Crespelle is the Italian word for pancakes. Unlike us (Dutch or Antilleans) they don't eat sweet toppings on their pancake in Italy. They prefer to make it into a kind of casserole.
These pancakes are filled with a nice creamy bechamel cheese sauce and a pumpkin puree. So they are also a bit of pumpkin pancakes, but certainly not as you are used to from Antillean cuisine. Fancy something different? This vegetarian casserole with farmer's cheese and pumpkin is really worth a try if you like dishes such as lasagna.
We make the cheese sauce for the crespelle with delicious farmhouse cheese from De Firma Kaas. Farmer's cheese is made from raw milk and you can taste that. The extra flavor of the farmer's cheese gives this dish depth… and via De Firma Kaas, the cheese comes home every week, just like that – on your doorstep!
Cheese on the doormat
At first you might think: “That's strange!”, but the subscription of The Cheese Company is the ultimate convenience. Every week a new piece of (vacuum packed) farmer's cheese, straight through the letterbox! This farmer's cheese is made by different farmers –their story can be read via the website– and is sold without intermediaries. This way you can be sure that the farmers also receive a good price for their work. With the subscription you not only know where the cheese comes from, you also support the local farmers with it.
The pieces of cheese are specially made to fit through a standard letterbox. They are also packed in a sturdy box and provided with a piece of cheese paper, with which you keep the cheese fresh all week in the refrigerator. Best? Shipping is free!
Subscriptions from De Firma Kaas
Via the website of De Firma Kaas you can choose a subscription that suits you. Do you prefer young cheese, are you going for matured cheese or is it getting old? You can also choose from which (local) farmer you want to receive cheese.
And don't you want to 'commit' one type of cheese? Then you can also choose a variable subscription, where you get a farmer's cheese from a different farmer every week.
You can also choose to have the cheese delivered every two weeks, for example if you are alone or just not a big consumer. Very handy!
For this recipe we used 200 grams of mature farmhouse cheese from the Van Schaik farm in Stellendam. You make about 12-15 crespelle, or enough for 6 people.
For the crespelle
- 350 gr wheat flour
- 700 ml milk
- 3 eggs
- a pinch of salt
- sunflower oil, for frying
For the bechamel cheese sauce
- 50 gr butter
- 50 gr wheat flour
- 500 ml milk
- 200 gr farmhouse cheese (matured)
- ½ tsp black pepper
- A pinch of nutmeg
- A pinch of salt
For the pumpkin puree
- 1 round pumpkin or butternut squash
- A few leaves of sage
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Butter, for greasing
- Some extra grated farmer's cheese
Preparation crespelle with farmer's cheese and pumpkin
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. You don't have to peel the pumpkin. Place the pumpkin pieces with the convex side up on a baking tray and bake them in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, until you can easily scoop the flesh from the skin and puree.
Chop the sage leaves and add salt and pepper to taste to the puree. Then set the puree aside.
Now continue making the crespelle. This is exactly like with Dutch pancakes. Mix the flour with the eggs and half of the milk. Also add the salt. When you have a thick (but smooth) batter, you can also add the other half of the milk.
Then heat a frying pan over high heat. Spoon in each time (so for each pancake) one teaspoon of oil. To make a pancake, spoon a ladleful of batter into the pan and swirl the pan around until the bottom is coated. Flip the pancake once the top is dry.
After a few minutes of baking on both sides, the pancake is ready. Continue until the batter is used up. You should now have about 12-15 pancakes.
Making Bechamel Cheese Sauce
Now you can move on to the bechamel cheese sauce. To do this, heat a pan over low heat. Melt the butter in the pan and then add the flour. Stir well until all lumps are gone. Then add the milk all at once and mix the sauce with a whisk until it is smooth. Bring the sauce to a boil. The béchamel sauce will now thicken.
Then add the pepper, nutmeg and salt. Then grate the farmer's cheese and add it to the sauce. Stir the sauce well until it is smooth and thick.
Assemble the dish
To bake the crespelle, preheat the oven again to 180 degrees. Grease an oven dish (or two!) with butter, spread some béchamel sauce over the bottom and set it aside.
Now cover each pancake with a layer of bechamel sauce and a large tablespoon of pumpkin puree in the middle. Fold the sides of the pancake back slightly (about 2 cm per side) and roll it up. A bit like a spring roll.
Place the rolled pancakes tightly together in the baking dish. Finally, spread some extra béchamel sauce over it and sprinkle with some cheese. Bake the crespelle for about 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
Eat the crespelle with a nice salad and your meal is complete – Enjoy your meal!
Love recipes with cheese? Then try our traditional, Antillean cheese balls!
- This article was created in collaboration with a company or brand
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