Crêpes!

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As most of you know, I live with a professional chef.

In terms of cooking, it’s a bit like painting around Michelangelo. Yes, I could, but why? My attempts are laughable, in comparison. Still, there are one or two things I manage at, and this fool-proof (you see what I did there?) crepe recipe is one.

I thought I’d share it, because crepes are one of those foods that are impressive and awesome when you pull them off, and this recipe all but guarantees that you can. I have tried a lot of recipes. Some are finicky, some are relentlessly lumpy, some wind up rubbery and some I just can’t get consistent results on. This one is the weirdest.  And the best. So if you’ve never done it before, come along with me on this little adventure.

(Warnings for language because this is me in the kitchen, after all.)

1 cup flour

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk (I use whole)

1/2 cup water (room temp, not sure it matters)

Some melted butter (couple of tablespoons, volume doesn’t matter much)

pinch of salt if your butter is unsalted (I find the batter more than salty enough if I used salted butter).

Some more milk (bear with me, padawan)

Put the flour (unsifted) in a mixing bowl. Crack two eggs in.

Get a stiff wire whisk and beat the SHIT out of that.

“KATE!” you cry, “NOW I HAVE A HUGE GLOP OF EGGY FLOUR ON MY WHISK WHAT THE FUCK”

I know. Calm, calm. For some reason, this is the secret part. Somehow this is the Strange Glop of Crepe Success. Do not panic. Try to make sure that the egg is evenly distributed through the glop and breathe in a bag if you have to.

Now, slowly add the milk.  I add a few tablespoons at a time then beat. It is arm-numbingly difficult at first, but you will see what happens to the batter as you add more, and more.  It will smooth out, and thin, and by the time you get to the water (which you add the same way),  you will start realizing you’ve got a batter that is yellow, and smooth and lump free. I KNOW, RIGHT? Magic.

When you’ve got a nice smooth batter, go ahead and add in the melted butter and salt if you need it.

Then go ahead and let that sit for a bit and go heat up your pan.

I really recommend nonstick, and after using Becca’s cast iron, I’m a fan of that over any other pan.  It holds the heat really well, it’s predictable and maybe how porous it is absorbs the butter?  I don’t know. More magic. She’s reading this and shaking her head right now.

Anyway, here’s our high tech stove.

ImageIf Becca is Michelangelo, we have just handed her a crayon. Maybe a stick, to draw in the mud outside the Sistine Chapel with. Yes, I know.

I go back and forth between 3 and LO. I know what LO stands for.

“LO, THIS IS A SHITTY STOVE.”

I start on 3, generally, and put some butter in there and swoosh it around. Then I use a paper towel and get most of it back out again. You don’t need much, and the cast iron seems to soak it in and that surface is perfect. You may need to experiment, with your pan.

It’s going to take longer to warm up properly than you think. This will make your first crepe an automatic kid-dog-cat crepe, because inevitably you will be impatient and say “screw Kate, I’m going for it” and do it too early anyway.

But before you do that! Wait!

Thin out your batter a whole bunch.  A lot. I add more milk until the batter is pretty much runny. You will think “that is too thin! Ack!” and I’m telling you it isn’t. A thin crepe is really good. A thick crepe is rubbery and weird-tasting.  Trust me.

Whisk hard, then spoon some of your batter into the pan, pouring out of a measuring cup or something with one hand tilting the pan around with the other. This is best done with an audience who can truly appreciate the swearing and cursing and general comedic effect. For those of you on Fitocracy, if you do this part with a large cast iron skillet, this counts as “other.” Log it. Your general plan here is to get a small amount of crepe batter over the entire bottom of the pan. See why I made you make it so runny, now?  Swirl.  The last of it should go around the edges.  Keep swirling until the last is used up. With any luck, it might look a bit like this:

ImageNow, you let it cook. Watch the middle for wee bubbles.  Watch the edges: they will curl and pull away.

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When this happens, loosen the edges of the crepe with a spatula. I like rubber best.  Then get it  under your crepe, slide it back and forth until the whole thing’s loosened and you can flip it over.

NOW FOR THE GOOD STUFF.

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That’s some microplaned Jarlsberg Swiss (microplaning is what you do if you’re a pro chef, instead of a cheese grater. Or if you’re not the pro chef but can’t find the cheese grater), and random brown mushrooms. Put those on half the crepe and when the other side’s cooked, fold in half. I got that crepe in the picture a little browner than you probably want (oops, better switch to LO, THIS IS THE OTHER SETTING now).

Let it cook just enough to melt the cheese, shouldn’t take long particularly if you used the microplane.

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You can slide it straight out of the pan onto the plate. I mention this because when you start goofing around with lemon juice and sugar in the pan, you notice quickly that using the spatula results in Bendy-Crepe-Craziness which then results in crap all over your nice skillet.

We eat crepes with granulated sugar and lemon juice and a bit of butter, or cheese and shrooms, or Nutella or goat cheese and Greek olives, or Nutella and bananas.

Mmmmmmm.

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Lili likes sugary lemon crepes best.

5 thoughts on “Crêpes!

  1. I totally needed that chuckle today!! You can make crepes for me anytime as long as they come with the running commentary. Wahey!!

  2. OK, the next time I grumble about my shitty stove I’m going to come look at yours again. Holy gawd that’s bad.

    Also, those look incredibly yummy, but why do I think those will more than likely be a catastrophe in my Lodge pans.

  3. These look good. I need a new cast-iron pan since I apparently temp-cycled mine and it formed a hair-line crack that dripped olive oil into my gas burners until I noticed the weird “drip—hiss” sound.

    Also, I read the fillings part too fast and then started trying to imagine what “nutella AND goat cheese and olives” would taste like. I don’t think I’m going to try that anytime soon…

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