If you’re interested in becoming a master of classic French cooking techniques, learning to make good crepes is essential. Crepes are extremely thin pancakes made from batter usually based with wheat flour, often filled with savory or sweet filling. Crepes were originally developed in Brittany, but have become a national dish in France that has become popular worldwide. In the food’s region of origin, crepes are usually served with cider.
Sweet crepes are often stuffed with fruit, chocolate, jams or syrups, sometimes topped with whipped cream. Some flavors of sweet crepes include banana Nutella, cinnamon apple and strawberry.
Savory crepes, or meal crepes, usually are larger in size and contain fillings such as cheese, ham, eggs, mushrooms and spinach. Due to the wide range of filling options, crepes can either be served as a meal or dessert. Though crepes are rather delicate, they are relatively easy to prepare, making them a fantastic dish for avid chefs to cook quickly. Little preparation is needed depending on the filling, and the batter is easy to whip up in a snap. Furthermore, since the crepes themselves are so thin, you can have one ready in under a minute.
Here is a basic recipe, courtesy of Alton Brown, for cooking crepes that can be loaded up with the filling of your choice:
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup flour
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- Butter for coating the pan
- Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and pulse for 10 seconds. Place the batter in the refrigerator for one hour, allowing it to thicken up. This will prevent the batter from tearing apart as easily while cooking. The batter will stay good in the fridge for up to two days.
- Add butter to a small nonstick pan. Heat the pan until butter coats the bottom and then add 1 ounce batter, making sure to spread it evenly. Cook for 30 seconds, then flip the crepe, cooking on the other side for an additional 10 seconds. Remove and lay flat to cool. Repeat the process until all the batter is used up. Once cooled, the crepes can be stored in resealable bags and refrigerated for several days or frozen for up to two months.
- When using frozen crepes, allow to thaw before separating them. Be careful when tearing them apart so as to not rip the crepes.