Crepes

Mar 28th, 2011 by Gemma

Crepes originated in Brittany but are common throughout all of France. They are a very thin pancake, usually quite large too, and served with a variety of fillings from sweet to savoury, from a simple sprinkling of sugar to something wonderfully complex.

I’ve always loved crepes and have many fond memories, trying to eat a large crepe one handed under an umbrella at Sidmouth Festival, or being stood in a cafe in France trying desperately to make myself understood!

Crepes are similar enough to English pancakes. Where pancakes (to me) would be a simple batter of flour, eggs and milk, for crepes I add a pinch of sugar and some Perrier/San Pellegrino/cheap sparkling mineral water alternative, I also use cake flour over all-purpose for a lighter texture. It gives them a different flavour and makes them a little more interesting. I’m sure my crepes come out a little thick, but they taste good so who cares!

If you want to make them savoury just don’t add the sugar.

First make up your batter. Nice and simple, just weigh everything out and whisk it together. Place it in the fridge to rest for an hour.

This is the one and only time I use a non-stick frying pan, it really does make a difference. Many people say the first one always comes out the pan badly, it sticks and makes a mess.. More often than not this turns out to be true for me, it depends on how long it’s been since I last cooked them and how long it takes you to get back into the groove of cooking them.

Heat the pan, a low-medium flame works the best for me, and pour in the oil. Then, pour the oil back out again! This gives the pan a thin sheen of oil without it being too much.

I ladle my batter in so I know all the crepes are even, a 2oz ladle was a good amount. Pour it into the pan and instantly start tilting the pan round in circles so that the batter covers it evenly. If your pan is a good temperature it won’t sizzle, but as you tilt the pan you’ll see the batter thicken and set.

This is where you (briefly) leave the pan alone, you’ll want to start fiddling, loosening it from the pan so you can lift it, but at this stage that will just make a mess. Eventually you’ll see the crepe get air bubbles underneath it and the very edges may just be turning a light golden. The crepe will also look dry now. Run a spatula (yes, yes, I know you shouldn’t use metal tools on a non-stick pan but this really is the easiest way) gently around the edge, working further inwards. You can flip it at this point if you want, to get it golden on both sides. But the batter is cooked through so I just pile on my fillings and go!

For savoury I sprinkled a little bit of cheese and turkey down the centre, then flipped one side up on top. Then I gently finished rolling it up and moved it (carefully) to a plate.

For the sweet I stuck with a simple sugar and lemon juice, always popular. Rather than roll these I folded them into quarters before transferring them to plates.

You can get as creative as you like with the fillings, there’s a crepe place in town that has an amazing ham and Gruyere crepe, I’ve yet to try their chocolate brownie filled crepe as it’s always sold out when I get there! What’s your favourite crepe filling?

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  1. Gemma said:

    Sounds good, and almost like the oat pancakes we had in Derbyshire. We used to have them for breakfast with bacon and eggs


  2. Adam said:

    Much more savoury flavour. Very nice with ham, cheese and egg.


  3. Gemma said:

    I have not, though I may have to try them at some point to see what they’re like


  4. Adam said:

    Have you ever tried galettes? I really like them but never have buck wheat flour to do them.