pantry staple: basic crêpe recipe

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I always try to have something a little more special for Sunday breakfasts. Since I recently purchased a crêpe pan, I decided to have a little fun with it. Crêpes are the French equivalent of pancakes. I can’t decide which one I prefer. But I am fond of savoury crêpes and sweet pancakes.

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Compared to pancakes, crêpes are slightly trickier to make. The difficulty is in the cooking process, when you have to spread it in a thin layer, know when to flip over and control the temperature. The crêpe pan is not a must, but it is definitely useful in helping to spread the batter into a paper-thin layer and to cook it evenly. I’ve made crêpes in regular frying pans before so don’t worry about not owning a crêpe pan!

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For these crêpes, I adapted Julia Child’s Master Crêpe Recipe to create a lighter, dairy-free version.

Ingredients

(makes about 10-12 crepes – I usually half the recipe to serve 2 people)

1 cup all purpose flour (or ½ cup wholewheat flour and ½ all purpose flour)
2/3 cup soy milk
3 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoon olive oil, plus additional for brushing surface of pan.

Steps
In a bowl, mix all ingredients until smooth.

Allow to rest, covered and in the refrigerator for half an hour, or up to 24 hours.

Before adding the batter, ensure the pan is hot enough by flicking a little water inside the pan. If the water sizzles and evaporates quickly, brush the pan lightly with oil. Remove pan from the flame and pour about ¼ cup of batter into the middle of the pan.

Quickly tilt the pan down an around in a circle so that the batter evenly coats the entire bottom of the pan. Pour in 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter on to the the middle of the pan, quickly tilting in all directions to coat and cover the pan surface evenly. Return pan to flame and cook for about 45 – 60 seconds, or until edges of crêpe are golden brown. When ready to flip, the crêpes should not be sticking to the pan. Use the spatula to lift the crêpe up and hold the edges of the crêpe with your fingertips to gently ease it onto the other side.

Cook on the other side for about 15 to 30 seconds more, just until it’s barely spotted brown. Slide the cooked crêpe onto a cooling rack and let cool before stacking them on a plate.

Grease the pan again if needed and proceed with remaining batter.

Use immediately or place in an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator for a few days. It can also be frozen for up to a month. Thaw in refrigerator before using.

For breakfast crêpe parcels, place ham slices in the middle of a cooked crêpe and carefully crack egg on top of the ham. Fold edges of crêpe toward middle, using the egg white as a ‘glue’. Season with salt and pepper and cook until egg white is set, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve immediately.

Alternatively, use an oven. Preheat oven to 175 degrees celsius Place the breakfast crêpe parcels on a rimmed baking sheet lined with baking paper. Bake until egg white is set, about 10-12 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve at once.

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Variations I have made:

  • Top with Greek yogurt and fresh strawberries
  • Breakfast crêpe parcels

Can’t wait to experiment with more. A mille-crêpe cake next, perhaps?

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