25/04/2010

How to make the perfect crepe





Yesterday I posted a picture of Max eating a chocolate crepe on fb (with a candle, don't ask), and got a flurry of comments from people demanding a make them one. Cleary, they didn't know how. Or felt they couldn't. Yet, there's nothing quite as easy as making a crepe. So I say it's time to burst the myth that crepes are hard to make!

First thing you need, is a special pan. Not that special, but teflon, and if possible, with low edges (although that doesn't really matter). The important thing is that you don't use it for anything else, otherwise, it will get scratched and your pancakes will suck.

Then there's the ingredients: 500g flour, 250g sugar, 50g melted butter, 3 eggs, 1.25l milk. That will make you shitloads of pancakes and last for days. If you want to make less, I suggest you use 1 whole egg and one egg yolk and divide everything else by two.
You might need to use more milk. It will depend on how the batter is behaving on that day. More on that later.

So you mix everything up. Dry ingredients, then add the eggs, the melted butter, the milk, little by little, mixing all the while. If you're the kind of person who always ends up with lumps, here's what you can do to avoid getting them. First, use a flat wooden thing to stir, not a spoon shaped things. Warm up the milk a little before you start pouring it it will make things easier. (Just bang it in the microwave it the measuring jug, no need to dirty a pan!). If you still get lumps, try to flatten them against the side of the bowl using a ladle. And if there'still there when you've got more than half the milk in then whisk the mixture a bit, by hand. Mostly, try not to worry about them. Lumps feed on fear.



It's a good idea to let the batter 'rest' for a bit before you cook it. It's had a tiring time fighting all those lumps. And there's some kind of chemical process going on which means you'll get better pancakes if you wait. You can even make the batter the night before if you're that kind of person. Maybe you could make some coffee while you're waiting. Or have a bath.

When you come back to the batter, eye it up to see if it might need a bit more milk. It probably will. It needs to be 'thin', and runny, not heavy. So just bang in a bit more milk, and put your pan on the stove top.

The pan needs to be hot. So leave it there a while before you do anything else. Then add butter. Just a knob. Make sure it covers the whole area when it melts. I sometimes use a bit of kitchen paper to spread it. It shouldn't go brown - if it does, your pan is too hot.

Then get your ladle, a normal metal soup ladle, and fill it up not quite to the brim, less if, like me, you've got a smallish pan. As you tilt your pan to make the batter go round, it should be that you've got just enough batter to cover the bottom of the pan. It should be a stretch. If it's not, then you put too much batter and it won't be as good.



Then you wait. If you're the kind of person who gets nervous about trying out new recipes you'v probably let your coffee go cold. Go warm it up. Don't stray too far, though.

About a couple of minutes in, the first side should be cooked. What you do is you take a flat wooden spoon (a clean one!) and you lift the pancake a bit. If it lifts easy, then it's ready. If it feels heavy and it's still very yellow underneath, then just leave it.

So you can flip it. (yeah, right). Or, like me, you can turn it using a couple of these flat wooden things (they have a name, don't they?). Just lift the crepe a bit with the smaller one, insert the bigger one as far as you can, then lift and turn. If it's cooked enough it will work, no sweat.



Then, unless you're some kind of puritan who prefers things not to taste too good, add a knob of butter on the cooked side. Yes, it's important. Leave a minute of so, then you can put your toping of choice. Max had nutella, and I had sugar. I believe if you're British, you will insist on putting lemon as well. Go ahead. Knock yourself out

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4 comments:

Gokcenur Hazinedar said...

Best crepe recipe ever! It is easy to make crepes but not perfect crepes. Thanks for the hints. I will try it asap :)

Sandrine said...

That's great Gokce! You'll have to let me know how it works out. Also, I believe you're entitled to put a candle on yours. Happy birthday!

1 husband, 2 kids (and lots of books) said...

You have a gift for recipe writing.. in making it feel so much more entertaining than mere instructions

Sandrine said...

Well thank you! Maybe I should branch out. Hmm, wondering if a recipe on how to cook rice and not burn it more than 25% of the time might be of interest to anyone...

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