Ideally, everything I made would taste just as good as it looks. It can be tricky, though to make a gorgeous, special presentation that also tastes spectacular. (I bet you can guess how I feel about fondant.) So when I need to make a dish that is particularly pretty, I try to work with the visual qualities of a particular food, rather than trying to force it to look like something else. For a while, I've had a hunch that the pretty, irregular edges of crêpes might just make a lovely leaf or petal. Then I ran into a simple paper art technique for roses... put the two together and you get crêpe roses! They look complicated, but they’re really not difficult to make. And you won’t need lots of special equipment, either. If you have a non-stick or cast iron pan, a squeeze bottle (reused ketchup bottles work well), paper coffee filters and a sharp knife, you’re in business. And the best part is that they are absolutely real food-- every bit as delicious as regular old round crepes. You can make a few flowers to decorate a serving of regular crepes or make a whole bouquet for your valentine.
Obviously you don't need to make my recipe for sauce to make crêpe roses, but I think you'll want to. Pretty red blood oranges are in season and I think that the pink sauce looks stunning with the roses.The flavors in this dish were inspired by the classic crepes suzette. But my take is a bit lighter and brighter than its gloriously buttery grandparent. And I threw in some cardamom and orange flower water too, just because they are delicious.
3 small Blood Oranges
3/4 c. flour
1 1/4 c. milk
1 T. butter, melted
1 T sugar
the zest from 1 orange
1/2 t. orange flower water (optional)
1/2 t. vanilla extract
Cardamom Blood Orange Sauce:
2/3 c. blood orange juice, reserved from cutting the orange segments
3 cardamom pods
1/4 c. sugar
2 T. Butter
at least a dozen roses, serves 2-3
Step 1: Mix Batter & Cut Orange Segments
You can do both of these steps ahead of time. Orange segments will keep in the refrigerator for several days. And crêpe batter is at its best after resting for a day. Make sure your knife is extra sharp before you start to cut your orange segments.
Mix crêpe batter:
Beat the egg together with the milk, sugar,salt, zest and flavorings. Add the flour a little at a time, whisking vigorously to avoid getting any lumps. Once all of the flour is incorporated, whisk in the melted butter. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of two hours. Overnight is even better.
Cut orange segments
1. Cut off the top and bottom. It might take a few slices until you get cleanly into the fruit.
2. Set the fruit on the now flat bottom and cut the peel away, in strips. Once you have cut one piece away from the fruit, there will be a nice line that you can trace to get the rest of the peel off neatly.
3. Trim away all of the remaining pith.
4. Cut each segment on the left and right to separate the segment from the membrane. At the end you will have a pile of segments and something like a book made of citrus membranes.
5. Squeeze the center skins over your bowl of supremes to get any remaining juice out.