Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Food Desert Project: Pumpkin Beggar's Purses


Sometimes in this project, I'm stymied by really silly things - take Beggar's Purses.  We've done crepes before, they aren't that hard, and a Beggar's Purse is just a filled crepe...but it's usually tied with either a chive leaf or a strip of orange or lemon zest.  I kept trying to think of ideas on how to tie up these puppies...cooked spaghetti (blech)? String (also blech)?  Fruit roll-ups (blech..and melty)?

Of course, the more I thought about it the more confused I got - until I realized I was waaay over-thinking.  In the end, I simply cut one of the crepes into ribbons and used those.  Word to the wise - crepes do NOT want to be tied in a knot.  Bend one side gently under the other and BACK AWAY SLOWLY.  Don't try to pull the knot tight, because they will just break and then you'll have to eat the bits.  I gained five pounds just in crepe-bits-eating alone while making this recipe.

So, first of all, you need about 10 crepes.  I have an excellent recipe here, so I'm not going to repeat it.  If you are wise, you'll make extra crepes and freeze them so you can do things like this in a hurry.  You can actually fill these with anything not too watery, but I chose a kind of breakfasty pumpkin filling.


1 can of plain pumpkin
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
2 tbs brown sugar
2 tbs vanilla sugar (or just plain sugar and a bit of vanilla extract)
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Whisk all the ingredients together until completely blended and smooth.  Spray a cookie sheet thoroughly with cooking spray and preheat your oven to 350.

007First, take your ugliest crepe (there's always at least one) and roll it up like a cigar.  Cut the end off so you have a series of strips to wrap around your "purse."

009Second, put a crepe flat on your work surface and spoon about 2-4 tablespoons of the filling in the middle.

011Pick up the outside edge of the crepe, and begin to gather it into pleats going all the way around the filling, until you have it bunched in your hand.

012Gently wrap a crepe strip around the bunch nearest to the filling - do NOT stretch or pull the strip as it will break.  Equally gently, flip one end under the other loosely.

Set the beggar's purse gently on the cookie sheet and spray the outside with cooking spray.  Repeat until all your crepes are ready to bake.

Bake the Beggar's Purses for 15 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and a bit crispy and your house smells like pumpkin pie.  You can eat these straight-up or drizzle them with some maple syrup.  Enjoy!


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