Place the flour, sugar and salt in a
medium-sized bowl. Add the egg whites and the milk, and whisk until the
mixture is smooth. Add the 1/3 cup water and continue to whisk until the
ingredients are well blended. If there are any lumps in the batter, pass
it through a fine sieve. Heat a 6-inch
Silverstone or other nonstick pan. Pour about 2 tbsp of batter into the
pan and quickly tils the pan to cover the entire bottom. The faster you
spread the batter, the thinner your crepe will be. Let the crepe cook
for about 30 seconds, or until the edges are brown. Use a blunt knife
tip to lift the edge and turn the crepe over by hand. Let it cook an
additional 30 seconds on the second side. Remove and cool the crepes one
on top of another on a plate. You should have 8 crepes.
quarter, and core the pears, reserving the peels, cut them into rough
1-inch chunks. Place the pears in a saucepan. Split the half vanilla
bean lengthwise and push out the seeds with the blade of a knife. Add
the vanilla pod and the seeds to the pan with the pears. Warm the pears
over medium heat. When you see them begin to release their juice, stir
them and cover the pan. Let the pears stew for 4-5 minutes, or until
they are soft but still intact. They will have released quite a lot of
juice; pour them into a strainer or small colander set over a bowl and
capture the juice. Return the juice to the saucepan and reduce it until
it thickens to the consistency of a heavy syrup. Place the pears in a
bowl, pour the reduced syrup over them, and set aside.
Put the sugar
and 3/4 cup water in a deep saucepan on the stove over medium-high heat
and stir the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved. Bring to a
low boil. When the water has evaporated, after about 10 minutes, the
sugar temperature rises rapidly and caramelization begins. Watch the pot
carefully at this point. When the caramel is a dark amber color but not
burned, add the wine, standing away from the pot as you do so; it will
sputter violently. Whisk the mixture until all the caramel is dissolved.
Place the peelings of the pears in the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil
and reduce it over high heat to about 2/3 cup. The sauce should be
slightly viscous. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve and set it aside
oven to 350 degrees. Whisk the yogurt so that it is very smooth and
blended. Place about 2 tbsp of the cooked pears on the pale side of the
crepes, roll them up snugly, and transfer them, seam side down, to a
nonstick baking sheet. Warm the crepes in the oven for 10-12 minutes.
Transfer them to 4 warm plates. Pour about 2 tbsp of caramel red wine
sauce over and around the crepes. Place a dollop of yogurt to one side.
Put the sugar in a small sieve and dust the tops of the crepes with it.
The combination of pears and red wine,
fruits of the autumn harvest, is a natural one. It is not only the
evocative flavors of this dessert but also its tawny colors that make it
so appropriate to serve in the full season. The choice of the Bartlett
pear is not arbitrary; it is one of the best cooking pears, for its
musky perfume doesn't fade with heat (as is the case with the more
fragile Comice) and it holds its texture well. What's more, cooked
Bartlett have a smooth, buttery quality that requires no enrichment.
There are several simple steps to this
recipe that can all be done in advance. First, assemble the batter, then
precook the pears, and finally, make the caramel-red wine sauce. Just
before serving, roll up the pears in the crepes, warm them in the oven,
and spoon the sauce over.