How to Make the Best Crepes
Nobody says no to crepes. These French pancakes are everyone’s favorite. Not only do they look fancy and appetizing, but they are also absolutely delicious and extremely versatile. You could have them for breakfast, brunch, lunch or a light supper. It could be had a whole meal on its own or as a dessert. Very few meals can beat that.
Crepes have two main flavors which are sweet and savory. Sweet crepes are sweetened using sugar, liqueur or vanilla extract. They are served with fruits, ice cream, chocolate and other sweet accompaniments. Savory crepes are filled with yummy fillings like eggs, mushrooms, cheese, and other types of meat fillings.
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People shy away from making crepes at home because they are delicate to make. One little mistake and you’re left with a cross between fresh pancakes and omelet. As great as those are, they aren’t crepes. With a few pointers and a great recipe, you will master the art of making perfect crepes.
Tips for Making the Best Crepes
Before you get down to the brass tacks of learning how to cook crepes, you need to know a few tricks to enable you to make the process easy and your crepes perfect.
- Crepe Maker or Pan?
A lot of people believe you can only prepare crepes using a crepe maker. This is untrue. You don’t need a crepe maker to achieve marvelous, soft crepes. Any large nonstick pan or skillet can turn out great crepes. Nonstick pans make it easier to lift and toss your delicate crepe.
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The size of your pan determines the size of your crepes so for normal-sized crepes, use an 8-inch pan. For larger sizes, use 9-12 inch pans. Be sure your pan or skillet has a flat base which heats evenly.
- Blender or Whisk?
The ingredients used in making crepes require consistent whisking until they become smooth. You could whisk them into a batter by hand using a mixing bowl and a whisk. However, you should use a blender. This is easier, takes up only a few seconds and gives you the perfect consistency.
- Oil or Butter?
Most people use both interchangeably, but when cooking crepes, they have their distinct purposes. Crepe batter needs butter for taste and softness. That buttery flavor that adds to the yummy experience of eating crepes cannot be gotten from just oil. However, when coating the pan before cooking, it is better to use oil rather than melted butter.
Remember that creep batter is supposed to be thinner than pancake batter. So don’t be worried if the consistency of the batter is thinner than you’re used to. You’re doing it right. If it is too thick, add few spoons of water or milk to thin it out. Allow the batter to rest for 30 minutes to an hour to yield light crepes. You can even leave it in the fridge overnight.
You could match the flavor of your crepe batter to that of the filling. If you’re making sweet crepes for breakfast or dessert, it’s best to sweeten the batter a little with vanilla or sugar. If you’re going for savory crepes, omit the sugar and add some herbs or spinach to the batter.
These ingredients are for 8-inch crepes:
- 1 cup of flour
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups of milk
- 2 spoons of melted butter
- A pinch of salt
- I spoon of sugar (for sweet crepes)
- I teaspoon of vanilla (for sweet crepes)
- Combine all the ingredients in a blender. If making savory crepes, leave out the sugar and vanilla extract. Instead, add a pinch of salt and some chopped herbs. Blend till the batter is smooth and free of lumps. This should take about 30 seconds.
- Let the batter rest for at least 30 minutes or refrigerate overnight.
- Grease the pan with a small amount of oil. The oil should not be too much, just enough to grease all sides of the pan. You will have to re-oil the pan as you make more crepes.
- Heat the 8-inch nonstick pan over medium heat. Be careful not to increase the heat so much that your crepes are burnt. If it gets too hot, reduce the heat.
- Pour in the batter. It should be about ¼ cup so it is enough to coat the bottom of the pan and light enough to flip. Turn from side to side until it forms a uniform circle.
- Cook for about 2 minutes till you notice the crepe is golden at the edges. Lift the crepe with a spatula and flip gently. Cook the other side until it is equally done and golden. This should take less than a minute. Remove crepe from the heat and stack.
- Repeat for the rest of the batter and stack them on top of one another till they are ready to serve.
You can roll them up or fold them into fourths. If you have a sweet tooth, pair your crepes with fruits like peaches and strawberries, then top it off with whipped cream, jam, nuts and pudding. If you are craving for a savory meal, there are so many flavorful crepe fillings to choose from. Crepes can be filled with smoked salmon or ham and cheese and had with salad.
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If you have leftovers, put them in a Ziploc bag with a small square of parchment between each layer and refrigerate. They are good for 5 days after. You could also freeze them for as long as 3 months. They will still be incredibly yummy when thawed and eaten. Heat them in a microwave or skillet when you’re ready.
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There you have it; the best crepe recipe in the world. With this recipe and a little practice, you’ll be a pro at making scrumptious, lacy crepes. If you are a fan of healthy eating, make use of gluten-free flour instead of all-purpose flour. For vegans, substitute milk, butter and eggs with dairy alternatives.