Apple blinis

“These decadent, thick excuses for crêpes are possibly best eaten on market day in Sarlat, Perigord, where I had them for the first time on an icy autumn morning,” says Marlene van der Westhuizen. Thankfully, for those of us not currently in France, she shares the recipe in her new book, Secrets from a French Cooking Class.

Serves: 8… or 1…


250 g cake flour
250 ml milk
2 large eggs
Pinch of salt
1 T Cognac or brandy
4 T caster sugar
2 T Armagnac or plum liqueur
2 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
50 ml vegetable or sunflower oil
1 T cinnamon


To make the batter, use a food processor to whip the flour, milk, eggs, salt, 1 tablespoon of caster sugar and the Cognac together. Allow the batter to rest a little, for about 15 minutes, before you use it.

Add the Armagnac and 2 tablespoons of caster sugar to a medium saucepan and bring to a quick boil. Drop the apples into the syrup and cook them gently until soft and slightly caramelised.

Heat a little vegetable or sunflower oil in a small frying pan. Use a small soup ladle and slowly pour a small amount of batter into the pan. Allow the batter to begin to settle before you slip a slice of apple in the middle of the pancake. Pour a little more batter gently on top of the apple. Only flip the blini once you can see a crisp ridge beginning to form on the edges.

Cook the pancake until a lovely golden colour and slide it onto a warm plate.

Mix the rest of the sugar and the cinnamon together, and sprinkle over the warm apple blinis. Repeat until you have used all the batter and apple, and eat immediately!

Recipe reproduced with kind permission from Secrets of a French Cooking Class by Marlene van der Westhuizen, published by BookStorm


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