Orange Ricotta Pillows with Lillet Kumquat Compote

By • January 19, 2012 • 165 Comments


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Author Notes: When I was in school a few years ago, one of my favorite desserts we made that took me completely by surprise was a ricotta pie topped with a tangle of candied kumquats. It was that perfect balance of sweet and well, not so sweet, for me. So when I taught a crepe - making class last winter I decided to turn it into a crepe. It's since gone through a few different permutations, and this is my favorite. The kumquats are simmered in a mixture of Lillet, honey, agave nectar, cardamom seeds and cinnamon, and perfectly set off the crepe and its ricotta orange filling. Everything can be made in advance and assembled minutes before serving. But remember to interleave the crepes with wax paper or parchment so they don't stick together, and just reheat the Lillet Kumquat Sauce before spooning over the crepes.TheWimpyVegetarian

Food52 Review: WHO: ChezSuzanne is based in the Bay Area and enjoys her "second career" as a cooking teacher after a lifelong love of cooking, growing, and eating food.
WHAT: Delicate crepes stuffed with ricotta cream and topped with a complex compote that's as easy as simmering with sliced kumquat.
HOW: The crepe batter is a breeze -- you just blend it! And there's no fussy plating, since ChezSuzanne has us simply fold the filling into packages before finishing with a drizzle of syrup.
WHY WE LOVE IT: The creamy ricotta-orange filling contrasts beautifully with the nutty crepes and the herbal notes of the Lillet-kumquat compote. Plus, you can cook everything ahead of time and assemble the pillows just before serving -- now that's smart.
A&M

Makes 8 crepe shells; filling and compote for 4

Orange Crepes

  • 1 cup (4.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  1. Using either a blender or whisk, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Add the egg; if using a whisk, make a well and place the egg in it. Whisk the egg and flour mixture together.
  2. Add half of the milk and mix / whisk until a thick batter forms. Add the remaining milk, the warm water, zest, and vanilla extract. Mix / whisk until the batter is completely smooth. Mix / whisk in the melted butter.
  3. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour, preferably longer (up to 24 hours).
  4. Remove from the refrigerator, and whisk the batter if it has separated. Heat a non-stick pan with sloping sides over medium heat. Coat the pan lightly with butter or with a paper towel dipped lightly in oil.
  5. When the pan is hot, pour in a small amount of batter using a measuring cup or ladle. Use 1/8 cup of batter for a 6 - 7” pan or ¼ cup of batter for a 9 – 10” pan. Immediately start to tilt the pan to allow the batter to cover the bottom of the pan evenly in a thin layer.
  6. Cook for about 1 minute, or until the crepe bottom turns a golden brown. Flip and cook for another 30 seconds, until the crepe is golden on the second side.
  7. Remove the crepe from the pan to a plate. If stacking crepes for longer than an hour, interleave crepes with parchment or wax paper, slip into a ziplock and refrigerate. Crepes also freeze great!
  8. Lay a crepe out and spoon 1 1/2 tablespoons Ricotta Filling into the middle, molding it into a flat square. Fold the right side of the crepe over the filling; fold the left side over the filling, laying it on top of the first side that was folded over. Fold up the bottom, and the top down, forming a little packet. Repeat for the rest. Place on plates and spoon the Lillet Kumquat Compote over the little crepe packets / pillows.
  9. Take a sip of Lillet. And then another. And try to say Lillet Kumquat Compote fast 3 times in a row....Kidding :-) If you can do it even once, you're a better woman than I.

Ricotta Filling and Lillet Kumquat Compote

  • 2/3 cups ricotta cheese, well drained
  • 1/4 cup softened cream cheese or mascarpone cheese
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • Zest of half of an orange
  • 2 cups Lillet
  • 2/3 cups honey
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 2 tablespoons candied ginger, minced
  • seeds from 6 cardamom pods, crushed with a mortar and pestle
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 10 ounces kumquats, thinly sliced and seeded
  1. Make the Ricotta Filling: Combine the first 6 ingredients (through the orange zest) in a small bowl and mix well.
  2. Make the Lillet Kumquat Compote: Combine the remaining ingredients except the kumquats together in a small saucepan, and bring to a simmer. Add the sliced kumquats and continue to simmer for 30 minutes, or until the kumquats are softened translucent.

Comments (165) Questions (5)

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3 months ago chumbalina

Hello ! The recipe looks great. I was planning on preparing the crepes ahead of time and perhaps even freezing a couple. Do you think the ricotta filling will keep well in the fridge for upto a week or so ?

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3 months ago TheWimpyVegetarian

You can make the ricotta filling ahead of time, but I wouldn't keep it in the fridge for longer than a week. Excited you're going to try it! Hope you like it!

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4 months ago suzygregory

Thanks for your quick responses! Tomorrow is white Lillet and the hunt for kumquats! Can't wait to try this :)

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4 months ago suzygregory

Oops...also, I have never used kumquats before. Do I need to peel them for this recipe?

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4 months ago TheWimpyVegetarian

You do not. There are seeds, but once you slice the kumquats, just pop them out. In the case of a kumquat, it's just the opposite of an orange in that it's the peel that's sweet. The pulp of kumquats are very tart, so you definitely want the peel included.

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4 months ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Oh, and I hope you like these crepes as much as we have! Just let me know if you have any other questions :-)

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4 months ago suzygregory

I want to make this for Christmas, I think I got the "wrong" Lillet! They apparently make both red and white. For clarification, which did you use in this recipe? I might still have time to switch them :)

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4 months ago TheWimpyVegetarian

I used white. I'm so glad you mentioned that. I didn't even know there was a red! I'm going to make that change to the recipe.

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over 1 year ago Kimbees54

Oh -- this is SOOOOOOO good! Rave reviews from everyone at our brunch from 55 to 4-years-old. This is now in my standard brunch repertoire.

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over 1 year ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Oh, I'm sooooo glad! Thanks for letting me know!!

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over 1 year ago Jaynerly

Lillet is a brand of wine in the US! In the UK its a brand of tampon so it did make me laugh when I first heard of it!

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over 1 year ago TheWimpyVegetarian

How funny, Jaynerly!! I'll bet it gave you pause when you read that ingredient. Clare-Louise Hamel, Lillet is a brand of French aperitif wine. It is a blend of 85% Bordeaux wines (Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle for the Blanc; Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon for the Rouge) and 15% macerated liqueurs, mostly citrus liqueurs from the peels of sweet oranges from Spain and Morocco and the peels of bitter green oranges from Haiti. If you can't find it, any light white aperitif wine will work. You can use Sauvignon Blanc, but it won't have the complexity of Lillet. Hope that helps!!

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over 1 year ago Clare-Louise Hamel

Please could someone tell a New Zealander what Lillet is?

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over 1 year ago Clare-Louise Hamel

Please could someone tell a New Zealander what Lillet is?

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over 1 year ago Clare-Louise Hamel

Please could someone tell a New Zealander what Lillet is?

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almost 2 years ago WCmom

This sounds so good but I do not know what lillet is. Would you please let me know. Fyi, I always have luck finding kumquats at Trader Joes. Thank you for responding, Tricia

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almost 2 years ago WCmom

Sorry, I saw your answer from a previous question, can't wait to try!

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about 2 years ago nkddrummer

An amazing and delicious dish! Well done!

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about 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

thanks so much nkddrummer! I'm so glad you like it!!

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about 2 years ago sunflourbaking

Kumquats are impossible to find! Do you have any suggestions as to which orange variety would make the best substitution?

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about 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

I know kumquats aren't always readily available, even this time of year :-( I would go with clementines or other small mandarin orange. If you can't find them, I'd go with tangerines. With either option, I would remove the skin and chop up the fruit into small bite-sized pieces. I'd love to hear how that works for you!

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about 2 years ago Deborah Mathison

I only had one cup of Lillet left in the pantry, so I added a cup of Patron Citronage Orange Liqueur. Fabulous! I couldn't find kumquats at my super-sized grocery store, so I used the pulp and zest of an orange. I love the cardamom and ginger additions to this recipe, too! Mom's birthday party isn't until 6:00 tonight; I'm hoping I can control myself so there' something left to serve my guests! Thanks for a fabulous recipe ChezSuzanne.

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about 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Oh yay! I'm so glad you made these and liked them so much!!! Thanks so much for letting me know.

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about 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Thanks again everyone! I so appreciate everyone's comments, and votes!!

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about 2 years ago JSCooks

These remind my of my grandma's blintzes, upgraded. Can't wait to take your recipe for a spin. Congratulations! Well deserved!

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about 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Thanks so much, Jenny! Would love to hear what you think if you try them!!

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about 2 years ago Sagegreen

One word: scrumptious! Congrats, Chez Suzanne.

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about 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Thanks so much sagegreen!

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about 2 years ago StillServedWarm

Susan this dish is so amazing that I can't stop looking at the pictures! I might use them as a screensaver... ;)
Ambra

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about 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Wow, Ambra thanks so much! And thanks for your wonderful comments you left on my blog!!!!

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about 2 years ago sexyLAMBCHOPx

Hearty congrats!

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about 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

And a hearty thanks back to you sexyLAMBCHOPs!!

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about 2 years ago Kukla

Congratulations Susan! I knew this recipe will be the winner and was glad to vote.

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about 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Thanks so much Kukla! I can't wait to try your lemon-ricotta bars!

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about 2 years ago nll

PS Thanks for introducing the Lillet love it

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about 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Love it too! And thanks so much!!!!