Let me tell you again. Making Crepes is easy.
And tres fun!
Okay, so you don’t believe me. I’m not offended. I have been intimidated by them for years.
I will show you how I did it, give you recipes and open up a new world of possibilities for you. You had better turn back now if you don’t think you can handle it. It may change your life.
I learned this from a real Parisian woman I met at an ‘Airbnb’ home I stayed at (instead of a hotel) in Pismo Beach. (which turned out to be a flower farm on the end of a dirt road, complete with pot-bellied pig but that is another story.)
She had zees theeck French accent, oui? And she used a potato to put oil in zee pan. She did not measure eeny-thing. So neither did I. But zee crepes were ‘tres fantastic’. For you, I put in zee measurements, so you do not panic, non mon amiee.
After this I will try gluten free crepes so I can help change the lives of other cooks out there that can’t eat gluten and have sadly given up hope for French crepes in their lives.
Crepes; better than flour tortillas, more delicate and tender (and versatile) than pancakes.
One thing you do need. Something I normally under non-crepe conditions, do not recommend. And that is a nonstick pan. Crepe success really needs one. I dug one up from the pantry in my garage. It was very large and pretty deep for a skillet and I did not have the heart to get rid of it, but retired it instead. Now it is out of retirement, although it is so big it only fits in my oven when not in use.
And did I mention that crepes are so easy?
Here is the recipe
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp. melted butter
2 Tbsp. rum or brandy (optional, but yummy and feel free to use more)
¼ cup sugar
¾ cup flour
1 tsp. salt
So, this will be easy, right?
In one bowl put all the liquid ingredients. Like whisk the eggs. Add the milk and melted butter. If you want, add the liquor or some flavoring, like vanilla. Whisk in the sugar too.
In another bowl, put the flour and salt.
Easy so far, huh?
Now, read carefully…put them all together and whisk some more. Not too much because you do not need to develop gluten, like in bread. It will just toughen it. And yes, it will be runny. It is supposed to be runny. IF it appears too thick, like pancake batter, add more milk. It should be real thin.
Set the batter aside for a minute. Heat the skillet. Now you can use a pastry brush here, or if you want to be real French, use a potato.
Yes, a potato.
The French woman (she does have a name, Christine) dug all around her kitchen looking for something she was having trouble finding and it was a potato. She took a knife and carefully peeled said potato. She cut it in half and stuck a fork in it, then, fork side up, set it in a bowl of oil. She used this to oil her pan, instead of, say, a paper towel or pastry brush. I asked why a potato, instead of a paper towel. She just shrugged and said “That iz zee way we do it in France.” so-la! (I could listen to her talk all day, love the accent.)
I used a 1/3 cup (use any size you want, depending on how big your skillet is) measuring cup and scooped out the batter and poured into the hot skillet. I then tilted the skillet around to spread out the batter nice and thin. Wait…wait…about 1-2 minutes and when getting golden underneath and looking dry on top, flip it!
Okay, easier said than done you say? Carefully use a spatula to lift the edges around the crepe. You will notice it is easy to lift. Now reach under with the spatula and flip. The crepe is pretty much cooked through anyway at this point and just needs to be browned on the other side. It’s not all doughy like a pancake, spattering dough all over the place, the pan, the wall, your apron. This is light and airy. Crepie. (new word I think).
It is now ready to fill. But with what? That is the easiest part. Anything that sounds good.
This one today was a dessert crepe.
I was using a Trader Joes cocoa and almond paste (like Nutella). I put a dollop in a bowl, added a splash of milk and mixed until creamy. This I used to spread on a crepe, like butter. Then I put diced strawberries and sliced bananas. I folded it over, voila!
Next I tried caramelized bananas I read about. Easy-breezy. I put about 1 Tbsp. butter in a small skillet to melt, than added a sliced banana and about 2 Tbsp. brown sugar. (Keep in mind, I did not measure any of this. It was more like a dollop of butter, sliced banana and ‘some’ brown sugar. It’s that easy.)
Now just heat, stirring gently for a couple of minutes until it is syrupy and soft. That’s it. Add it to the crepes with sliced strawberries (or not), powdered sugar (or not), whipped cream (or not). But powdered sugar on top does look pretty and so little effort. I always consider the effort/affect ratio because I am basically lazy.
Maybe fold up one end, like a burrito, so you can pick it up and eat it without all the goodies leaking out the end. Or, like the French, use a knife and fork and try to be civilized for crying out loud!
One option is to use some whole wheat pastry flour. And/or about 3 tsp. cocoa powder for chocolate crepes.
If you need dairy free, just substitute the milk with water.
Next time I will try a chicken carbonara recipe filling. Or the one I was going to do today, but didn’t, mushroom, spinach and bacon filling. These both have a bechamel sauce of some kind to bind it all. As I try things, I will add more filling recipes. maybe make a ‘crepe’ category.
You can fill with yogurt and strawberries for a nice breakfast. Or some jellie and chopped nuts. How about some chocolate or caramel syrup on top? Scrambled eggs, scallions, cheese and sausage?Just use your imagination!
Oh by the way, make them fresh. Or to use that day. You can keep them separate with wax paper. But they do not freeze well, I hear. You can make them that morning for later and just use the wax paper between them and put in a ziplock bag.
Break out! Have fun. Then invite me over to try some.