Sheet Pan

Flame Job Crespelle (con ricotta fresca e tarocchi carbonizzati)

March 16, 2011
2 Ratings
  • Serves 6 to 8
Author Notes

I picked up this trick from a restaurant I visited recently where “charred” orange slices were a salad component. I figured out how it was done (confirmed by the server) and have now put it to use in a very different way. Crespelle are Italian crepes, and for them I’ve combined chestnut flour with all purpose flour and a touch of fiori di sicilia to bring up the orange flavor. The orange and the ricotta make a heavenly match. Special equipment needed; a blow torch. You can also use the torch to weld the door of the refrigerator shut when your in-laws or siblings are visiting. This recipe does require some patience. You're not Rachael Ray. But it is very easy. - pierino —pierino

Test Kitchen Notes

Extraordinary layers of flavor here. It was well worth chasing down some chestnut flour to make these lovelies. (I tend to forget how much I really love crepes, and they're so easy to make and freeze.) The subtle crunch of the crespelle yields to the beautifully creamy, orange-scented filling, and it all finishes up at the end with the darkly-flavored crunch of the oranges with their flamed crust. I wasn't able to find fiori di sicilia, so instead used half vanilla extract and half Boyajian's Orange Oil, and if it was even half as good as his, I'm very happy. Pierino is so right -- nothing about this is difficult. Except perhaps knowing when to stop eating. - boulangere —boulangere

What You'll Need
  • ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup chestnut flour (farina di castagne)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon fiori di sicilia* (or substitute ½ tsp vanilla extract and ½ tsp orange extract)
  • 5 blood oranges, or more depending on size
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar (you might not need all of it)
  • 2 cups fresh ricotta, the best you can find
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or cassia (optional)
  • olive oil
  1. In a large bowl blend the flours together. Break the eggs and work those in with the salt. Slowly add the milk using a whisk or hand blender to make a batter. Add the fiori di sicilia and continue to blend. Allow the batter to rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. Peel the oranges removing as much pith as you can. With a sharp knife, slice into flat sections. Lay these out onto a pyrex tray or sheet pan (something that won’t catch fire). Sprinkle the sugar evenly over all the slices. Bring out the kitchen torch and melt that sugar. Despite the title the oranges don’t really char. If you don’t have a torch slip the pan under the broiler for a minute or so.
  3. Heat up your crepe pan. I use one that is about 9 ½”. Add just enough olive oil to coat the bottom. When the pan is hot ladle in crespelle batter. Make them about 6” in diameter. Cook as you would a pancake. When bubbles begin to show flip it over. If you are like me the first one off the pan will probably be a bit lame so just discard it and continue to work. The next ones will be much better.
  4. As the individual crepes come off layer them on sheets of parchment.It helps if you precut the sheets for efficient sizing. In the end you should have about 16 to 18 crespelle.
  5. To plate, place a scoop of ricotta on each with a sprinkle of cinnamon if using. Fold one edge over and add orange slices.
  6. *Note to cook; fiori di sicilia is an extract of vanilla and Sicilian citrus. It’s available through King Arthur Flour. A wonderful product which I use all the time to add a subtle orange flavor to desserts. I’ve used it in everything from gelato to beignets. However as noted above you can substitute equal parts vanilla and orange extracts.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • boulangere
  • betteirene
  • Sagegreen
  • hardlikearmour
  • thirschfeld
Standup commis flâneur, and food historian. Pierino's background is in Italian and Spanish cooking but of late he's focused on frozen desserts. He is now finishing his cookbook, MALAVIDA! Can it get worse? Yes, it can. Visit the Malavida Brass Knuckle cooking page at Facebook and your posts are welcome there.

11 Reviews

boulangere April 2, 2011
Love your headnotes, Pierino - I'll bear in mind alternative uses for a propane torch. I am very lucky to have tested your recipe - well worth chasing down chestnut flour. I loved every single bite! Thank you so much for a wonderful composition!
pierino April 3, 2011
Thanks for taking the roadster out for a test drive. The chestnut flour is worth seeking out, but it's pretty strong stuff on its own, which is why I mix it with all purpose flour. Farina di castagne comes from a culture of poverty and the Italians are justly renowned for working miracles with humble things.
The first time I tasted the "charred" oranges I immediately thought, "I have to put this to work."
betteirene March 23, 2011
Dang you, pierino! This is like the third or fourth time that I've imagined something to try on my day off only to find that you beat me to it! I was gonna do ricotta-stuffed crepes Suzette for last week's contest but I ran out of time. Then I got so excited because I could use last week's idea for this week's contest, and then I see this. . .I'm not even going to bother submitting mine because your crepes are kicked a few notches above my plain ones. You b**tard! (I mean that in an affectionate way, really I do.)
pierino March 23, 2011
Well thank you ma'am. I do have my own "huh?" moments all the time here because we only get a week's notice on the theme. So, I see "set stuff on fire" and think, didn't I just do that last week? My own rule is to not look at recipes in the competitions before I turn in my own because I don't want to be influenced by anyone else. I want to have a clear vision of what I'm going after.
fishersfoodie March 20, 2011
Very nice--we had a trip to Italy last fall where a similar dish was one of my favorite desserts and I didn't think I'd be able to find something comprable. can't wait to try it.
Sagegreen March 16, 2011
Great job! I like your mixing of chestnut flour with apf. I had an all chestnut flour version which I withdrew in need of more adjustment. We won't have chestnut flour back in the market until Saturday. I have a mountain of broken chestnut crepes though.
pierino March 16, 2011
I use the mix of flours because chestnut flour is a bit too strong on its own. It has a smell almost like bacon. Mixing and adding the extract really mellows it.
hardlikearmour March 16, 2011
Wow, pierino! This sounds incredible. How thick do you make your orange slices?
pierino March 16, 2011
I slice them about 1 cm, but you can cut them to your own taste.
thirschfeld March 16, 2011
been thinking I needed to make some crepes and this looks just right. Great looking recipe.
pierino March 16, 2011
Thanks T.