Sunday, April 6, 2014

Basic Crêpes

Sunday Brunch!

Happy Sunday, friends!

After falling victim to an eight-hour Bravo binge yesterday, it sure feels good to be a little more productive today. And by productive.. I mean that I am no longer wearing a robe and I made something for breakfast. In other words, I did something (arguably) worth sharing!

My first taste of crêpes (aka creepies) obviously materialized at the International House of Pancakes. I haven't been to an IHOP since I lived in College Station, but that doesn't mean I haven't had ample opportunity to eat those thin and delicious skinny pancakes! The first recipe I found was in a cookbook that Greg gave me for Christmas several years ago -- and it's the only recipe I've ever needed! Just like regular pancake batter, the ingredient list for creepies is refreshingly short and relatively cheap. Crêpe batter is characteristically very thin and it easily spreads across the pan. My favorite part about the finished product is that they are oh-so-open to a variety of flavors (both sweet and savory), but in real life according to Lindsey the best fillings are fresh fruit and cream cheese.

I really like to plan ahead for cooking (especially over the weekend), but I almost always forget one or two things at the store. This weekend, those things were broccoli (for dinner tonight) and fresh berries for breakfast.... Nevermind that, though, because I have J and he brought half a brick of cream cheese to use up. (He will also probably end up going out to get broccoli very shortly..). What a guy.

Rather than making fresh fruit compote, I mixed 4 oz cream cheese, 3 Tbs blackberry jam (my last jar from Diane at Hickory Hill Farm!), and just a pinch of ground cinnamon and cardamom. Smear a little of that on one side, fold or roll (we don't judge here), and dig in. Perfect.

Basic Crêpes
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 20 min
Servings: 4

1 cup all-purpose flour
1.5 cup milk
2 eggs
2 Tbs butter, melted
¼ tsp salt

1. Pulse all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth with little or no lumps.
2. For each crêpe, pour ¼ cup batter into a hot, non-stick skillet (10”) over medium heat. Quickly swirl the batter around the skillet until it covers the surface.
3. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the top of the crêpe begins to look dry and the edges pull away from the pan.  Using a spatula or your fingers, flip the crêpe and cook for 1-2 minutes more.

Makes about 9 crêpes
Calories 78; Total Fat 3.1 g; Cholesterol 6.9 mg; Protein 1.6 g, Fiber 0.5 g
*as prepared with unsweetened almond milk and real butter

I doubled the recipe and used two skillets to cut down on cook time. Keep a little extra melted butter on hand just in case your crêpes begin sticking to the pan (but I don't usually need it). I will also drip a little extra batter in the pan if my swirl technique leaves any holes in the crêpe. The edges should cook up lacy and crisp while the middle is flexible and tender.

Reading through several different recipes, you'll notice that most call for variable amounts chillin', restin', and relaxation for the batter. Both raw batter and cooked crêpes should last a few days in the fridge. In fact, some gurus even claim that the batter improves if you make it a day ahead of time. This time is recommended so that the gluten has a chance to relax and the flour particles become fully hydrated prior to cooking in order to make a more delicate crêpe. This relaxation time is much more important if you plan to substitute wheat or other types of flour. I consider this step optional, however, with white flour and have personally never allowed the batter to relax beyond 20-30 minutes. 

I hope you enjoy! If you have made these, let me know what your favorite fillings are. :) 

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  1. Who's this Greg guy he must be awesome to give you such a useful gift.

    1. Well, thanks to Chef Google, I really only own two hardback cookbooks. However, I have a mind to add a few more. Thanks for that, BTW. :)

  2. Yum! I love crepes! I agree that sweetened cream cheese and fruit is one of the best fillings. I also love Nutella with bananas or strawberries and bananas foster with ice cream. Dang, I'm going to have to try and make some crepes next week sometime when little man is napping!

    1. Oooh. Yes. Bananas and Nutella. Great choices! I just ate the last of my Nutella, too.... But since I doubled the recipe, my plan is to use some of the leftover crepes for savory lunch roll-ups this week.


“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”
― Anaïs Nin