Thick Crêpes with Sautéed Apples (Kouigns Bigoudens aux Pommes)

These yeasted crêpes—chewy and thick—look like American pancakes, defying conventional expectations of the way crêpes should look.

Thick Crêpes with Sautéed Apples (Kouigns Bigoudens aux Pommes)
These yeasted crêpes—chewy and thick—look like American pancakes, defying conventional expectations of the way crêpes should look.
Yield: serves 8

For the Kouigns

  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 13 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 14 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, plus more

For the Sautéed Apples and to Serve

  • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 6 small red apples, such as Gala, cored and cut into 6 wedges each
  • 6 Tbsp. sweet hard apple cider
  • 14 cup sugar
  • Confectioners' sugar, to serve

Instructions

  1. For the cêpes: Whisk together 1⁄4 cup milk, yeast, and 1 tsp. sugar in a bowl; let foam, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together flour, 1 tbsp. sugar, cinnamon, and tsp. salt; add to yeast mixture and whisk to combine. While gently whisking, drizzle in remaining 3⁄4 cup milk; continue whisking until just combined. In a separate bowl, beat egg with an electric mixer until thick and airy, 4–5 minutes. Gently fold egg into batter. Cover batter; let rise in a warm spot for 3 hours.
  2. For the apples: Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add apples and cook, turning once, until slightly softened, 8–10 minutes. Add cider and sprinkle sugar over top; cook until tender and sauce is thickened, 5–6 minutes more.
  3. To serve: Melt 1 tbsp. butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Wipe off excess. Working in batches, pour about 1⁄4 cup batter into skillet to form a 4"-wide cake. Cook, flipping once, until puffed and golden brown, 10–12 minutes total. Spread a dab of butter both sides of crêpe; briefly cook again on both sides until lightly crisp. Top with apples and their sauce. Dust with confectioners' sugar.