A crêpe is a very thin form of a pancake. Crêpes can be made either 'savory' or sweet (basically, sweet crêpes are savory crêpes with sugar and (optionally) a little liquor). Instead of syrup, Crêpes are usually served with different kinds of spreads and/or fruits, veggies, or meats inside.
If you've ever travelled in Europe, you may notice small crêpe stands on many street corners, in malls, etc. They serve up quickly-made (but fresh!) crepes with nutella (a wonderful hazelnut spread), peanut butter, bananas, creme, strawberries, etc. Since my trip to Germany in 2005, I've been on the lookout for a way to quickly and easily make a ton of crêpes. This Christmas, my parents bought one of the best little inventions ever—a Crêpe skillet, from Cucina Pro.
The specialized skillet is ideal for making crêpes, but any flat pan (e.g. a [Cuisinart 10" pan](https://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-623-24-Classic-Nonstick-Hard-Anodized/…)) will do, as long as you can easily flip the crêpes as they cook.
In this article, I'll guide you through the process of making crêpes; my recipe will give you somewhere between 6-10 crêpes (depending on the diameter), but you can double the amount of each ingredient to make more crêpes.
Ah, so back to the actual process of making a Crêpe.
To start, we'll need the following ingredients (for a sweet crêpe... what's the point of a savory crêpe?):
- 1 Large Egg
- 1/2 Cup Milk (I use skim, for thinner crêpes)
- 1/4 Cup Water (a little less if your crêpes break while flipping)
- 1/2 Cup Flour
- 1 tbsp Sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 tbsp Butter, Melted (I melt mine in the microwave)
- (Optional) 1 tbsp liquor/brandy (I usually skip this)
Take all the above ingredients, stick them into a Magic Bullet blender (or a regular blender), and blend for 30 seconds, or until the mix is consistent and has many tiny bubbles.
Put this mix aside for an hour. If you will be waiting any longer than that, put it, covered, in the fridge. You can store it for up to a day.
Making the Crêpes
A motley crew.
- Crêpe Batter (see above for how to prepare). You might want to use something with a pouring spout... I just use the blender's cup.
- Crêpe Skillet (from Cucina Pro - you can get one here). You can also use a crêpe pan, or even a normal skillet, if you'd like. Something that's flat and gets hot.
- Crêpe Spreader (I have the basic T-shaped spreader, which came with the crêpe skillet). This is highly important in the making of a nice, flat crêpe.
- Large Plastic Spatula. Needed for flipping the crêpe.
After the skillet is warm (should be pretty hot - enough to melt butter), spray on a little Pam, or spread on a little butter from a stick). Pour the crêpe batter onto the crêpe skillet; you can probably start relatively small (3-4" diameter of poured crêpe batter).
This is the most important part of the process: IMMEDIATELY set down the batter, and spread the batter you just poured onto the skillet so it is very thin (thin enough that you can almost see through it to the skillet surface). It helps to moisten the batter spreader before you do this (and then again after you've spread the batter, to clean off any excess batter from the spreading).
Let the batter cook for about 20-25 seconds (you'll see little bubbles come to the surface, and the surface will have a 'dry' look. Work your spatula around the edges, then quickly flip the crêpe to cook the top for about 5-10 seconds. Finally, slip the crêpe off the skillet, and put it on a plate.
Repeat this process until you run out of batter.
You can either eat the crêpes immediately, or set them in stacks of 3-5, wrap them, and store them in the freezer for a couple weeks.
Enjoying the Crêpes
This is the best part... take a crêpe, stick something on it (see below for ideas), fold it over itself (or roll it up), and then enjoy!
Nutella: my spread of choice.
Some 'somethings' to stick on your crêpe (be creative!):
- Strawberries and creme
- Bananas and Nutella
- Nutella alone
- Peanut butter alone
- Strawberries and Nutella
- Butter and/or Chocolate (melted)
These are just a few of the wonderful possibilities (for sweet crêpes, at least). You can always dust your crêpes with a little powdered sugar. Eat them with either your hands or a fork and knife.
Anything I'm leaving out? Any other great ideas for toppings? Please leave them in a comment!