Baked Pancakes with Gruyère
A great, warming dish for all seasons. The stuffed pancakes can be prepared a day in advance, ready for baking, and they will be just as good.
|For the pancakes:|
|50g (2oz)||unsalted butter|
|200ml (7fl oz)||whole milk|
|100g (4oz)||plain flour|
|1 tbsp||snipped fresh chives|
|1 tbsp||chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley|
|1 tbsp||groundnut oil or other unscented oil, for cooking the pancakes|
|For the filling:|
|40g (1½oz)||unsalted butter|
|300g (11oz)||spinach leaves, washed,stalks removed, and dried|
|200g (7oz)||button mushrooms, sliced 3mm (⅛ in) thick|
|50g (2oz)||Gruyère, finely grated|
|For the cream and cheese sauce:|
|400ml (14fl oz)||whipping cream|
|Freshly grated nutmeg|
You will need a gratin dish roughly 25–30cm (10–12in) long, and a blender.
Heat the butter in a small pan until foaming and hazelnut brown. Allow to cool for 2 minutes. In a blender, liquidize the eggs, milk, flour, 4 pinches of salt and a pinch of black pepper for 1 minute, until smooth. Pour in the butter and liquidise for a further 30 seconds to incorporate it. Add the snipped chives and chopped parsley, transfer to a bowl, cover with clingfilm and set aside.
Melt half the butter for the filling in a medium-sized frying pan on a high heat and add the spinach. Cook down at full heat, stirring all the time, for 2 minutes. Season with a pinch each of salt and white pepper. With the back of the spoon, squeeze the water out of the spinach. Set the spinach aside. Melt the remaining butter in the same frying pan, add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes. Season then mix the mushrooms with the spinach, stir in the finely grated Gruyère and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6. Heat a small frying pan or, better still, a pancake pan on a medium heat. Add a teaspoon of the oil and swirl it around. The oil must be hot enough to sear and cook the pancakes. Ladle just enough pancake batter into the hot pan to cover the surfacewhen swirled. Cook for 15–20 seconds until browned underneath. Slide a spatula underneath and flip thepancake over. Cook for a further 15–20 seconds, then transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat, adding more oil as necessary, until all the batter has been used. You will need eight all together but you will probably end up with a few extra.
Spoon the spinach and mushroom filling along each pancake and roll up tightly. Arrange all the rolled pancakes in the gratin dish. To make the cheese sauce, bring the whipping cream to a rolling boil and add 8 gratings of nutmeg, 2 pinches of salt and a pinch of white pepper. Pour the cream over the pancakes and grate the Gruyère cheese finely over the top. Bake for 20 minutes until the cheese has a golden-brown crust. Serve the bubbling dish from oven to table.