I’ve been making crepes for many years and for some reason I have hesitated to write this blog post. I think my ‘piece de resistance’ was the year I made crepes stuffed with Rosemary Turkey Breast, smothered with Sherry Shallot Gravy and drizzled with Cranberry Coulis. The crepe, while a delightful pain in the ass to make, is at once both humble and elegant.
But, Crunchy, why would you call it an anathema for anxiety? That seems a little …. I don’t know … bombastic? A Hyperbole? Grandiose? Well, my love of my thesaurus aside, I’m not wrong. No matter how cranky and anxious I’m feeling, 45 minutes of highly focused, yet surprisingly ‘chillaxy’ ladling and swirling later, I hate the human race at least 40% less. The end result is a tangible batch of perfect crepes ready to be stuffed, folded, drizzled, and smothered in any number of other delicious and decadent ingredients.
The Versatile Crepe
- Crepe Pan: An inexpensive, but worthwhile investment.
- Crepe Spatula: An another inexpensive, but worthwhile investment.
- Wax Paper or Parchment Paper
- Paper Towels
- Soup Ladle
Don’t be Cheap! Alert: The French live and die by the care, quality, and technique that goes into … well, just about everything they do. You will commonly find French recipes to have very few ingredients because every one of them count. For the Milk, please go organic. For the eggs, free-range organic. For the salt, it needs to be kosher. Finally, for the butter, choose a high-quality brand. Just do the best you can and remember that the money you spend on the ingredients will make a huge difference in the quality of your end result.
- 420 ml or 1 3/4 cups Whole Milk. Reserve an additional 1/2 cup in case your batter becomes too thick. You may need to add a little more as needed.
- 4 Large Eggs
- 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
- 190 g or 1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 Stick Unsalted Butter. Melt 6 Tbsps of butter for the Crepe Batter. Reserve the remaining 2 Tbsps from the butter stick for greasing your pan.
As I have mentioned, I have made crepes many, many times. I distilled the essentials of the batter preparation in the order that you need to construct it, and it goes like this:
- Milk, Eggs, Salt. Blend.
- Flour. Blend.
- Melted Butter. Blend.
- Shove blender carafe into refrigerator for 60 minutes.
And now to let all your worries swirl away for 30 minutes:
- Heat your crepe pan on low heat. You don’t want your crepes to burn so I suggest about a level 2.
- Drop a sprinkle of water. If it sizzles you are ready to party.
- Take your remaining 2 Tbsps of butter and grease a piece of paper towel.
- Gently coat your crepe pan with the buttered paper towel. (Don’t be Lazy! Alert: If you just grease your pan with the stick of butter you will end up with too much and it will result in over caramelization.)
- Quickly dip your soup ladle into the batter and pour a circle that covers 3/4s of the pan.
- Immediately pick the pan up and rotate it in gentle circles, allowing the batter to spread and thin out to the outer edges of the pan. If you end up with any little holes you can dribble a little additional batter there.
- The crepe will take less than a minute to cook. You are looking for the edges to just start to dry up. I like to gently test if I can slide my spatula underneath the crepe after about 30 seconds.
- Flip the crepe over. Don’t be alarmed if you need to help it out a little with your hands. They are difficult to flip so don’t think of it like a pancake. I usually have to help the little dude out by readjusting it. Cook the second side for about 15 seconds.
- Slide it onto a waiting plate.
- Repeat the cycle for another blissful 30 minutes.
Don’t be Distracted! Alert: Unless someone is bleeding or on fire and there isn’t another individual in the house who isn’t bleeding or fire also that can deal with that situation, this is all you are going to be doing. Period. It’s just you, a heated crepe pan, carefully pouring, swirling, delicately flipping, sliding onto a plate. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
“Wait, why was I having a bad day again?” You’re welcome.
Ummm, What Should my Crepes Look like?
If you want to make a traditional crepe, it should be very thin and pale as the driven snow. Ok, maybe not the snow, but you get the idea. The reality is, butter browns. If your crepes have some color on them, fear not. They will still be delicious, I promise. But as you work your way through your batch, that is what you are looking for.