Crêpe Making 101

Cooking life in France wouldn't be French without the occasional crêpe. Here are a few of my favorite recipes for both sweet and savory variations. Watch the below video on mastering (sort-of) the pan flip.

Jean-Luc’s Crêpes

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes (plus 45 minutes resting time)
Serves 10 to 12. Makes 10–12 crêpes.
Great for: a family meal, dessert, or a snack

Wine suggestion: For savory crêpes**: A Bordeaux
For sweet crêpes**: A Champagne (yes?)

2 cups flour
3 1/2 cups milk*
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
4 tablespoons butter, melted
Vegetable oil

Combine the flour, milk, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs until foamy. Little by little, fold the eggs into the flour mixture. Add the butter, and mix well. The batter shouldn’t be thick, but fluid. Place the bowl in the refrigerator, letting the mixture set for 45 minutes. When ready, coat the bottom of 12-inch nonstick pan lightly with vegetable oil, and heating the pan on a medium-high burner. Once the pan is hot, ladle the batter into the pan. Quickly swirl the pan so the batter spreads evenly. Once the edges are slightly browned, flip the crêpe…with a spatula – unless you’ve mastered the pan flip. Cook for about 1 minute more. Place the crêpe on a plate, cover with a kitchen towel, and continue stacking the crêpes under the towel until all the batter is gone.

Sweet Crêpe Filling Ideas:

Fresh fruit, like sliced strawberries or peaches and whipped cream; jellies and jams; Nutella; sprinkled with sugar and the juice of 1/4 of a lemon; bananas and Nutella; a chocolate ganache with fruit; caramelized apples; braised apples and cinnamon, a dash of rum…the list goes on and on and on. Get creative! Whatever you do, it will be delicious!

* Jean-Luc’s recipe is more fluid than others. “Crêpes should never be thick like a pancake,” he says. Hence, more milk.

**Sweet Variation for the batter: Add 2 tablespoons sugar or a dash of vanilla extract, or 1 teaspoon orange blossom water (fleur d’oranger), or a splash of rum to the egg mixture.

**Savory Variation for the batter: Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 cup finely minced fresh herbs (like tarragon, chives, or basil) to the egg mixture, or a few dashes of herbes de Provence to the egg mixture.

My Mom’s Chicken and Mushrooms in a Cream Sauce

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Serves 4
Great for: a family meal or a casual dinner party

8 premade crêpes
1 1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, Portobello, porcini, cèpes, or white, scrubbed and sliced
3 precooked chicken breasts, sliced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups crème fraîche or sour cream
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup fresh tarragon, plus extra for garnish
1/4 cup chopped chives, for garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add sliced mushrooms, sprinkle with salt, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Add the precooked chicken. (I grill mine in a pan with a little salt, pepper, and paprika.) Sprinkle the nutmeg. Once warm, add the crème fraîche, wine, and tarragon. Season with salt and pepper. Fill each crêpe, folding like a burrito. Garnish with chives and more tarragon. Serve with a salad of frisée, baby, or mixed greens with balsamic vinaigrette.

Maxence’s Ham and Cheese Crêpes

Prep time: 1 minute
Cook time: 3 minutes a crêpe
Serves 4
Great for: lunch or ‘un goûter’ (a snack)

8 premade crêpes
4 slices deli ham, cut into 1/2-inch wide strips
2 cups Gruyère (or similar) cheese, grated
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place a crêpe in a pan over medium heat. Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese in the center of the crêpe. Once the cheese begins to melt, add the ham. When all the cheese is melted, fold the crêpe like a burrito with a spatula. Repeat.

Bon app! And bisous!



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