Once you master the proper technique, you can make these crêpes any time you have a craving!
Crêpes are so delcious and so easy to make, yet many people are too intimidated to try. You do not need a proper crêpe pan to make them, though it certainly is easy and fun with the implement made expressly for this task. If you have a clean skillet, an excellent batter (especially one that is good for both sweet and savory applications), and some butter you can bring Paris to your kitchen from anywhere in the world. Remember: it's all about technique, not torture!
Equipment: large mixing bowl or blender; whisk (optional); dry and wet measuring cups; measuring spoons; crêpe pan or 8 - 10-inch sauté pan; heatproof pastry brush (optional); spatula (optional); plate
1 cup all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup whole milk
½ cup lukewarm water 4 large eggs 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted ½ teaspoon kosher salt
additional 4 tablespoons butter for greasing the pan
ILOC tip: this recipe uses 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar so that the crepe is sweet enough for desserts but not too sweet for savory use. Adjust the sugar - use more, less, or none! - based on your tastes and needs.
1. In a blender or large bowl, combine all of the ingredients (from the flour to the salt) until well combined. Cover the the blender with the lid or the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside on the counter to rest for 30 minutes.
“The batter must rest for at least 30 minutes to give the chance for the flour to absorb the liquid and for the gluten to relax. You may surge ahead and everything will taste delicious, but the pancake texture will be best if you follow this step. If you will not be making your crêpes within 30 minutes, store the batter in the refrigerator for up to one day, two days maximum.”
2. Gather the additional butter for cooking the crêpes. If you have a heatproof pastry brush, melt the butter in a small bowl. If not, just use ½ teaspoon butter for each crepe.
3. Heat the pan over medium-high heat. Quickly brush the pan with a little melted butter or add ½ teaspoon and swirl to coat. Using a small measuring cup (¼ or 1/3 size) or a small ladle, pour the batter into the center of the pan and swiftly tilt it clockwise until all of the batter is evenly distributed in the pan and fully covers the bottom. Place the pan back on the heat source and add drops of batter, only if necessary, to any areas of the pan that did not receive batter.
“The first crêpe might be too blond to make the cut but always just right for the cook to steal a taste!”
4. Cook the crêpe for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the edges appear to be golden brown. Flip the crêpe and cook it for an additional 20-30 seconds before flipping it onto a plate or sheet pan.
Makes about 20 crêpes.
“There are countless ways to enjoy crêpes, sweet or savory. These are just a few of my favorites!”
Butter-Sugar. This is the classic and most simple way to enjoy a sweet crêpe: brush the crepe with melted butter, sprinkle generously with granulated sugar, fold in half and then in half again, and serve!
Lemon. If you have lots of time and will, you can candy the lemon peel as a garnish for the crêpe. But it's not necessary. For each crêpe you need the zest of a quarter lemon (use a microplane), the juice of a quarter lemon, a teaspoon of butter, and a 2 teaspoon of sugar. Depending on how many crêpes you are serving, add the lemon juice, butter, and sugar to a sauté pan and heat gently until the sugar is melted. Dip each crêpe into the lemon-butter mixture and fold in half and then in half again. Sprinkle with the lemon zest and serve!
Crêpes Suzette. This is the classic orange and Grand Marnier crêpe preparation. Classically speaking, the orange peel should be julienned and candied, the flesh itself either juiced or cut into suprêmes and then combined with butter and Grand Marnier. Brandy is poured over the top and then lit aflame to marry the flavors and excite the diners. Sounds a little ridiculous? Well, it was created entirely by accident by a 14-year old apprentice! But it is truly delicious.
Nutella...alone or with any fruit. Spreading chocolate on a crêpe is never a bad idea, especially hazelnut chocolate spread, known the world over as Nutella. Top that layer with bananas, strawberries, or raspberries for more perfect perfection. There are two elegant ways to do it: 1. Spread one quarter of the crêpe with Nutella, top with fruit if using, and fold the crêpe in half, then spread more Nutella (and optional fruit) over half of that half and fold again. 2. Spread Nutella in the center of the crêpe leaving a 2-inch border all around, top with fruit-sliced our whole, then fold in each side of the pancake to expose the center but to make the crêpe a square.
Ham & Cheese. This is a classic French combination in many iterations. 1. Grate Gruyere or Comte in the center of the crêpe from top to bottom, tom with slices of ham, and roll like an enchilada, serving as-is or warmed in a casserole covered with a Béchamel (white) or Mornay (cheese) sauce. 2. Grate Gruyere or Comte in the center of the crêpe leaving a 2-inch border all around, top with sliced ham, top with a sprinkling more of the cheese, then fold in each side of the pancake to expose the center but to make the crêpe a square.
Cheese & Fried Egg. This combination is so very simple yet so very sophisticated, especially with a runny yolk. Grate Gruyere or Comte in the center of the crêpe leaving a 2-inch border all around, top with a sunny side-up egg, then add a sprinkling more of the grated cheese, then fold in each side of the pancake to expose the center but to make the crêpe a square. Finish with freshly ground cracked pepper
Asparagus, Creamed Spinach, Sautéed Mushrooms. The list goes on and on and on!