As easy to make as its heavier and thicker counterpart, crepes are the feather-light French cousin of the pancake. It is basically a type of very thin pancake typically made using wheat flour. Crepes are widely consumed in Belgium, France, Quebec, North Africa, many parts of Europe as well as the Southern Cone of South America. One can serve crepe with a variety of fillings, ranging from the most basic that uses only sugar to the elaborate galettes and flambeed crepes Suzette.
No special gourmet crepe pan is even needed. You can just cook the crepe in a small nonstick pan. The preparation time, or the time required to put all the ingredients together, will only take about 10 minutes, while the cooking time will only take about 20 minutes to prepare one whole batch.
Aside from the non stick pan, you will also need some eggs, some milk and flour, sugar, some butter or oil for cooking, and a large mixing bowl to put together the batter ingredients and mix them in.
Make the batter.
Whisk the eggs in a large mixing bowl. When the whites and yolks are just about combined, add the salt and continue whisking it to ensure it gets sufficiently mixed with the eggs. Add some flour to the egg-and-salt mixture, whisking it till only a few small lumps are left. Add some milk till the ingredients are combined, alternating the flour and milk till they are used up. The alternate incorporation of the milk and flour ensures that the two ingredients are combined evenly with the eggs while preventing the batter from going lumpy. A good ingredient would be low fat milk,
You can add butter and sugar at this point. While other people choose not to put sugar, the butter can be added and beaten into the batter until you get a consistency that is smooth, light yellow and free from lumps. The resulting consistency should resemble that of thin, whole milk. If it appears as thick as pancake batter, thin the batter up with some milk till you get the desired result.
Cook the crepes.
Heat the cooking pan over medium high heat. You can use a regular skillet or a non stick skillet, if you don’t have a crepe pan. To accommodate the perfect size crepe, use an 8-inch pan.
When the pan or skillet is hot enough, lightly apply some cooking spray to the cooking surface. Put around ¼ cup of batter into the cookware, then tilt the pan around to ensure even coating of the surface and to ensure that the crepe is of the right thinness. Place the pan back on the stovetop and let the crepe cook till you see that the top is just a little moist. Lift the side of the crepe gently with a spatula. The crepe should be easy to lift from the cooking surface and develop a delicate lace pattern on the other side.
Give the crepe a bit more time to cook if it still looks wet around the middle. The crepe should be ready to flip within 45 seconds or so. Overcooking will result in a nasty rubbery texture.
When flipping the crepe, the spatula should support the center and hold most of the crepe weight. Carefully flip to the other side, taking care to straighten out any wrinkles and folds that form. You can cook the other side for only about 20 seconds to half a minute. Make sure that when cooking each side, the bottom of the crepe should be in contact with the griddle or pan surface.
Bear in mind that learning when and how to correctly flip a crepe will take practice. Be patient. Anyway, one great thing about cooking crepe is you can always eat what you botch up.
When you get enough practice, you might even flip a crepe without the need for a spatula.
Once cooked on both sides, the crepe can be made to slide out of the pan onto a plate. A stack of crepes can be kept warm in the oven at 195℉.
Crepes are best served hot.
You can experiment with a variety of fillings, such as classic butter and sugar (brown, powdered or granulated) made zesty with some lemon juice. You can also use dark chocolate pieces or chocolate chips. You can also fill the crepe with sugar-sprinkled fruits such as apples, strawberries, plums and peaches. To make a savory filling, you can melt some cheese over the hot crepe then top it off with some diced ham, spinach, asparagus or other veggies. Try some bananas and peanut butter, pulled pork, cherry or apple pie filling or sweetened cream cheese with strawberries.
When positioning the filling on the crepe, use your fingers. Roll the crepe around the filling with the seam side on the surface of the plate to ensure the filled crepe doesn’t open.