Whereas I’m almost certain I’ve never wolfed down a wedge of authentic Adirondack Pie (not yet, at least), I have vivid memories of a similar desert comprised of impossibly thin crêpes lathered with crème Chantilly, stacked almost two inches high, drizzled with maple syrup, and eaten warm. I can visualize this indulgence as I type.
In fact, I can smell the sweet aroma, almost even taste the caramelized crepes, soggy with butter and maple sugar, slathered in cream…
“Building a Modern, Multistoried Dessert” reveals that a similar treat, Mille Crêpes, prepared by Lady M in New York City is coveted by highfalutin diners with deep pockets. Could these Mille Crêpes cakes be an urban descendent of old fashioned, considerably more rustic Adirondack Pies?
Our signature cake and famous worldwide, the Lady M Mille Crêpes feature no less than twenty paper-thin handmade crêpes layered with ethereal light pastry cream. Delicate and irresistible, the top gently caramelized till golden. Sink right in, alternating crêpe and cream layers literally melt in your mouth leaving a subtle sweet finish. (Lady M Confections)
Sounds perfectly delicious! Here’s how Bon Appétit described Lady M’s Mille Crêpes when it featured them in “Ten of the Best Cakes in America” this past October.
Architectural and beautiful, Lady M’s mille crêpes cake makes a science of an old French art — filled crêpes. Twenty are here stacked together with pastry cream and whipped cream. A torch has crackled the sugar layered on top. Despite all that work, it’s light as air, and if you love crêpes or creme brûlée, this cake is right up your alley. (Bon Appétit)
Perhaps it’s time for a taste comparison? While ordering a Mille Crêpes cake from Lady M’s cake boutique is apparently easy enough, I’ve so far failed to locate a North Country eatery offering the opportunity to see what our local equivalent tastes like. No doubt my search has been hasty, and I look forward to receiving a timely tip-off. Or — I’ll venture out onto thin ice here — perhaps the Essex Inn or the Essex Ice Cream Cafe will accept the challenge?
I’m transported by this description of Mille Crêpes cake:
Here’s what it is: 20 as opposed to 1,000 lacy crepes layered with clouds of whipped-cream-lightened pastry cream. The top crepe is spread with sugar and caramelized like creme brulee. A fork plunged into a slice slides like a shovel through fresh snow. You get a whiff of smoky sugar, then layer after silky-sweet layer. (New York Times)
It’s not too difficult to imagine a similar description of Adirondack Pie, a decadent indulgence for a snowy Essex snack. Or breakfast!
Is Lady M’s Mille Crêpes simply a swishy reinvention of Adirondack Pie? It turns out that the recipe isn’t unique to Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Nor is it unique to the Adirondacks. History may have long ago forgotten the original flapjack alchemist to invented this dreamy treat, but there’s no denying a common thread. Thin pancakes stacked with butter, maple sugar and crowned with whipped cream. So simple. So decadent. Fit for a king!
Which inevitably leads me to Epiphany. It’s just around the proverbial corner, though the new fallen snow has softened the angles a bit. In the last final installment of my three-part Adirondack Pie series, I’ll illuminate the enticing connection between Adirondack Pie and Epiphany. Stay tuned.