Spinach Crepe Cake

You will love this recipe, because besides being delicious, it is a fantastic vegetarian option that can be easily prepared ahead of time.  You can even keep it frozen and stick it directly in the oven, which is really convenient when unexpected guests show up.

For 9-10 crepes:
1 cup flour, sifted
3 eggs, whisked
1 1/2  cup milk
3 tablespoons melted butter
pinch of salt

For the béchamel sauce:
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 ½ tablespoons flour
1 ½ cup milk
½ teaspoon salt
black pepper and nutmeg

For the spinach filling:
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup leek, chopped
500 gr (1 pound) spinach, finely chopped – fresh or frozen
½ teaspoon salt
black pepper

1 cup grated parmesan or gruyère cheese

Preheat the oven:  190°C (375°F).  Do not preheat if you are baking it frozen.

The CREPES:

Combine the ingredients, try to obtain a smooth consistency. You can use a blender if you wish; avoid overdoing it. If possible, let the batter rest in the fridge for, at least, 1 hour.

Use a frying pan (medium-high heat) and grease lightly with butter.  Pour in batter (approx. 1/4 – 1/3 cup, depending on your pan size). Quickly tilt the pan to spread the batter and obtain a very thin layer.  Wait until the top center looks set (approx. 90 seconds) before flipping to brown the other side.

Repeat with the rest of the batter.

 

The BÉCHAMEL sauce:

Melt butter in a small pan, add flour, and cook together into a clumpy paste.  Add milk, whisking constantly, and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

Cook until smooth, creamy, and lump free. Set aside.

 

The SPINACH filling:

Heat butter in a pan over medium heat. Add leek and season. Cook until soft and edges are lightly brown.

Stir in spinach, correct the seasoning, mix well.

ASSEMBLING the cake:

It will be easier and nicer if the size of the crepes fits your baking dish size.

Butter the baking dish–if you prefer, use a springform pan.  Lay down one crepe.

Top it with spinach.  Add another crepe.

Top it with béchamel sauce, adding some grated cheese.

Keep layering until you have used all the crepes and fillings.

Finish with a crepe on top, spread the rest of béchamel sauce and sprinkle grated cheese.

Bake for 30 min.  If required, broil it at the end for a few more minutes to get a nice crisp, golden crust.

It can be served warm or cold, as a main or side dish.

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