Crêpes are thin, tender pancakes which can be wrapped around a variety of fillings. Crêpes can be served as an appetizer, entrée or dessert.
Crêpe making is not a difficult skill to master. With a little practice, you will find it takes no time at all to prepare a batch of crêpes.
There are a couple of keys to crêpe making success.
- The pan should be heated to the correct temperature, just hot enough to sizzle a drop of water.
- The batter should be the consistency of heavy cream.
Making All Purpose Crêpe Batter
(Makes about 20 8-inch (20 cm) crêpes)
|1/2 tsp||salt||1 mL|
|2 cups||all-purpose flour||500 mL|
|2 cups||milk||500 mL|
|1/4 cup||melted butter||50 mL|
Mixer or whisk method: Combine eggs and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Gradually add flour alternately with milk, beating with an electric mixer or whisking until smooth. Beat in melted butter.
Blender method: Combine all ingredients in a blender; blend for about 1 minute. Scrape down sides with rubber spatula and blend for another 15 seconds or until smooth.
Refrigerate the batter for at least one hour to allow the flour to expand and the air bubbles to collapse. During the standing time, the batter may thicken but it can be thinned with the addition of a little milk or water.
Heat an 8-inch (20 cm) non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until water droplets sizzle when sprinkled in pan. Spray pan lightly with cooking spray. Stir batter. Pour about 3 tbsp (45 mL) batter into pan all at once. Quickly tilt and rotate pan to coat bottom with batter. Cook until bottom is slightly browned, about 45 seconds. Turn over with spatula. Cook 15 seconds longer. Transfer to plate. Repeat with remaining batter. Add more cooking spray to skillet if crêpes stick.
Handling Cooked Crêpes
For immediate use: Stack crêpes as they are cooked and keep covered. Store at room temperature.
To refrigerate: Wrap stacked crêpes well in foil or plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for no more than two or three days. Let the crêpes stand at room temperature for about an hour before filling or serving.
To freeze: Separate crêpe layers with waxed paper. Place crêpes in a tightly sealed container. Crêpes will freeze well for up to four months. They should be handled with care as frozen crêpes are fragile and will break easily.
Filled crêpes may be frozen but use discretion in selecting fillings. Choose foods that normally freeze well and remember that crêpes absorb liquid easily and become soggy.
To thaw: Allow crêpes to thaw completely before unwrapping and separating to prevent tearing.
Crêpes may be filled with almost anything. Fruits, vegetables, cooked meat, poultry or fish, leftovers, ice cream, pudding and whipped cream are excellent fillings for this versatile dish. Crêpes are usually finished off with a topping such as a sauce.
Here are a few suggestions for crêpe fillings, sauces and toppings:
- Cooked seafood and fresh dill; Hollandaise sauce
- Sauteed mushrooms and fresh thyme; grated Gruyere cheese
- Blanched asparagus rolled in sliced ham; curry or cheese sauce
- Chopped cooked chicken and fresh tarragon; cream sauce
- Pesto and ricotta cheese; Parmesan cheese and pine nuts
- Cooked oriental vegetables and chopped ginger; plum sauce
Fold-over: Spread filling along the centre of the crêpe. Fold one side over, covering most of the filling. Fold over opposite side, overlapping first fold.
Roll-up: Spread filling over whole surface of crêpe. Starting at one side, roll up like a jelly roll.
Pocket fold: Spoon filling on centre of crêpe and fold bottom of crêpe over almost half of filling. Fold right side over the filling, then fold left side over to overlap the right side. Fold top of crêpe down over both sides.
Crêpe Suzette fold: Spoon filling on centre of crêpe. Fold in half. Fold in half again, forming a triangle four layers thick.
Cups: Carefully place crêpe in a greased muffin tin, arranging ruffled tops. Fill as desired with a filling that can be baked. Bake in a preheated 350°F (180°C) oven until filling is heated through (10 to 15 minutes).
Source: Egg Farmers of Ontario, www.eggsite.com