Crepes are the foundation of so many wonderful dishes and desserts! Sweet crepes can be filled with jam, nutella, chocolate, fruit, whipped cream, custard… there are so many variations. Just roll up or fold the crepe over whatever filling you like, sprinkle with powdered sugar, and top with whipped cream or ice cream. Voila, dessert!
You don’t have to limit yourself to dessert though – crepes are also a great base for a savory meal or main dish. Just fill with leftover stew, meat/veggies, cheese… heat up with a bit of complementary sauce and you have a sophisticated (but quick and easy) meal! My favorite savory crepe is Italian Cheese Manicotti (a crepe stuffed with a ricotta-basil filling, topped with a red tomato-garlic sauce) – I’ll post that recipe soon.
Crepes can seem complicated, but they are extremely easy to make – If you can make pancakes, then you can make crepes! Just whip up the batter in the blender, and heat up a non-stick frying pan or skillet. I prefer to use a special Nonstick Crepe Pan – this pan is like a frying pan with a very low pan edge. You don’t have to use this pan – when I started making crepes, I used a regular non-stick frying pan, and it worked just fine. But if you make a lot of crepes, the crepe pan is a little bit easier to use and to swirl.
Most crepe recipes will tell you to rest the batter before making your crepes. The reason for this is to allow the bubbles to subside, and to allow the flour granules to hydrate. Your crepes will be finer, and more delicate if you rest the batter. If you are in a big hurry – go ahead and skip the resting step – it’s not THAT big of a deal – but just keep in mind the texture won’t be quite the same. If you think you might be pressed for time, you can make the crepe batter a day ahead and refrigerate overnight before using.
Basic Crepe Batter:
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/4 c. milk
- 1 c. flour
- 3 T. melted unsalted butter
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 T. unsalted butter (to grease the pan)
1. Dump all ingredients into a blender jar. Process for 15 seconds, scrape down the sides, and process for another 15 seconds until smooth. Allow the crepe batter to rest in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. (This resting period will allow the bubbles to subside, and the flour granules to hydrate. If you don’t have time, you don’t HAVE to rest the batter, but it will be better if you do.)
2. Heat a non-stick crepe pan over medium to medium low. Add a tiny bit of butter to the pan (to help prevent sticking), and spread it around once melted.
3. Pour 3 T. of crepe batter into the center of the pan.
4. Immediately tilt and swirl the pan using a circular motion to spread the crepe batter into a circle (about 6 – 7 inches in diameter).
5. Cook the crepe until the surface becomes dry (about 30 seconds).
6. Slide a spatula under one edge, then lift up, and flip the crepe over.
7. Continue cooking the other side for 20-30 seconds.
8. Remove the crepe to a cutting board to cool.
9. Once cool, you can stack on a plate. (To prevent sticking, you can put a few sheets of waxed paper between every few crepes.) To serve your crepes, you can fill with jam, nutella, fresh fruit, pudding… then roll up and top with a dusting of powdered sugar and whipped cream (or even ice cream).