Tonight I cooked and I don’t know how to do much, but I like crepes as we do them in France. The first one was with an egg, ham and cheese sprinkles. After that it’s honey and strawberry jam.
Here is the recipe I use that works well with white flour as we find in the US. (Yes, the flour we find in Orangevale is not the same as the one we find in France so the measurements are different…)
- Bowl large enough for all ingredients to fit (salad bowl)
- Fork to mix the batter
- Measuring cups and teaspoons
- 1 or 2 frying pans
- A flat spatula to flip and serve crepes (or at least get the crepes unstuck…)
- Knife to cut butter
Batter Ingredients (for my family of 5 and an all crepe dinner, I use the following x 2):
- 1 cup of flour (250 ml)
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 and 1/2 cup of milk (375 ml)
- 1/8 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon orange extracts (2 ml)
- 1 teaspoon rum (5 ml) — note that once cooked the alcohol will have evaporated, this is used as a flavor
- 1 teaspoon melted butter (15 ml)
- Extra butter for the pans
- Egg, Ham, Grated Mozzarella Cheese—for a real dinner!
- Jam (I like strawberry, I think marmalade is not right for crepes…)
- Whipped Cream
- Hazel Nuts or Walnut (chunks or whole)
- Ice Cream
The vanilla and orange extracts are for flavor. You may change those with other flavors although those two work well with most of the ingredients eaten with the crepe later (such as honey.)
Put the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl and mix them.
Add the 3 eggs and Vanilla, Orange Extracts and Rum. Mix those together over the flour and sugar. Make sure the eggs appear fully mixed.
Add the milk. First mix with the eggs and flavors and slowly start mixing with the flour. Make sure to avoid lumps of flour. What I like to do is a first mix. Once the batter looks like one liquid, I use a fork and push the batter on the side of the bowl squishing any lumps that make it there in the process.
Once you have what looks like one fairly liquid yellow batter, add the butter. It is important to add the butter at the end because it is going to be hot and will cook part of the batter thus the batter needs to be ready for that process to happen. Mix well. It is normal to see some drops of butter at the top.
Now let the batter sit for one hour (yes, 60 minutes). This step is very important. It will make the crepes less elastic when cooking them. As a result the crepes end up being soft as they should be.
The chemical process at work? The liquid in the milk and eggs will penetrate the flour and as a result the flour starch expands creating gluten from the wheat proteins (the glutenin and gliadin).
A Trick of Note: some people will use warm milk instead of the usual refrigerator cold milk. This limits the wait to a mere 10 to 15 min. However, many do not like the idea of cooking the milk as it changes its composition (it will be cooked anyway, though.) I never tried this technique, so I do not know whether and how it works.
Once ready (after that 1h rest), you are ready to cook the crepes. For that you need a frying pan that’s deep enough to hold the batter in or a large flat frying grill.
Warm the pan. Put a nugget of butter in the pan. That way you will know once it is hot enough and the crepe won’t stick to the pan (even if your pans are old!) For the first crepe, I often put two nuggets so it really does not stick. Afterward, just a small slice from those butter sticks will suffice. You know that it is hot once the butter floats around the pan quickly.
Put about one ladle of batter in the center of the pan. The batter should automatically spread as expected. You can turn the pan to get the batter further toward the edges.
Cook until the top looks solid then flip the crepe. If you’re good (like me) you do not need utensils to flip crepes unless the crepe sticks to the pan… It’s not that hard either way, though. The crepe won’t flip correctly if it was not already properly cooked before flipping it the first time.
For crepes with an egg, ham, and cheese, flip the crepe and immediately break one egg, put your ham on top of the egg and then sprinkle with cheese (mozzarella will do, although in my region we rather use Swiss cheese.) Let the crepe cook until the egg white is cooked to your liking. You probably want to lower the temperature as it can take a little while for the egg to cook through the crepe and you do not want to burn the bottom. Serve right side up on a plate (do not flip! unless you flipped the crepe to cook the egg better under the crepe.)
Crepes with honey, nutella, jam, etc. are cooked on both sides and served on your plate then you add the ingredients as a line in the center of the crepe and roll the crepe. Eat with your fingers!
I hope you can soon enjoy home made crepes like us! Let me know by commenting below.