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Crazy for Crepes
You’re not going to be intimidated by a delicate little French pancake now, are you? In-the-know tips that apply to both sweet and savory versions make it simple to say oui to crepes.
The French word for pancake is crepe, and differences do go beyond the name. Not only is this French cuisine staple a lighter, thinner version of an American pancake, it comes in two distinct versions: sweet breakfast or dessert crepes, à la Strawberry-Banana Crepes, Cardamom Cream Crepes and those famous flaming orange-flavored French Crepes Suzette; and savory crepes, eaten as a main meal, as in dishes including Seafood Crepes and Cheesy Vegetable Crepes. Don’t let their delicate nature fool you. Making your own crepes isn’t as difficult as it looks, especially with a few helpful tips.
For these paper-thin pretties, you need batter that’s as smooth as silk. Get rid of any lingering lumps by passing your batter through a mesh strainer.
Select Your Skillet
A heavy-bottomed pan, which will heat nice and evenly, works best. A crepe pan isn’t a requirement, but it definitely does the trick right. Find both budget-minded crepe pans and high end crepe pans at the Betty Crocker Store.
Thin Is In
Pour just under a quarter-cup batter into your well-heated pan and quickly rotate the pan until batter coats it. If it’s too thin and a hole forms, cover the hole with a dollop of batter ASAP.
The first side should be done in a little over a minute. You’ll know it’s ready when the edges start to brown and the surface turns dull. Loosen the edges with a metal spatula, if necessary, before flipping. The second side will cook faster, so be ready with that spatula! Don’t stress over a few initial duds. Like pancakes, it can take a few tries to perfect your skillet style. Though not beautiful, “mistakes” are usually still delicious. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy.
Put wax paper between fresh-off-the-stove crepes, and keep them covered so they don’t dry out.
Your wax paper-separated crepes stack can be refrigerated up to 48 hours. For longer storage, wrap stacks tightly and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw packaged crepes at room temperature for about 2 hours or in the refrigerator 8 to 12 hours before filling. The shorter the stacks, the faster they thaw, so consider cutting one big stack in half.
Serve with Style
There will be one clear best, or “presentation” side of your crepe. Fill the other side, so your presentation side shows for service. Garnish sweet and dessert crepes with a fine coating of powdered sugar or a few choice sections of fruit, placed just so. Give savory crepes a shot of color with sprigs of green herb.