One of my favorite breakfasts or brunches to make on a lazy weekend day is crepes.
I like them because the batter is very easy to make and once you get the hang of them, I actually think they are easier to make than pancakes!
Plus you can fill them with all kinds of delicious stuff.
The problem I’ve encountered with crepes is that it’s hard to feed a crowd with them. You can only make one at a time and people usually want 2-3 for a meal so if you’re feeding four people, that’s 10-12 crepes!
Then one day the idea of a crepe pie smacked me over the head and I had to try it immediately.
It worked better than I ever thought it would.
1) Make your crepe batter by mixing the dry ingredients together in a bowl and the wet ingredients (except butter) in a separate bowl. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Whisk in melted butter. Batter should be pretty runny. Let batter sit while you prep the filling.
2) Slice mushrooms, dice peppers, onions, and garlic. Add mushrooms to a large skillet with a drizzle of olive oil and saute over medium-high heat until the mushrooms release their liquid and soften, about 5-6 minutes.
3) Add other filling ingredients (except cheese) to the skillet and cook for another 4-5 minutes until peppers soften. Season filling with salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of dried thyme. Set filling aside.
4) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
5) Using a large nonstick skillet, or crepe pan, add a small amount of butter over medium-high heat. Pour in about 1/2 cup of crepe batter and swirl it around the pan so it flattens out. Cook for 30-45 seconds on the first side until it firms up, then carefully flip the crepe and cook for another 15-20 seconds. Repeat until you have 4 large crepes. The batter will make 5-6 crepes so you can mess up one without worry.
6) Butter a pie pan and lay a crepe in the bottom of the pan. Add half of the mushroom filling and 1/3 of the grated cheese.
7) Top with a second crepe and 1/3 of the cheese.
8) Top with a third crepe. So the middle layer is just cheese basically.
9) Add rest of filling and cheese to top of the pie and top with the fourth crepe. Kind of crimp the edges of the crepe around the edges of the pie so it is mostly sealed.
10) Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
11) Let cool briefly and then slice and serve!
Over the years, I’ve put together dozens of different crepe fillings. Sweet, savory, fruity, cheesy… you name it, you can probably stuff it in a crepe.
So I don’t want you to get the impression that this filling is the only filling that you can use for this recipe. This is just the one I used and it worked really well.
Rinse and slice up the mushrooms and dice up your veggies. It’s okay to keep them in pretty big chunks. You don’t want the veggies to disappear in the dish.
Then just add a few tablespoons of olive oil to a large skillet and toss in the mushrooms. Cook them over medium high heat until they start to soften and release their water. Then you can add in all the other veggies and continue to cook until they are soft.
Total cooking time for this will probably be in the 10 minute range. There’s actually a lot of wiggle room in how much you cook the veggies. It is important to saute them though so you can cook off some of the water in the veggies. Otherwise the filling would be very watery in your final dish.
When the veggies are cooked, season the filling with salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, and dried thyme.
This is my basic crepe batter recipe. It’s never failed me really. Don’t fix it if it ain’t broken right?
Whisk together the dry ingredients in a bowl and stir the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl (minus the melted butter). Then stir the wet into the dry and finally stir in the butter.
Ideally, let this batter sit for a few minutes before making the crepes.
I like to make the batter, then make the filling, and by the time the filling is done the batter is rested and ready to go.
Like I said, I find cooking crepes easier than pancakes honestly. That said, you might mess up one or two. Don’t worry about it if you do. Since these are going in a layered dish, they don’t have to be perfect.
When you’re ready to cook a crepe, just add a small amount of butter to a large nonstick pan or a crepe pan and then pour in about 1/3-1/2 cup of crepe batter. Swirl it around in the pan so it flows out and forms an even, very thin crepe.
Cook the crepe for about 45 seconds on the first side and then give it a flip. Flipping is always the part that people mess up but just do your best. Like I said, they don’t have to be perfect.
You need four crepes to make this dish so just go ahead and make four and stack them up on a plate or something.
Making the Pie
You can use almost any kind of pie dish that you have. Is it important to have something round though so the crepes fit snuggly in there.
To make sure the crepes don’t stick to your pan, butter the thing really well.
Then lay in one crepe and make sure to push it down so it’s snug against all the walls of the pie pan. Then add about 1/2 of your mushroom filling and 1/3 of your grated cheese.
Then toss on the second crepe. For the middle layer, I just did an all cheese layer. So add another 1/3 of the cheese to this layer.
Speaking of cheese, be sure to use a good flavorful cheese for this. You don’t want to use a lot of cheese, but make sure to use good stuff! I used a nice sharp white cheddar.
Add on the third crepe and then the rest of your filling stuff.
It should all stack up very nicely.
Put the top crepe on and kind of press the edges down around the sides of the pie pan. Again, don’t freak out if it isn’t perfect.
Stick this whole thing in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes.
The great part about baking this is that the top and bottom crepes actually get a bit crispy which is nice and then the center is just this awesome savory party.
I was worried that this would just fall apart when I sliced it, but if you let it cool for just a minute or two when you pull it out of the oven, it actually slices really nicely.
You can even make out all the layers.
If this is all your serving, assume about 1/4 of the pie per person. If you’re serving this with some other stuff then you could cut it into sixths and be fine.
The good news is that you can make these in advance and then just toss them in the oven if you’re having people over.
This is the right way to do crepes for a group!