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What Is a Crepe?
A crepe is an extremely thin pancake traditionally made with whole milk, white wheat flour, and eggs. These simple creations can be filled with either sweet or savory ingredients, and the flavor can be customized with alternative ingredients like whole wheat flour or gluten-free buckwheat flour as well. This popular treat originated in Brittany, France, and is now one of the most well-known French specialities worldwide.
What Is the Best Crepe to Batter Ratio?
To create a perfect crepe, all a chef needs to remember is a simple ratio of 2:2:1. This consists of 2 parts milk, 2 parts eggs, and 1 part flour. Each “part” is measured by weight to guarantee the recipe is precise. From this ratio, cooks can build on to this basic equation with ingredients like sugar, vanilla extract, or cocoa powder to create chocolate crepes.
Do You Need a Crepe Pan to Make Crepes at Home?
Although crepe pans will help any chef or home cook achieve perfect homemade crepes, this piece of kitchen equipment isn’t completely necessary to the crepe making process. A solid non-stick skillet with a heavy bottom can also be used to create these light pancakes.
Can You Make Crepes in Advance?
Crepes can easily be made ahead of time for a convenient snack, brunch dish, or dinner party dessert. Simply cook the crepes normally, cool completely, and stack the pancakes between layers of wax paper. Place the stack in a large zip-top plastic bag in the refrigerator and eat or freeze within five days. To reheat, simply reheat both sides in a skillet over low heat or cook in the microwave for 10-20 seconds until warm.
4 Tips for Making Perfect Crepes
Although the recipe for crepes is simple, perfectly executing these delicate treats takes skill and precision. Some tips to keep in mind to create delicious crepes are:
- Refrigerate the batter: Allow the crepe batter to cool for at least 1 hour in order to fully develop the gluten.
- Slowly heat the pan: Cranking up the heat at the start of the cooking process will result in uneven cooking and potential burning. Instead, allow the pan to heat slowly and evenly.
- Use a sturdy pan: A stainless-steel frying pan with a thick, heavy bottom will create the best crepes, as this kind of pan will disperse the heat evenly.
- Know when to flip: While your crepe may look solid part way through the cooking process, it’s important to wait for the perfect moment to flip. Keep an eye out for slightly browned edges and no more sheen on the surface before turning the pancake.
3 Ways to Fold a Crepe
While crepes can be folded in a number of ways, there are three methods that are most commonly used by crepe makers:
- Triangle: Begin by folding the crepe in half before folding one third of the crepe inwards towards the middle, aligning it to the top of the crepe. Then, fold the other edge towards the center, layering it on top of the first fold to create a triangle shape.
- Square: Fold each side of the crepe about half-way towards the middle until a square has formed in the center. This method is perfect for savory crepes served with an egg.
- Rolled: Fold both sides of the crepe towards the center until they meet in the middle but don’t overlap. Gently roll the one side of the crepe towards the other end until it’s rolled into a tight cylinder, and serve on a plate with toppings.
12 Sweet Crepe Filling Ideas
- Granulated sugar and butter
- Nutella and banana
- Strawberry and whipped cream
- Strawberry and chocolate
- Lemon curd and whipped cream
- Ice cream and toasted nuts
- Peanut butter, banana, and maple syrup
- Banana, strawberry, and chocolate sauce
- Mixed berry preserves
- Cinnamon, sugar, and butter
- Powdered sugar and lemon juice
- Greek yogurt and honey
Simple French Crepe Recipe
Prep Time40 min
Total Time45 min
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon butter or vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon white sugar (optional)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (optional)
- Whisk together all ingredients in a bowl until a smooth batter forms, but try not to overmix the batter. Cover and place the batter in the fridge to rest for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.
- Heat a crepe pan, or a heavy-bottomed skillet, over medium heat and coat the pan in a small amount of melted butter or vegetable oil, working the fat across the entire surface.
- Pour ¼ cup of batter into the pan and move the pan in a circular motion in the air to spread the batter to the sides.
- Cook until the sides have begun to brown, and flip to finish cooking. Repeat with remaining batter.
- Stack cooked crepes on a warm plate, putting a layer of wax paper between each crepe.
Serve warm with the toppings of your choice.
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