One of the best treats in Paris is the crepe. There are stands all over Paris that sell them. They are the equivalent of New York Pretzels. And just like pretzels…some can be good and some can be, well, let’s just say it…downright merde! Crepes can be both savory and sweet. The savory ones are filled with cheese, meat, veggies and are treated like a meal. The sweet ones are more of a treat or dessert. Fillings like butter and sugar, fruit or creme de marron(chestnut puree) are good…but my all time favorite has to be Nutella. Nutella and strawberry, Nutella and banana, Nutella and Nutella….anything with Nutella, really. I will save some tidbits on Paris Creperies for another post.
When I returned from Paris, I missed the crepes. I mean, really missed them. I sought out ways to make my own. I found an issue of Martha Stewart Living that had a recipe for Crepes Suzette, which is basically crepes with oranges and orange sauce. Mmmm, it sounded so good. I was so excited! As with many things I do, in my haste I did not read thru the recipe completely. What I though would be an easy crepe recipe, turned out to be 2 days in the process and 3 recipes for just one dish. First the batter, than the filling, then the sauce! By the time I was done, I was too tired to put the damn things together and no energy left to eat them. Sadly, I threw that recipe away, along with my hopes of having crepes at home.
Then Foodie Froggy came to my rescue. Well, she wasn’t the Foodie Froggy at the time, she
was is my friend Anne. And I told her of my struggle to find an easy crepe recipe…and voila, she emailed me her quick and easy crepe recipe right away! Crisis averted! The moment I tried it, it was amour. Nothing could be more simple. Everything is made in the blender, there is no beer in the batter, no waiting overnight to use it. Martha…eat your heart out! Here is her recipe, which should be used for sweet or dessert crepes:
8oz all purpose flour
2 oz powdered sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
zest of 1 orange
4 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1/4 to 1/3 cup milk
pinch of salt
3-4 tbsp olive oil
3 oz melted butter
In a blender, mix all of the ingredients, except the butter. Mix until smooth. Add the butter, mix again. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Keep in mind this recipe was converted from the metric system, so the amounts are approximate. You may find that you need to add more milk to achieve the desired consistency, which should be thinner than a pancake batter, but not as thin as liquid.
If you want perfect, hassle free crepes, buy an electric crepe maker. If you are like me, and realize that some of the fun is trying to find the perfect balance between the correct amount of batter and the speed and precise flick of the wrist, then use the old fashioned way. For me, it is about the taste of the end result, not how perfect the crepe looks. (Yes, I am aware that this is very un-French of me, as it is all about presentation).
Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Heat a 8-10 in. non-stick pan over med-high heat. Drop a dollop of butter and swirl to coat the pan. Drop about 1/4 cup of the batter into the middle of the pan, pick up the pan and swirl around to create a thin, even, round pancake. You may need to play with the quantity of batter you need to get the perfect amount. Let cook for a few minutes and when brown, flip and brown on the other side. Slide out of the pan onto a plate and place in the warm oven covered with foil. The first one, is normally not so good. So, don’t be discouraged…use it as a guide as to whether you need to raise/lower the heat or correct the amount of batter. Continue making until the batter is used up.
Fill with your favorite fillings and serve. I have seen them served rolled or folded in quarters. I always dust mine with a little powdered sugar. For something extra special, you can make a separate filling like sauteed banana’s and rum or oranges with Grand Marnier. How about a drizzle of chocolate sauce or vanilla anglais. Bon Appetit!
You know what my favorite fillings are, now I want to know about yours! What are your favorite crepes filled with? Have you ever made them at home? Where have you eaten crepes before?