia Child in the early 1990s, she later started several of her own cooking programs. These shows earned her James Beard awards and even an Emmy.
Along the way, Bastianich wrote numerous cookbooks to accompany her restaurants and shows. She began with La Cucina di Lidia in 1990, to most recently, Lidia’s Mastering the Art of Italian Cuisine. I can’t wait to learn more from Bastianich herself this weekend.
I have a copy of Mastering the Art and have enjoyed cooking through it over the past year. At first, I expected the recipes of such a renowned chef to be complicated and tedious. But many of the pasta dishes I’ve made are quite approachable and taste as if they’ve come right out of one of her restaurant's kitchens. While I have yet to visit her restaurants, I have done some feasting at Eataly in New York, which Bastianich helped create.
How to make baked crepes
I made Lidia’s stuffed crêpe recipe last weekend when in need of a dessert to bring to my sister’s house for dinner. Crêpes are more French than Italian. But when you stuff them with ricotta, they become not all that different from cannoli.
You start by making traditional crepes. That may sound easier said than done, but after a little practice, you'll get the hang of it. It's just like making a larger, thinner pancake. That said, here are a few helpful tips for making crepes:
1. Don't skip letting the batter rest. this creates more tender crepes.
2. Keep your pan hot and the heat steady so the crepes cook fast and even.
3. Use a thin metal spatula or tongs to easily flip the crepes.
Once you have your crepes, you fill, roll, and bake them. Baking the crepes creates crisp edges and a warm gooey filling. The jelly creates a sweet glaze the soaks right into the crepe. It's a genius approach thanks to Lidia.
I changed a few things from her baked crepe recipe and added some apple in for more texture and substance. I think any flavor jelly or jam would work pair well, and you can swap the apple out for whatever fresh fruit you like. Try pears, plums, or berries.Print