Smoky buckwheat crepes with nutmeg-laced spinach
For the crepes
- 150g buckwheat flour, sifted
- ½ teaspoon Pure Sea Salt in a Finer Flake
- 375ml whole milk
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons Oak Smoked Water
- 50g unsalted butter, melted, plus extra, for frying
For the filling
- 15g unsalted butter
- 4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 200g spinach, washed
- 4 tablespoons double cream
- 1/8 nutmeg, grated
- Rapeseed oil, for frying
- 4 eggs
- Pure White Sea Salt and black pepper, for finishing
This is a recipe we developed using one of favourite pans from Netherton Foundry, which we use in every stage of the cooking process in this recipe. Usually it’s a rule with pancakes that the first one to hit the pan is the failure that sets the ones to follow up for success, but we’ve found that these pans cook every single pancake perfectly. What’s more, because they heat up evenly and can withstand high temperatures, they’re perfect for crispy fried eggs (or bacon if you’re that way inclined) – another essential component in this recipe.
Buckwheat flour is naturally gluten – free, with a pleasing nutty flavour. Its savoury characteristics are amplified by the addition of smoked water, which really sets these pancakes apart. Try adding a few drops on top of the eggs once they’re cooked too, for extra depth.
RECIPE: Anna Shepherd
Mix the flour and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Add half of the milk and whisk to combine – the batter will initially feel quite thick and paste-like. Whisk in the egg, followed by the remaining milk and smoked water. Continue to mix until a thin batter forms, then cover and place in the fridge to chill for at least an hour or up to 24 hours.
Remove the batter from the fridge, whisk in the melted butter and heat a 26cm sauté pan over a medium heat for 45 seconds. Add a small sliver of butter to the pan – it should immediately sizzle and begin to melt and steam. Tilt the pan to distribute the butter all over, then pour a ladleful of batter into the centre. Move the pan in a circular motion to form a round pancake and cook for 2-3 minutes until the surface of the batter looks dry and the edges are darkening. Flip the pancake to cook on the other side for another couple of minutes. Continue to fry the batter, adding more butter to the pan as you go, then stack the cooked pancakes between sheets of baking parchment. The batter should make about 8 pancakes. Keep them warm in a low oven while you cook the filling.
Using the same sauté pan, melt the remaining butter over a medium heat, then fry the garlic until golden and sizzling, about one minute. Remove the garlic using a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Leaving the butter in the pan, add the spinach, then cover with a lid. Wilt the spinach over a low heat, removing the lid every minute or so and turning with tongs, so the spinach cooks evenly. When it is all a darker shade of green and has lost its perkiness, leave the lid off to allow any excess water to evaporate. Next, stir in the cream and reserved garlic. Cook for a minute, then stir through the nutmeg. Transfer the spinach to a warm bowl and keep warm in the oven while you cook the eggs.
Wipe the pan clean with a piece of kitchen roll (there’s no need to wash it up). Heat a tablespoon of rapeseed oil in the pan over a medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, crack in the first egg and cook until the white is set and the edges are bubbled and crispy. Remove from the pan when the yolk is cooked to your liking (we like it slightly runny), and keep warm. Cook the remaining eggs in the same way, then serve the pancakes on warm plates, topped with the spinach and eggs. Finish with black pepper and flaky salt over the egg yolks.