The classic sweet and savory sandwich gets transformed into the perfect rolled-up breakfast in the form of these Monte Cristo Crepes. Stuffed with ham, cheese, and a raspberry-dijon mixture, then dipped in egg and pan-fried in butter, they’re as full of flavor as they are impressive when served for a brunch get-together.
This recipe for Monte Cristo Crepes is also featured on Serious Eats.
MONTE CRISTO CREPES
My first thought whenever Easter rolls around is, “What am I going to make for my family’s brunch?” and the second is, “How the heck am I going to use up all of that leftover ham?”
This year I figured I’d tackle both problems with one delicious solution: the Monte Cristo. However, for all of the amazingness that comes with what essentially boils down to a french toast ham and cheese sandwich, I often find that Monte Cristos area little too dense and bready for brunch. Especially for my family, who tend not to eat much bread at all, if they can help it.
(How did I wind up the carb-loving way that I am? No one knows.)
So I experimented with crepes, which serve as a crisp and tasty vehicle for the fillings to shine through without feeling excessively hefty in addition to all of that cheese and ham. And I’ve gotta say, I like Monte Cristo Crepes more than I do the traditional version of the iconic sandwich.
HOW TO MAKE MONTE CRISTO CREPES
As you might expect, this recipe begins with crepes. You can either make them yourself– in which case I recommend my go-to recipe from Serious Eats— or you can pick them up pre-made from the grocery store. You want to make sure that the crepes are large so that they can encompass a fair amount of filling.
The hallmark of a good Monte Cristo is the perfect balance between sweet and savory, so once I’ve got my crepes prepared, I make a simple spread by whisking together raspberry jelly and dijon mustard. It might sound a bit strange, but the sweet, sharp, and tangy combination is one of those things that you’ll find yourself craving again and again. It’s like honey mustard, but better. In fact, I also use a similar combination in one of my favorite sandwich recipes: Chicken Bacon Pressed Picnic Sandwiches with Raspberry Honey Mustard.
I spread a thin layer of the raspberry-dijon mixture over the crepes, and then fold the crepes in half to form a semicircle with the jelly sandwiched inside. Doing so ensures that there’s plenty of jelly in every bite, and also gives two layers of the crepe to support the heavier fillings.
On top of the semicircle, I layer a generous amount of the ham and cheeses before tucking in the rounded edge and rolling the crepes up tightly. I allow them to sit seam-side down so they don’t unravel while I prepare the egg batter.
The egg batter consists of milk, eggs, vanilla extract, and salt, just like your typical french toast batter. However, for the crepes, we don’t want to let them sit too long in the mixture, or they’ll become soggy and fall apart. Using tongs, I briefly dip the crepes, one at a time, in the egg batter and transfer them to a hot skillet with melted butter. Usually, I can fit two or three crepes in the pan, and I fry them until golden and crisp all over.
Once all of the crepes are fried, it’s time to serve. I dust mine with a bit of powdered sugar, garnish with fresh berries, and serve them with extra raspberry-dijon for drizzling over or dipping.
And just look at how gorgeous they wind up! The ooey-gooey cheese. The warm ham. The beautifully browned crepes. I’m making myself hungry now!
MORE BRUNCH RECIPES TO LOVE
- Loaded Pull-Apart Breakfast Bread
- Dutch Baby Pesto Breakfast Pizza
- Overnight Raspberry Sweet Rolls with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze
- Cinnamon Sugar Cheesecake Custard Pastries
- 30 Minute Huevos Rancheros Potato Boats
- Hashbrown-Crusted California Quiche with Avocado Roses
- Blueberry Muffin Waffles with Cinnamon Streusel and Vanilla Glaze
- 1/2 cup seedless raspberry or red currant jelly
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- 6 large cooked crepes
- 6 slices Swiss cheese
- 6 slices Gruyère cheese
- 18 thin slices deli ham
- 1 cup milk
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Kosher salt
- Confectioners’ sugar, to dust
- Assorted berries, for garnish (optional)
- In a small bowl, thoroughly whisk together jelly and mustard. Spread a thin, even layer of the jelly mixture over each crepe. Fold the crepes in half to form a semicircle with the jelly sandwiched inside. Top each folded crepe with a slice of each cheese and then layer 3 slices of ham on top of the cheese. If the rounded edge of the crepe is sticking out, fold it inward and tuck under the cheese then roll the crepe up tightly and set seam-side down. Repeat for remaining crepes.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. In a large bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, and vanilla extract. Whisk in a generous pinch of kosher salt. Using tongs, briefly dip a crepe into the egg mixture. Allow excess to drip off and transfer to the skillet, seam-side down. Repeat with another crepe. Fry crepes until golden all over, turning occasionally, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining crepes, frying two at a time and adding butter as needed.
- Dust crepes with powdered sugar. Serve warm with berries and the remaining jelly-mustard mixture.