masy’s one-bowl crêpes + orange blossom passion fruit

Masy's crêpes

You might know my aunt Masy (pronounced MAH-see) from her kadeh, lawash, kbeibat, kleicha, or chipteh. She’s the most creative and resourceful cook, and the couple of recipes I’ve shared barely scratch the surface. My cousins Kris, Krissy, and Sourma (Masy’s kids) all describe her as passionate and proud, and stubborn yet flexible; she’s so good at throwing ingredients together, making substitutions, and making do with what’s around. Sometimes this results in disaster, but it just rolls off her back (something I aspire to). And sometimes her ingenuity results in the most amazing food you’ve ever had in your life. Take her crêpes, for instance. She’s got them down to a science.

Besides their total perfection, my favorite thing about Masy’s crêpes is that you can make them with just one single bowl. Crêpe batter is super thin, and therefore hard to mix together, so most recipes have you use a blender to make sure it turns out lump-free. Indeed, if you were to just dump and stir all the ingredients together, you would have a really hard time getting a smooth and silky consistency. Blenders work great, and some are even almost easy to clean, but nothing beats a single mixing bowl dirtied in pursuit of breakfast. And if you have a digital scale (or if you have that sixth sense digital scale brain, like Masy), you don’t even need to dirty a single measuring cup. But no worries if you don’t—I’ve provided both volume and weight.

Masy's crêpes
Masy's crêpes
Masy's crêpes
Masy's crêpes

The key to using a bowl instead of a blender is to add the liquid slowly. First, you mix the eggs and butter with the dry ingredients until they smooth out. Then you slowly add half of the milk while whisking, and finish it by adding the rest of the milk and giving it one last whisk. It comes together into a silky smooth batter in no time.

Not only are blenders annoying to clean—they also limit the amount of batter you can make. But using Masy’s technique, you can make as much crêpe batter as your mixing bowl will allow. Crêpes keep super well (I’ve got storage instructions at the end of the recipe), and they disappear quickly, so in this case, more is always better.

One last thing I love: Masy cooks her crêpes over a higher heat than I’ve seen in most other recipes. She really lets the pan preheat, until the butter sizzles and browns almost immediately. They get a slightly caramelized brown butter flavor, which brings out their sweetness.

I’ve been enjoying them with orange blossom-scented passion fruit and a little drizzle of sweetened condensed milk, but they are delicious with just about anything. If you want to adapt this recipe for a savory crêpe filling, add just one teaspoon of sugar instead of three tablespoons, sprinkle on just a pinch more salt, and add some chopped herbs to the batter.

Masy's crêpes
Masy's crêpes
Masy's crêpes
Masy's crêpes
Masy's crêpes
Masy's crêpes
Masy's crêpes
passion fruit
crêpes with orange blossom passionfruit

Masy’s crêpes

yield: about 12 big or 15 medium crêpes
total time: 30 minutes
download a PDF to print

  • 4 tablespoons (57 grams) butter, melted

  • 3 tablespoons sugar (41 grams)

  • 6 large eggs at room temperature* (308 grams)

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (2 grams)

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (1.5 grams)

  • 1 1/4 cup flour (200 grams)

  • 2 cups room temperature milk (470 grams) (which you’ll add in 2 additions)

  • More butter for the pan (have a half stick ready, although you won't use it all)

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and salt until well combined. Don’t add the milk yet.

  2. Add the flour to the egg mixture, and whisk together until there are no dry lumps (don't worry too much about over-mixing, but do stop when there are no more dry lumps).

  3. Slowly dribble in the first half of the milk, while whisking. Then whisk in the other half of the milk. You should end up with a smooth, lump-free batter.

  4. Place a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, and let it pre-heat for a couple minutes. Get ready to move.

  5. Peel back the butter wrapper halfway, and swipe the butter over the surface of the hot pan. It should sizzle and begin to turn brown after a couple seconds (but it shouldn't burn). Pour about 1/4 cup (more or less, depending on the size of your pan) into the buttered pan, and quickly tilt the pan around to coat the surface evenly. Let it cook for about 1 minute, then flip and cook for 30 more seconds (the fastest way is to flip it mid-air with the pan, but that takes a little practice. Watch some youtube tutorials and give it a try).

  6. Remove finished crepes to a plate to cool, and continue cooking the rest of the batter. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for a few days (reheat in the same pan for about 30 seconds, or microwave briefly). Crêpes have a high ratio of egg:flour, so they do alright in the refrigerator, but for longer-term storage, place them in a gallon-size freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw, simply leave them in the refrigerator overnight or gently microwave them.

crêpes with orange blossom passion fruit

  • 1 batch of crêpes (above)

  • 6 ripe passion fruits

  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons orange blossom water

  • sweetened condensed milk

  1. Carefully scrape the passion fruit pulp into a bowl. Add a little orange blossom water, to taste (between 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon per 1 passion fruit—keep it subtle), and gently stir together.

  2. Fold the crêpes up and serve at the table with the passion fruit and sweetened condensed milk on the side.

* Put the in-shell eggs in hot tap water for about 5 to 10 minutes to bring them to room temperature. For the milk, microwave it for a few seconds to take the chill off.

Masy's crêpes

persian love pop tarts

Persian love pop tarts

Persian love cake is the most charming almond rose cake, with cardamom, citrus, and sometimes saffron. Last year, I fell for Yasmin Khan’s, which is flavored with lemon zest, cardamom, and rosewater, and topped with a lemon glaze and edible petals and pistachios.

It’s a perfect occasion cake, but I recently wanted to make a shareable version, so I took inspiration from its flavors and ingredients, and made one of my childhood favorites: the pop tart! I guess I could’ve made these in the shape of half-moons or circles, and then called them hand pies instead, but I’m a sucker for childhood nostalgia this time of year. Whatever you want to call them, they’re delicious, and perfect for sharing with all your loved ones this Valentine’s Day.

The filling is made with strawberry rose jam, and the crust is a lemon and cardamom-scented almond meal pie dough. The almond meal soaks for a few minutes in one beaten egg, which hydrates it and makes it less gritty, just like in a perfect Persian love cake. And it’s topped just like Yasmin’s love cake, with a lemon rosewater glaze, ground pistachios, and rose petals.

Persian love pop tarts
Persian love pop tarts
Persian love pop tarts
Persian love pop tarts

A couple practical notes on the recipe, before I leave you to it:

the big question: should you cut before or after filling them?

Most pop tart recipes have you cut little rectangles out, and then fill and paste them together, but I prefer filling them in one big sheet and then cutting them apart, kind of like ravioli. This gives them a much neater look, because the halves are cut together instead of fitting together later.

I’ve included instructions in the recipe, but it’s a little more technically difficult than making them individually, so if you’re not used to working with pastry, you could just make them individually instead, and they’ll still turn out wonderfully.

how to crimp them

The crimping style I chose reminds me of Rabel Betshmuel’s series of Assyrian patterns, but you can totally crimp them however you’d like. But if you want to recreate this look, here’s how: after sealing the edges with a little bit of water, take a fork and press it into the four corners on a diagonal. Then go back and crimp the sides, without overlapping with the corners too much (just a little).

making these pop tarts gluten free

This recipe can be easily made to be gluten free. I tinkered with it, replacing all purpose flour with a gluten free one-to-one flour, but if you go this route, it’s important to add just a little less butter and a little tiny bit more water to the dough. Gluten free flours (even all purpose ones) are a bit more crumbly than wheat flour, and this adjustment gives the dough a better texture.

If you go gluten free, the dough will be a bit harder to work with, and they might turn out just a little more rustic, but that’s okay. There’s something very wabi-sabi about homemade pop tarts anyway, and no one wants to feel like they came from a foil packet in a cardboard box.

decorating with (or without) rose petals

You can find edible rose petals online, and you can find them in tea shops, spice shops, and other specialty stores. But if you can’t get your hands on rose petals, these are also super pretty with just pistachios. If you want to incorporate some pink without petals, you can mix a teeny tiny bit of pink food coloring with the glaze, and then sprinkle it with the pistachios. They look really lovely against a very light pastel shade.

Persian love pop tarts
Persian love pop tarts
Persian love pop tarts
Persian love pop tarts

persian love pop tarts

yield: 8 pop tarts
active time: 40 minutes
total time: 1 hour 30 minutes
download a
PDF to print

  • 1 large egg (55g)

  • 1/2 cup almond meal (60g) *

  • 1 1/2 cups flour (200g) **

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 stick cold butter (113g), cut into 8 pieces

  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom

  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

  • 2 tablespoons sugar (25g)

  • 2 tablespoons cold water (or more, if needed)

  • 1/2 cup strawberry preserves (160g)

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons rosewater (divided in half) ***

  • 1 cup powdered sugar (110g)

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • edible rose petals ****

  • finely chopped green pistachios

  1. Combine the egg with the almond meal, and let it soak for about 10 minutes while you prep everything.

  2. Place the flour, salt, butter, cardamom, lemon zest, and sugar in a food processor with the blade attachment. Process until the butter is evenly distributed and there are a few tic-tac sized lumps left.

  3. Add the egg/almond meal mixture, and pulse a few times to distribute.

  4. Slowly drizzle in the cold water with the machine running, just until the dough starts to clump together. Squeeze some dough together in your hand to see if it will hold together. If it is still dry and crumbly, drizzle in a little more water at a time until it’s pie dough consistency.

  5. Divide in half, and shape each half into a flat square. Cover each with plastic, and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

  6. While the dough is chilling, combine the strawberry preserves with between 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of rosewater.

  7. Once the dough is chilled, flour a work surface and roll the squares into 2 rectangles (about 9x12 inches, a little less than 1/8-inch thick). Use your rolling pin (gently roll it up onto the rolling pin) to carefully transfer one of the rectangles to a parchment-lined sheet pan.

  8. Use a knife to score the surface of the dough without cutting all the way through: First, trace a border to block off the rough edges, outlining one big rectangle. Next, trace a grid to outline 8 smaller rectangles. Here’s a visual for how to score and fill the first sheet.

  9. In the center of each little traced rectangle, spoon about 1 tablespoon of strawberry-rosewater preserves. Spread the preserves out a little, leaving plenty of room for a border. Wet your finger and dab the borders to make sure the top will seal well.

  10. Carefully place the second rolled out rectangle over the first, and try to make sure there aren’t trapped air bubbles, and that you don’t squish down the preserves. Press down around the edges of each rectangle.

  11. Cut away the rough edges to give yourself a neat rectangle. Using the humps as guides, cut the dough into 8 equal rectangles. Separate them so they’re about an inch apart on the sheet pan. Crimp the edges with a fork.

  12. Preheat the oven to 425° F (218° C). While you’re waiting on it, chill the pop tarts in the refrigerator (this helps them hold their shape). Once the oven is heated, bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

  13. Let them cool on the parchment, and make the glaze while you’re waiting. Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and 1/2 to 1 teaspoon rosewater (again to taste, and use a little extra lemon juice or water if you only use 1/2 teaspoon). Mix until totally smooth. Feel free to thin with a couple drops of lemon juice, or thicken it with a couple spoonfuls of icing sugar.

  14. Spoon some glaze over each pop tart, topping them with rose petals and pistachios as you go. It will take a couple hours to fully set and harden, and then they can be stored together and stacked, or served right away.

* You can make your own almond meal if you have blanched almonds. Simply grind them in a food processor until they are finely ground (but stop processing before they start clumping together and turn into almond butter).
** See the note above the recipe if you want to make this gluten free.
*** I’ve made a few different batches for friends, and everyone seems to prefer a different amount of rosewater. E.g., I prefer them will the full amount, and my husband prefers them with the smaller amount. It’s up to your taste, and also the strength of your bottle of rosewater. Taste and adjust as you go.
**** See the note above the recipe about decorating these without rose petals.

Persian love pop tarts
Persian love pop tarts