Thursday, October 6, 2011

Basics: Crêpes

Crêpes are nice because they're an anytime type of food.
They can be sugary or savory, make a complete meal at any time of day, or just act as the sweet finish.

Fresh, homemade crêpes don't take too much time or trouble, and they're much better than the pre-made, pre-packaged crêpes you can buy at the store.
In college, they would have "International Week" in the dorm cafeterias. One night during this wonderful week, there was a crêpe bar set up, complete with very thin, rubbery, pasty-white, flavorless packaged "crêpes" available for us to work with.
Needless to say, not good eating.
Please don't buy these sorry imposters, because you'll find yourself disappointed.
I didn't know they even existed until I was away at school, and I have since seen them at the grocery store.
Sad fact.

At our house, the occasional crêpes were for breakfast and contained different types of jam, fruit, Nutella, or cinnamon sugar.
The possibilities are limited by imagination and the what's available in the pantry.

In France, you can frequently find crêperies- and last time one of my sisters and I were there together, our plan was to try as many crepes as we could.
We didn't get too far with that plan, probably in most part due to the fact that we were in a group and it wasn't one of the main group activities, but we did end up having several crêpes.
Chicken and mushroom, cheese and ham, chestnut creme and banana, Nutella (the ubiquitous), crunchy raw sugar...

You don't need a stainless steel crêpe pan to make crêpes, but it certainly does make a nice crêpe.
If you've got one, pull it out, dust it off, and use it.
If not, a small frying pan works just fine.

You won't necessarily need to add butter or oil before each crêpe. As you get the feel for things, you'll just know.
And the first crêpe never turns out perfectly (but it still tastes just fine). 

makes about 12, 8 inch crepes

2 large eggs
1/2 c plus 1T water
1/2 c plus 1T milk
1 c flour
Pinch of salt
2 T (1 oz) unsalted butter, melted

Butter or vegetable oil for the pan

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, water, and milk. Add flour and salt and whisk until combined. Stir in the melted butter and blend well. Refrigerate 1 hour. 
Strain if necessary.
(Alternatively, use a blender to mix the batter.)
Heat a crêpe pan or small frying pan with a little butter or vegetable oil over medium-low heat until hot. Hold the pan in one hand and pour about 2 T of crepe batter into the pan. Quickly swirl and twist the pan so that the batter coats the bottom in a nice even layer. You may notice the batter is a little thick and won't easily spread. If so, add a tablespoon or two of water or milk to the batter to thin it out a bit for the next crêpe.  Place the pan back on the burner and cook about 30 seconds, or until the edges of the crêpe are visibly dry. Flip the crepe and cook about 15 seconds. Remove the cooked  crêpe to a plate and continue with the rest of the batter, stacking the  crêpes on top of one another as you finish them.
Fill the crêpes with the desired filling, and fold or roll before serving.


  1. The first crêpe is "cook's nips", you know, for the cook. I eat it with my fingers. As a matter of fact, I turn them with my fingers, too.
    Natalie, you write so well that it's a pleasure to read your recipes.

  2. I think it's easier to use your fingers for flipping the crepes, but it all depends if you have the tolerance for heat.

    Thank you!