Viennese Crêpes

If Austria is famous for any gastronomic specialty, it's for pastry—pastry, which inevitably involves cream. These "crepes", which are really more like open turnovers stuffed with a wine-scented cream filling, are popular in coffeehouses all over Vienna. (Their name translates literally as "Viennese wine slices".) This recipe comes from German-born Dieter Schorner, who teaches the fine art of pastry-making at the French Culinary Institute in New York City.

Viennese Crêpes
If Austria is famous for any gastronomic specialty, it's for pastry — pastry, which inevitably involves cream.
Yield: makes 6

Ingredients

  • 5 egg yolks
  • 12 cup sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • 6 Tbsp. riesling or other fruity, dry white wine
  • 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
  • 2 Tbsp. confectioner's sugar

Instructions

  1. For the crepes, place 3 egg yolks and 1 tbsp. sugar in the top of a double boiler. Mix well, then set over gently simmering water over medium heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until yolk mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and continue to whisk until mixture cools and becomes pale yellow.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°. Beat egg whites in a nonreactive bowl until foamy. Gradually add 3 tbsp. sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
  3. Sprinkle flour into yolk mixture. Mix well, then gently fold in egg whites. Spread 14 cup of batter on a nonstick cookie sheet, forming a 3'' round. Smooth, then repeat with remaining batter, forming 6 rounds in all. Bake until golden, about 10 minutes. (Finished crepes should be light and spongy.) Transfer to a cake rack to cool.
  4. For the filling, combine remaining 2 egg yolks, 4 tbsp. sugar, and white wine in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, whisking constantly to keep yolks from scrambling, over medium-high heat. Remove pan from heat and whisk for 1 minute more. Cool completely. Meanwhile, whip cream until stiff, then gently fold, a little at a time, into yolk mixture.
  5. To assemble, divide filling between crepes, fold over, then sprinkle with confectioner's sugar and serve.