All the elements of this dessert can be prepared ahead, and once they are done, the final assembly goes quickly.
- ¾ cup milk, plus 1 – 2 tablespoons more if needed
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- ½ cup chopped, toasted California walnuts
- 2 tablespoons walnut oil
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter
- ½ teaspoon grated orange zest
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Caramelized Rhubarb
- 3 stalks rhubarb
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons water
- Nocino Macerated Strawberries
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 baskets (about 1 pound) strawberries, washed, stemmed and quartered
- 14 cup Nocino (walnut liqueur) or orange liqueur
- Yogurt cream
- ½ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt or lowfat sour cream
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Candied Walnuts
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup water
- ½ cup finely chopped California walnuts
- To make the batter, combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour into a small bowl then cover and refrigerate for at least two hours. (The batter will keep 2 – 3 days refrigerated; this amount makes 6 – 7 large crepes.)
- The batter should be about the consistency of heavy cream, so it spreads thinly and evenly in the hot pan. If it seems too thick after refrigerating, stir in an additional tablespoon or two of milk. If you are in doubt, try a small “test” crepe.
- Heat a 9-inch (bottom diameter) nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. The pan is ready when drops of water sizzle on the surface and evaporate rapidly. Coat it lightly with cooking spray. Pour in a generous 1/4 cup batter and tilt the pan in all directions to coat the bottom evenly—don’t worry if the shape isn’t perfect, it won’t matter when the crepe is folded. Cook about 1 minute, or until browned on the bottom. Nudge the crepe loose with a spatula, turn and cook the other side for about 30 seconds, then slide it out onto a large plate.
- Cook the remaining batter the same way, coating the pan with nonstick spray between each crepe, and stacking them one atop the other as they are done. If you are making them ahead, when thoroughly cool, cover and refrigerate.
- Cut the rhubarb into 1-inch pieces.
- Combine the sugar and water in a small heavy-bottom saucepan or sauté pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil several minutes, swirling the pan occasionally, until the liquid begins to turn golden and caramelize. Add the rhubarb, swirl the pan to distribute the caramel, then turn the heat to low. (The caramel will stiffen, which is okay; it will liquefy again.) Cover the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture looks like jam, but slightly chunky. Cool, then transfer to a jar or small container.
Nocino Macerated Strawberries
- Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil about 1 minute, swirling the pan gently, until the sugar dissolves and the liquid is clear. Pour into a large bowl and cool.
- Add the strawberries and Nocino to the bowl and stir to combine. Macerate for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- Drain the macerating juices back into a small saucepan, and set the berries aside. Boil the juices over high heat until reduced by about half, then pour into a cup and reserve.
- Combine in a small bowl and stir until smooth
- Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and add the walnuts. Soak for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Coat a small baking pan with nonstick spray or line with parchment paper. Drain the walnuts and spread them in the prepared pan. Bake 20 – 25 minutes, stirring three or four times, until lightly toasted. The nuts will dry and crisp as they cool to room temperature.
To Assemble and Serve the Crepes
- Microwave the Caramelized Rhubarb for a minute to warm it. Reheat each crepe by placing it in a skillet over medium-high heat for a few seconds. Have all other components at room temperature. Spread one half of each crepe evenly with about 3 tablespoons Caramelized Rhubarb.
- Fold the bare side over, then fold in half again, to make a wedge shape. Set on a dessert plate and top with a dollop of Yogurt Cream. Spoon the Nocino Macerated Strawberries around the plate, then sprinkle with Candied Walnuts. Drizzle the reduced macerating syrup over and around. Cut each crepe into quarters for triangle size portions.