Spinach, Mushroom, and Cheese Torte (Gâteau de Crêpes à la Florentine) - dummies

Spinach, Mushroom, and Cheese Torte (Gâteau de Crêpes à la Florentine)

By Mary Sue Milliken, Susan Feniger, Helene Siegel, Cesare Casella, Jack Bishop, Tom Lacalamita, Heather Dismore, Martin Yan, Dede Wilson, Joan H. Moravek, Kristin Eddy

Gâteau de Crêpes à la Florentine is a quick and easy-to-make torte, made of stacked crêpes spread with a filling of cheese sauce prepared with spinach and mushrooms. Cut into thin wedges for appetizer servings or cut into quarters and serve as an entrée.

[Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Ildi_Papp]

Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Ildi_Papp

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Yield: 8 appetizer portions or 4 entrée portions

Cheese Sauce

Basic French Pancake Batter

4 ounces mushrooms, sautéed in butter

1 cup cooked, chopped, frozen spinach, well drained

1⁄2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Salt and pepper to taste

3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the cheese sauce.

    Combine the remaining sauce with the mushrooms and spinach. Season with the nutmeg and salt and pepper.

  3. Place one crêpe in a shallow baking dish.

    Spread the crêpe with a layer of the filling. Cover with another crêpe and spread with more filling. Repeat this process, ending with a plain crêpe on top.

  4. Spread the top crêpe with the reserved cheese sauce.

    Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.

  5. Bake for 25 minutes or until heated through and the top is golden brown.

  6. Remove from the oven. To serve, cut into wedges.

Cheese Sauce

This cheese sauce is a variation on a basic white sauce, which should be part of everyone’s cooking repertoire.

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Yield: 2 cups

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups whole milk

1/2 cup grated Gruyère, Parmesan, or sharp cheddar cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Blend in the flour and cook slowly, stirring, until the butter and flour foam without changing color, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

  2. Bring the milk to a boil over medium heat. Add 1⁄4 teaspoon salt. Slowly pour the hot liquid over the hot flour mixture, beating with a wire whisk until smooth.

  3. Return to the stove and cook over medium-high heat until the sauce boils. Add the cheese and stir until smooth. Cook a minute longer. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper.