These Honey Persimmon Crêpes with a tasty amber-coloured sauce is a delicious way to welcome the approaching spring.
Hello everyone. Welcome March, too. The meteorological spring is here. The astronomical spring will be with us in just 3 weeks. Yay to this! Let’s all make these Honey Persimmon Crepes and celebrate.
I am not being too optimistic, though. The thing is that the winter in Nova Scotia has been relatively mild compared to what our neighbours experienced. And while I am 100% ready for spring (I was ready on January 2nd!), there’s still a possibility a winter storm hits us many times. Last year we had frosts at the beginning of June which affected crops badly. So, don’t put away your winter
Let’s talk traditions and holidays for a moment now.
Have you heard of a holiday named Maslenitsa? Maslenitsa, also known as Butter Week, Crepe Week, or Cheesefare Week, is an old Eastern Slavic religious and folk holiday. According to some archeological evidence, it could be the oldest surviving Slavic holiday which was known at least in the 2nd century A.D.
It fells on the last week before Great Lent, so it’s also a movable feast. And guess what? It starts on March 4th this year!
Maslenitsa has its origin in the pagan tradition celebrating the imminent end of the winter; it’s a sun-festival celebration. And like many festivals, this holiday doesn’t last for only one day. In fact, Maslenitsa is celebrated for an entire week. I am not sure about these days, but originally each day had its traditional activity. For instance, Monday was named the “Lady Maslenitsa” as the community would build the Maslenitsa scarecrow out of the straw and colourful flammable materials. On Wednesdays, sons-in-law would visit their mother-in-law. On Thursday’s folks would have outdoor activities such as ice skating, snowball fights, and sleigh rides. The last day of the festival was called “Forgiveness Sunday” when people would ask each other for forgiveness. The culmination of the celebration would be…burning the “Lady Maslenitsa” in a bonfire. That’s a good way to celebrate the “Forgiveness Sunday”, right? :)
But the best part of Maslenitsa is its food. The most characteristic food of it is bliny – thin kind of pancakes or thick crêpes. Symbolically, a crêpe was associated with Sun and the upcoming Spring! Did I mention that people would be eating crêpes every single day throughout the Maslenitsa Week? Seven. Days. Of. Eating. Crêpes. Sounds crazy, right? Back to those times, activities throughout the festive week combined with the followed
How cool is that?
While I am not challenging you to eat crepes for the entire week, I encourage you to try these delicious Honey Persimmon Crepes. And dear winter, please be nice and don’t overstay our welcome.
- Batter (See Notes):
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 2 and 1/2 cups of 2% milk
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- a pinch of salt
- a little pinch of powdered sugar / granulated sugar
- few drops of vanilla extract, optionally
- cooking spray/melted butter, for greasing
- Persimmon Sauce:
- 6 tbsp. butter
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 star anise
- few drops of lemon juice
- a little pinch of salt
- 2 large persimmons, pitted and sliced
- 1 tbsp. whisky or brandy (optional)
- To make the batter, sift the flour and add the powdered sugar and salt. Gradually add the milk and lukewarm water, constantly whisking with a whisk, until homogeneous. Incorporate the eggs, melted butter. Let the batter stand at least 15 minutes in the fridge. Once chilled, the batter will thicken up a bit so you might need to adjust by adding some water.
- The skillet should be hot enough. Slightly grease the skillet and add enough batter to thinly coat the base, and tilt the pan to create an even thickness. When the temperature is high enough, it should take a minute to get the edges crisp, lacy, and browned. Flip and cook for another minute or so.
- Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining batter.
- In the meanwhile, make the sauce by melting the butter and honey. Stir in the persimmon, spices, lemon juice, and salt. Simmer for about 5 minutes or longer as desired. Some sorts of persimmon will soften up and start turning into kind of jam or marmalade while others will remain firm.
- Optionally, you can stir in whisky or brandy and let alcohol evaporate for a minute.
- Serve the warm crepes generously drizzled with the sauce. Alternatively, you can fold and place the crêpes in the pan for 1 minute allowing the sauce to absorb.
Note: the batter yields in 12-15 crêpes while you will need 6-8 crêpes for this recipe. You can cut down the batter recipe in half or enjoy leftovers later on (They will be fine in the fridge for 3 days)