kitchen craft: crepes

The last time I talked about crepes, they came with a jazz playlist. Today, they come with a how-to video shot with a Flip camera. There is a time and place for low-tech noise and distortion and this is it. I particularly like the way this camera shows the pedestrian side of crepes.


Crepes, after all are thin pancakes, dressed up or down according to taste. When I made my first one, it was quite by accident. I must have been 9 or 10 years old. No doubt it was a Saturday morning when I mixed together flour, sugar, milk, eggs, and butter in a metal bowl.


I rarely measured ingredients back then and probably put way too much flour in the mix. I thinned the batter with milk and poured it into a hot shallow skillet with low sloping sides and made a crepe-like pancake to rival the moon, large and crater-pocked.


A thick pat of butter melted onto the crepe. I sprinkled a few pinches of powdered sugar on top. Then I played Centipede on our Atari before everyone else woke up.


Those were formative cooking years and while my technique has changed, my love for pancakes, thin or thick hasn’t.


Now for the video.


Makes about one dozen crepes

2 flax eggs (whisk 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds with 6 tablespoons boiling water in small bowl) or 2 large eggs
1 cup white spelt flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup or natural cane sugar
3 tablespoons olive oil or unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups plain soy milk or dairy milk
3/4 cup water

Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides if necessary, then blending again. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, although it’s better if it rests 2 hours or overnight. The batter should be thin enough to coat the pan quickly and evenly. If it’s too thick, stir in a little water or milk until it reaches the right consistency.

Heat a crepe pan (a 7 to 10-inch skillet with sloping sides) over medium-high heat. Use a pastry brush to coat it with a little oil or butter as soon as the oil sizzles in the pan, it’s ready. Turn the heat down to medium, pour in 1/4 cup of batter and slowly swirl it around until the batter coats the bottom of the pan. Cook until golden on the bottom, about 1 minute. Slide a spatula or a knife under an edge to loosen the crepe, grab it with your fingers or with a spatula and flip it over. The second side needs to cook just until it’s set, about 30 seconds.

Put the finished crepe on a dinner plate, then continue making the rest until the batter is gone (no need to add more oil to the pan as long as it stays hot). Stack the finished crepes on top of each other until you’re ready to serve them. They’ll stay warm without sticking together.

To fill, place a small amount of a savory or sweet filling, such as skillet asparagus or maple strawberries with sweet almond and coconut creams, at one end of the crepe and fold over sides and end to make a small crepe pillow.

To store leftover crepes, tightly cover the stack of crepes with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to several days. To reheat filled crepes, saute them in a bit of oil or butter in a crepe pan or cover them in foil or parchment paper in a 325F oven until warm.


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