You guys, I made crepes for the first time! Or should I say, hubby and I did. 🙂 I have been wanting to try making crepes ever since I had my first taste as a kid. My mom would whip up a batch on a Saturday morning and add fresh strawberries and homemade whipped cream – so delicious. Fast forward a few years later and I took my first trip to Paris, France where I tasted crepes fresh from a stand on the Left Bank. I was hooked. Now I seek them out everywhere and have found multiple options in Cleveland, Ohio. One is the West Side Market crepe stand, where the line often wraps around the other stalls with eager anticipation. The other is Brewellas in Lakewood, where you can savor delicious sweet or salty options in a beautiful space. Recently, I learned of a French tradition La Chandeleur, a Feb. 2 religious holiday sort of like Groundhog’s Day in the US but centered around crepes! I must celebrate next year. So I needed to know how to make them! Off to the kitchen I went…
1. Start with the technique
But first, a little research. I couldn’t go in blind. I needed to see how the pros do it. And by do it, I focused on technique for the batter and then flipping. My favorite source was this video I found on YouTube with Helen Rennie. I enjoyed Helen’s humor and flipping lessons. She made me feel I could actually do it with some practice. I did buy a crepe pan (I know we will be making these regularly) from World Market so I knew the edges would be short and the base non-stick. I also liked Helen’s technique for buttering the pan with a stick of frozen butter – it worked like a charm!
2. Find a good recipe
As far as the recipe, I wasn’t thrilled by the oil content in that recipe. Plus, I really wanted to keep it simple. Pillsbury has a basic recipe you could use. But I found this VitaMix crepe recipe that I knew I could tweak and make really easy for me (yep, all about finding the simplest path to a solution!).
3. Get to making them!
Combining the knowledge of our technique and the recipe made ahead (I let it rest in the refrigerator for one hour), we dove in head first! Here are our highlights, but full instructions are listed below…
INGREDIENTS (servings: ~8 crepes)
1 cup flour
1 1/2 cups milk
3 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract (use for sweet crepes, omit for savory)
pinch of salt
Put all dry ingredients into blender and then gradually add wet ingredients, pulsing to incorporate. Pulse or blend until no lumps remain. Pour batter through a seive into a bowl (to ensure absolutely no lumps!). Refrigerate 1 hour or overnight.
Heat a non stick skillet over medium high heat. Coat with thin layer of butter. Whisk batter a few times. Add 1/4-1/2 cup batter to the pan and quickly swirl to spread and coat. Cook the first side for 1 minute or until there are light golden brown patches. Shake and flip the crepe and cook the other side for 30 seconds. Slide out of the skillet onto a tray. Repeat with remaining crepes, overlapping them into the board.
Add toppings (savory or sweet) and fold to eat!
Of course I chose classic (and my favorite!) strawberry and nutella for our first attempt, sprinkled with a little powdered sugar. But some other ideas I have for savory crepes are ham and gruyere or spinach and mushroom. The possibilities are truly up to your imagination!
- Crepes are not like pancakes and because of their thinness, any lumps in the batter will be noticeable and hinder results.
- Cover the pan all the way with batter so it’s not too thin or thick. This will take a few tries and adjustments on the amount of batter you use.
- When flipping, shake the pan to ensure it’s not sticking before attempting the flip. Helen’s video is great for seeing the right flipping technique.
- Crepes cool quickly, so if you want to eat them hot, fill right after cooking and serve or keep warm in a low heat oven before serving.
The important point is to have fun and enjoy! I posted our attempts in my Instagram story highlights, so feel free to check out the videos there. And let me know if you’ve made them or will try now. Remember, if I can do it you can do it. 🙂