Folded up and filled with caramelized apples, these Beggar's purses (aka crepe purses) are the most elegant way to serve French crepes. Add this simple recipe to your party menu to surprise your guests. Let them discover the interior!
I hope that you have already perfected your crepe-making skills, or one day you will become an expert in French crepe cooking.
I could anticipate the next question, which is how to serve crepes. Serve them plain, sprinkled with powdered (icing) sugar, or spread some jam/preserves or homemade hazelnut praline paste.
Have you heard of Beggar's purses? Are you intrigued?
Just imagine that you can serve crepes resembling purses. Beggar's purses (Beggars purses), crepe purses, or crepe bundles are the same names of an elegant crepe presentation - a presentation to die for.
So, while making French crepes, garnish some of them with caramelized apples, tie them as purses and serve as Beggar's purses.
Simply saying, these are apple crepes, or crepes with caramelized apples (aumônière de crêpes aux pommes in French).
What is a Beggar's purse?
Beggar's purse is an appetizer made of a crepe filled with caviar and a dollop of creme fraiche.
It resembles a purse since the crepe's edges are gathered into pleats and tied with blanched chives.
Over time, this dish developed into a dessert with different sweet fillings.
Beggar's purse dessert origin
Beggar's purse (aka crepe purse) got its name from a pouch-shaped form of the alms purse worn on the belt and containing the money.
It goes back to the 14th century when carrying cash on hand to give to those who begged a gift was a Christian action of kindness.
Beggar’s purse is called “aumônière de crêpes” or "crêpes en aumônière" in French, where "aumônière" is translated “chaplain.”
Sweet filling ideas for Beggar's purses
- Caramelized apples (the recipe is below)
- A mix of caramelized fruits such as apples, pears, and mandarins
- Caramelized bananas or pineapple
- Peaches with candied ginger and cottage cheese
- Mango with passion fruit
What to use to tie crepe purses
- a long sprig of chives blanched in advance
- strips cut from fresh or candied orange or lemon peel
- licorice laces
- a vanilla pod cut in half
- a toothpick with a small piece of fruit put at each end
- a piece of kitchen string
- bamboo skewers
Why you should try this recipe
- This simple Beggars purse recipe upgrades French crepes to an elegant dessert.
- Making crepes in advance saves time on the day of serving.
- Using seasonal fruits brings no limit in creating new sweet fillings. Just be creative!
Here is a quick overview of what ingredients you will need. Follow the full recipe below for detailed amounts and instructions. I recommend making this recipe as written for the best results.
Eggs: use whole, large-sized eggs at room temperature.
Flour: the recipe calls for all-purpose flour.
Milk: use whole, reduced-fat milk (2%), or low-fat milk (1%).
Orange flower water: it brings a beautiful flavor to the crepe batter. Omit this ingredient if desired.
Salt: it enhances the flavors of crepes.
Butter: use unsalted melted butter to make the crepe batter: no need to grease a crepe pan then. To make the caramel, use unsalted butter cut into small cubes.
Apples: Golden apples or Granny Smith apples are the best to use for this recipe. They hold their shape while cooking.
Sugar: use granulated white sugar to make the caramel.
Orange juice: make it yourself with a citrus squeezer or use store-bought orange juice.
Cinnamon: use ground cinnamon to bring additional flavor to caramelized apples.
How to make Beggar's purses
Add water and cold milk in small portions, and mix well. Melt butter, pour into the mixture, and whisk (photo 3). Let it stand for 2 hours at room temperature.
Pour a ladle of the batter (about ¼ cup of batter) and tilt and rotate a crepe pan to distribute it and coat its bottom (photo 4).
When the crepe's edges become golden and come off the pan, turn the crepe over with a heatproof plastic spatula or a flexible turner.
Let it brown on the second side (photo 5). Continue with the remaining batter (photo 6).
To make the apple filling, peel apples and cut them into small cubes (photo 7).
Melt the sugar with water in a pan to make the caramel. Shake the pan and let it brown (photo 8).
To assemble purses, top each crepe with one tablespoon of the caramelized apples (photo 11).
Gather the edges of the crepe towards the center while making folds and tie them with one or two toothpicks (photo 12). Serve 1 or 2 per person.
- Read this no-fail French Crepes recipe for tips and tricks.
- Make crepes the day before and store them wrapping with plastic film.
- Use Golden apples or Granny Smith apples since they hold their shape while cooking.
Love apple desserts? Try these next!
Beggar’s Purses Recipe (Aumônière de Crêpes)
Folded up and filled with caramelized apples, these Beggar's purses (aka crepe purses) are the most elegant way to serve humble crepes. Add this simple recipe to your party menu to surprise your guests. Let them discover the interior!
- Total Time: 1 hour (plus resting time)
- Yield: 9 1x
- Category: Crepes
- Method: Cooking
- Cuisine: French
For the crepe batter:
- 2 eggs
- ⅔ cup + 2 tablespoons (100 g) flour
- 1 cup + ½ tablespoon (250 ml) milk
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) water
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon orange flower water
- 1 pinch of salt
- 0.5 oz. (15 g) butter
For the apple filling:
- 3 large apples
- ⅔ cup (150 g) sugar
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) water
- 2.1 oz. (60 g) butter
- ⅓ cup + ½ tablespoon (85 ml) orange juice
- 1 pinch of ground cinnamon
- To make a crepe batter, sift flour with a flour sifter in a large bowl. Add eggs, salt, vanilla extract, and orange flower water and mix with a hand whisk. Add water and cold milk in small portions, and mix well. Melt butter, pour into the mixture, and whisk. Let it stand for 2 hours at room temperature.
- Pour a ladle of the batter (about ¼ cup of batter) and tilt and rotate a crepe pan to distribute it and cover its bottom. When the crepe's edges become golden and come off the pan, turn the crepe over with a heatproof plastic spatula or a flexible turner. Let it brown on the second side. Continue with the remaining batter.
- To make the apple filling, peel apples and cut them into small cubes. Melt the sugar with water in a pan to make the caramel. Shake the pan and let it brown. Add butter and mix with a wooden spatula. Add apple cubes and orange juice, sprinkle with ground cinnamon. Cook over low-medium heat for 10 minutes.
- To assemble purses, top each crepe with one tablespoon of the caramelized apples. Gather the edges of the crepe towards the center while making folds and tie them with one or two toothpicks. Serve 1 or 2 per person.
- Serving Size: 1 Beggar's purse
- Calories: 220
- Sugar: 24 g
- Sodium: 91 mg
- Fat: 8.4 g
- Saturated Fat: 5 g
- Carbohydrates: 34.3 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Protein: 3.4 g
- Cholesterol: 57 mg
Keywords: beggar's purse, crepe purse, crepe bundles, crêpe en aumônière, aumônière de crêpes
The crepe recipe was adapted from the book of Pierre Hermé, "Le Larousse des Desserts". The recipe was originally published on February 10, 2018. It has been revised to include improved content and photos. All posted pictures are mine.