For the longest time, I didn’t understand why people loved brunch so much. I mean it’s not that hard to make eggs and bacon at home. And then, I discovered all these other dishes you could get at the better brunch restaurants, dishes that while they could be made at home with some advance planning, they would still take a while to make and sometimes the time before the first morning coffee can go very slowly 🙂 Among these dishes, I realized I really like the ones that come with creme anglaise, so with the extra time off for the holidays, I decided to make my own creme anglaise containing brunch dish. Since I still have some frozen raspberries in my freezer, I opted for a raspberry coulis for a little freshness. The creme anglaise was a little harder than anticipated, but after switching cookbooks, I got it to work. Once again, Julia Child’s wisdom saved my food 🙂 For the pancakes, I just adapted my previous buttermilk pancake recipe.
Ingredients (serves 2 -3 with leftover creme and coulis):
- raspberry coulis (~1 cup): 2 cups frozen raspberries, 2 Tb water, 4+ Tb sugar, pinch of salt, 2 tsp lemon juice
- creme anglaise (~1 cup): 1/4 cup sugar, 2 egg yolks, 3/4 cup boiling milk, 1 tsp vanilla extract
Pancakes (about 6, 4″ pancakes):
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 almond meal
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 1 Tb sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 cup milk
- 1 Tb lemon juice
- 2 Tb unsalted butter, melted
- toasted slivered almonds
- oil for brushing the pan
The night before, make the raspberry coulis and creme anglaise. The coulis is super easy, just bring the raspberries, water, sugar and salt to simmer over medium heat. Cook until the sugar is dissolved (a few minutes). Puree the berries using a hand blender or food processor (30 sec – 1 min) and then strain them through a fine mesh. It always amazes me how many seeds the little raspberries have 🙂 Mix in the lemon juice and adjust for sugar. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or overnight.
Now, for the creme anglaise, get your ingredients ready and make sure you are not going to get distracted while making it! Bring the milk to a boil over medium heat, reduce to simmer. Meanwhile, beat the yolks and sugar until pale yellow and it forms the ribbon (~ 3 min). Temper the eggs by slowly beating in 1/2 cup of the milk. Pour the egg mixture in the sauce pan with the remaining milk. Stir continuously over moderate heat until the sauce thickens enough to cover the back of the spoon. Follow Julia’s saving advice and don’t let the sauce come to a simmer or it will curd! You can use a thermometer and make sure it doesn’t go over 175 (Julia says 165-170, Cooks Illustrated says 175 and mine was definitely around 175, but I just used an instant thermometer and I am not sure how accurate it is). This should take about 5-10 min. Don’t get impatient, as long as the sauce doesn’t get too hot, it won’t curdle and it will eventually thicken. Remove from heat and don’t stop stirring. Strain through a fine mesh and stir in the vanilla extract. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
Next morning, all you need is to make the pancakes 🙂 Whisk the milk with the lemon juice and let it sit for 5 min to thicken. Whisk egg and melted in the sour milk, followed by the dry ingredients.
Heat a pan over medium heat. Brush with oil. Drop about 1/4 cup batter in the pan. Cook until the edges are set and bubbles form (~2 min). Flip using a spatula and cook until golden-brown on the second side (~1 1/2 min). Repeat 🙂 You can keep the pancakes warm in a preheat oven to 175 – 200 F.
For the assembly, place the first pancake on a plate. Top with creme anglaise, followed by a second pancake. Pour raspberry coulis around the pancakes and top with toasted almonds.
These pancakes were delicious and I loved the combination of the rich creme anglaise with the fresh coulis and the crunchy toasted almonds. It did require some time, but by preparing the cream and coulis the night before, I only had to make the pancakes in the morning, which was not bad at all. Totally worth it and will definitely be making these again, especially now that it is getting a little cold to walk to the brunch place 😉