Sweet and Savory Crêpes
I’m on Brunch duty for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday at my girlfriend’s house and I’ve decided that crepes are the perfect dish for a group of people that I’ve never met. Why? Because they are fairly simple to make and you can fill them with anything which makes them incredibly customizable. Sometimes I make an assembly line of fillings and people can go to town!
A lot of people think that crepes are really hard or that you need some special crepe equipment – NOT TRUE. All you need is a very basic batter and a fairly good-sized nonstick skillet. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though. Let’s start with the batter.
1) For batter, mix your three dry ingredients together. Whisk eggs and milk in a separate bowl. Add your wet to your dry and whisk until smooth. Then whisk in your melted butter. The batter should be pretty runny. You can make the batter well in advance, like the night before. Let the batter rest for at least an hour though.
2) When you’re ready to make a crepe, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add a teaspoon of butter to the pan and swirl it around.
3) When butter is hot and bubbling, ladle in 1/2 cup of batter and swirl it around. It will make sort of a thin film on the pan. It only takes about 45 -60 seconds to cook on one side.
4) When flipping, you should be able to gently lift the crepe and flip it. You might mess up one or two before you get it right so I recommend making extra batter than you need.
5) Once your crepe is flipped, cook it for 15 seconds on the second side. You can then fill it immediately and serve it or keep filled and rolled crepes hot in a 200 degree F. oven while you finish the other crepes.
This batter is one of the easiest to make, mix your three dry ingredients. Mix your eggs and milk. Add your wet to your dry and whisk until smooth. Then whisk in your melted butter.
Let me warn you, this is the runniest batter you will ever make. It is not like pancake batter.
I like to make my batter the night before because it is less that I have to do in the morning. You can make it up to 24 hours in advance. But it is important that the batter has at least an hour to rest before you start making the crepes. Don’t ask why. It has something to do with chemistry or physics or something. Just trust me on this one.
Once you are ready to make your crepes, find the largest nonstick skillet you have and put a teaspoon of butter in there or spray with Pam or something. Then ladle in 1/2 cup of batter and swirl it around. It will make sort of a thin film of awesome. It only takes about 45 -60 seconds to cook on one side.
This is very important. Do not get disheartened when you mess up the first one. Because you will. I’ve made crepes at least a dozen times in the last few years and I always mess up at least the first one if not the first two. Maybe if you work at a creperie you won’t mess one up, but even then I bet you would.
As you can see I did not put enough batter in on my first try. I tried like 1/3 of a cup. DISASTER.
So on my third attempt I finally got the pan the right temperature and the correct amount of batter and got what I was looking for.
The hardest part now is turning them. If you have a good pan, they will slide right off and should be easy to flip. My pan is not the best so I had to get a spatula in there and kind of work a bit to get them to flip. If you are having problems flipping the crepe, just go slow, but be sure to take your pan off the heat so you don’t burn it while you are trying to flip it.
Once you make one correctly, you will be golden. Now there are two schools of practice on the next part. Either fill the crepes as they come out of the pan or what I like to do is make all of the crepes and store them in a 200 degree oven on a sheet pan and then fill them all at once at the end.
Now for the super-fun part: FILLINGS. This is really what makes crepes awesome, although a good crepe is very tasty with just a bit of powdered sugar on it. You can really go crazy with fillings though. I went with just two kinds today as I only had four crepes:
Savory: Bacon and Blue Cheese
Sweet: Nutella and Banana
As with anything you are filling, the rule is don’t overfill. Also, don’t put your filling right in the middle, put it more to one end and then roll that end toward the empty end so your filling is wrapped a few times in crepe.
Sometimes, like today, I like to wrap all of my crepes and then put them back in the oven for like 5-10 minutes just so the fillings get all melty and warm. During this time I’ll clean up that way I can fall right into a food coma after I eat these.
These are just absolutely delicious. The very important part is just not to get frustrated if you mess up one or two. Batter is cheap!
I think I prefer savory ones but I can definitely see why people like sweet. I’m just getting set in my ways in my old age.
So that is it! These are one of those brunch/breakfast dishes that always seem so impressive but are really straightforward to make.
Other ideas for fillings: Any jam, or jelly, peanut butter, any kind of fresh fruit, whipped cream, butter, cinnamon/sugar, any good cheese, thin slices of ham/turkey/prosciutto, mushrooms, peppers, the list goes on and on.