Buckwheat Crepes with Wild Plum Butter Sauce and Toasted Black Walnuts

Harvest time.  The time of bounty.  The fruits of the earth in all their glory, endless treats to be had.  The vibrant colors, the ripe smells, the endless frickin' nights preparing produce to preserve!  I've tried to be a bit more sane about it this year, to do small batches along the way, instead of an exhausting glory run in the fall.  I told myself over and over (this mantra must be repeated religiously in order to resist the glowing temptation of fruit, ripe for the taking) that I wouldn't over-do it this year, that I wouldn't can and preserve furiously.  So far, so good.  But really, I don't know if I'll be able to keep my promise to myself.

Even if you don't can and preserve, this time of year is irresistible.  Making meals is so effortless.  I've got this, this, and this on hand... the only trick is in manipulating the pieces to come up with scrumptious treats.  And so, you can see that today I had plums and black walnuts close at hand.  I also had a stack of leftover buckwheat crepes, as I've been making them fairly often this year.  You can see the cogs turning in my head, right?  Crepes + plums + black walnuts + you gotta know there will be butter in there somewhere = oh please, dear gawd, let plum and black walnut season draw out for another few precious weeks!

Buckwheat Crepes with Wild Plum Butter and Toasted Black Walnuts

So first, the crepes.  These are dead simple and hold together like a charm, unlike most gluten-free foods.  Although I've used them for sweets here, I far prefer to roll them up with with meat and sauce, or leftovers.  They're good any which way; very handy that, rather like a tortilla.

So, get your hands on whole, untoasted buckwheat groats.  Put them into a big bowl, cover them with water, add a pinch of salt, and let them sit overnight.  Drain the buckwheat, and rinse it with cold water.  Place the rinsed buckwheat groats into the blender, turn it on, and add water until it's a bit thinner than pancake batter.  Believe it or not, buckwheat crepes will cook up fine without any other ingredients.  But I prefer to chuck in an egg and a pinch of salt, as I find the egg helps them to dry out a bit in the pan, in a good way.

Heat a cast iron pan over medium heat, grease lightly, then pour in some buckwheat crepe batter.  Use a spatula or a ladle to spread the batter thinly.  When the crepe is browned on the first side, and the edges start to lift, flip and lightly brown on the second side.  Repeat with remaining batter.

Of course you could use already-made jam for this recipe, and use whatever fruit you please.  I've based this recipe on the basic premise of crepes suzette, and have only used plums because I've just collected pounds and pounds of wild ones.  If you are lucky enough to have fresh plums as well, wash them, and place them into a large pot, whole, with enough water to keep them from scorching.  Heat the plums over medium heat until cooked through.  Use a potato masher to crush the cooked fruit, let cool slightly, then run it through a food mill.  Alternately, push the cooked plums through a sieve with a spoon.  The name of the game here is to come away with the juice and pulp, and leave the skins and seeds behind.

Return the juice and pulp to a pan over medium heat.  Add sugar to taste, as well as a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice, and cook the fruit down until it has a nice syrupy texture.

Once you have crepes and plum jam (neither of which need be made on the spot), you are ready to roll.  Heat up a fat knob of butter in cast iron pan over low heat.  Add the plum jam, and quickly stir to combine.  If you please (and I do, please, please!), add a splash of yummy booze at this point.

One at time, coat the buckwheat crepes in the buttery plum sauce, then fold into quarters.  Serve at once, topped with any remaining sauce and toasted black walnuts.  If you'd like an extra dollop of luxury, I'd recommend topping these crepes with a spoonful of whipped mascarpone.

Holy cow, am I ever crazy about wild plums.  This is the week, and I'm completely in love with their joyful pinky-purple skin and sweet-tart kerpow on the tongue.  I can't wait to make the Wild Plum Ketchup that I came up with last year.  It's one of my best ever recipes, so please, take a peek at that one and enjoy.


Don't forget about the Wild Things round up!  The featured ingredient this month is black walnut.  If you've got a great black walnut recipe, send it along to wildthings.roundup@gmail.com, and see it included at the end of the month.

I'm sharing this post with the Hearth and Soul hop, and Real Food Wednesday, and Pennywise Platter Thursday. Check out the other great recipes there.

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