Crêpes are pancakes made in the French style, large and very thin.
They are served with toppings, or rolled up with fillings inside. They can be a sweet or a savoury dish, and are meant to be a dish in themselves.
Assume white wheat flour was used in making them, unless otherwise specified.
The batter is best prepared a few hours in advance and allowed to rest. It needs to have the consistency of a heavy pouring cream.
If you mix the batter in a food processor or using some such electrical tool, and have a lot of bubbles in it, you will need to let the batter stand for the bubbles to escape. Julia Child recommended making crepe batter in a blender.
You can buy special crêpe pans and crêpe makers to cook them in. Avoid using a pan with steep vertical sides; it is hard to work your flipper in it. See separate entry on Crêpe Pans.
If you need to make a lot of crêpes to serve a crowd, it is best to have two pans on the go at once. Start one in one pan, then in the other. By the time you flip the first one, the second will be just about ready to be flipped.
Put batter in centre of pan, lift pan and swirl it about so that batter will cover bottom of pan.
Crêpes really don’t need to be flipped and cooked on both sides, especially if you will be serving it rolled up with something inside. Crêpe recipes don’t use baking powder, as do standard North American pancakes, so you can’t look for the “bubble signs” while cooking as a visual indicator of doneness. The top side is done when the batter is dull, and set.
Remove from pan, let cool a bit, then it can be added to the growing stack of crêpes. To ensure they don’t stick together, put a piece of waxed or parchment paper in between each.
- If the edges of the crêpes are so crispy that they are cracking, try either lowering the heat a bit or adding a tablespoon or two of flour to the batter.
- If the batter curdles when you pour it into the pan, you may have too much cooking fat in the pan.
- If the batter will not spread easily in the pan, add a tablespoon or two of liquid to the batter.
Crêpes can be made ahead. Store them in the refrigerator for a few days, or freeze them. Wrap well even if just storing in fridge to ensure they don’t dry out in the fridge.
Crêpe comes from the Latin word “crispus”, meaning curled or wrinkled. Fans of crispier (rather than softer) crêpes use this linguistic knowledge to their advantage.
Liebowitz, David. Pimping My Crêpes. Living the Sweet Life in Paris. February 2009. Retrieved August 2010 from http://www.davidlebovitz.com/archives/2009/02/pimping_my_crepes.html