Reading Time: 5 minutes
“Are crêpes hard to make?” “Do you need a special pan?” “They sound so fancy — do they contain hard to find ingredients?” These are just a few of the comments I get when students sign up for a crêpe making cooking class.
I can tell you honestly that no special crêpe pan is required, and you can whip up a batch of crêpes with ingredients you most likely have on hand.
If you raise chickens for eggs, you’ve already got a head start. Milk, flour, egg, oil, and baking powder — only five ingredients needed for basic crêpes.
Crêpes are so versatile and take to a variety of fillings. From savory to sweet, crêpes fill the bill.
For a weekend breakfast or brunch, make a batch of crêpes filled with scrambled eggs.
Having friends and family over for an autumn lunch or dinner? Chicken or seafood crêpes with a creamy cheese sauce will bring appreciative smiles.
Dessert crêpes make a memorable dessert for entertaining. You can fill them in myriad ways — from a simple whipped cream and fruit filling to a classic crêpes Suzette flavored with orange liqueur.
Have I piqued your interest? Good, let’s get started making crêpes!
MASTER CRÊPE RECIPE
- 1½ cups milk
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- Whisk milk and egg together until well-combined.
- Whisk in oil, flour, and baking powder, again until well-combined and mixture is smooth. You can use the batter right away, or put it in the refrigerator, covered, up to an hour or so.
- Turn burner to medium. Brush an 8”-10” omelet pan (a skillet with sloping sides) or a crêpe pan, with butter. When it sizzles, pour a little over half of a ¼-cup measure into the pan as you’re holding the pan slightly to the left, if you’re right-handed. Reverse the technique if you’re left-handed. It’s a little awkward, but you will get it, I promise.
- Continue to pour the batter in slowly but steady and twirl the pan until it is covered with a crêpe mixture on the bottom.
- Cook until splotchy brown on the bottom, about ½ to 1 minute. Flip over until golden brown on the other side, about ½ minute.
- Every 2-3 crêpes, butter the pan again.
I will tell you that the first couple of crêpes usually don’t turn out; after that, it’s easy sailing.
Yield: 8-12 crêpes.
Tip: Make ahead and refrigerate up to three days, sandwiching crêpes between waxed paper or parchment, or freeze up to a month.
Tip: Sweet crêpes — I use my master recipe for savory and sweet crêpes. But if you like a little extra sweetness, for sweet crêpes add 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 teaspoon sugar. You can also add a couple of dashes of cinnamon.
So easy you don’t need a recipe, except for how to fold the crêpes.
Make a batch of very soft scrambled eggs. If you like, add your favorite filling to the eggs right before they’re finished cooking. Or leave plain and add a topping.
Ingredients for fillings
- Dijon mustard (to brush on inside of crêpes)
- Shredded cheese
- Chopped green onions
- Cooked bacon
- Sautéed mushrooms or vegetables
- Chopped ham
- Cooked sausage
Ingredients for toppings
- Cheese sauce
- Hollandaise sauce
- Brush inside of each crêpe very lightly with Dijon or country mustard.
- Place desired filling in the center. Fold the top over and tuck it under the egg a little bit. Fold in sides and then roll to close.
- To serve, melt a little butter in a skillet over medium heat.
- Place crêpe, seam side down, in a skillet, and cook just until golden on both sides.
CREAMY SAVORY CHICKEN- OR SEAFOOD-FILLED CRÊPES
For a special meal.
- About 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into small bite-sized pieces, or favorite seafood, cut into small bite-sized pieces (shrimp and crab are good)
- 3-4 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup shallots or onion, diced fine
- 2 teaspoons seasoning mix: chicken seasoning for chicken crêpes; Cajun or favorite fish seasoning for seafood crêpes
- 2-3 teaspoons flour
- 2/3 cup whipping cream or little more if necessary
- Generous ½ cup Parmesan cheese or to taste, plus more for garnishing if desired
- Parsley, chopped, for garnish
- Melt butter over medium heat in sauté pan and add shallots. Cook until tender but not brown.
- Add seasoning mix and flour, cooking and stirring until flour is completely mixed in with the butter.
- Stir in cream and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
- Add seafood or chicken and return to a boil, cooking just until chicken or seafood is cooked.
- Remove from heat and stir in cheese.
- Place a crêpe on a plate and fill, then roll crêpe around filling, placing seam side down. Put a little extra filling on top and sprinkle with parsley.
Yield: 6-8 crêpes.
CHOCOLATE MOUSSE FILLING FOR CRÊPES
You can make this with or without the coffee. The coffee gives it a mocha flavor.
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee (opt)
- 1½ cups whipping cream
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
- Put vanilla, coffee, and cream in mixer. Blend.
- Add sugar and cocoa and blend.
- Whip on high until stiff.
- Store, covered, in refrigerator up to a day.
Restaurant-quality crêpes right from your kitchen!
- 1 stick/4 oz. butter
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ cup orange juice
- ½ teaspoon orange extract (optional)
- 2 tablespoons orange marmalade (optional)
- ¼ cup orange liqueur
- Melt butter in a large skillet over low heat. Whisk in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook until reduced by a third or so to thicken the sauce.
- Meanwhile, fold crêpes in half and then fold again to make a triangle.
- Place crêpes in sauce, quickly spoon some sauce on top of each crêpe, and place on plate.
Tip: You can also simply fold the crêpes in quarters on a plate and pour the sauce over them.
SIMPLE CHOCOLATE-FILLED CRÊPES
Kids love these simple crêpes.
- After crêpes are made, leave in the skillet and scatter a palmful of chocolate chips on top. Fold crêpe over and the residual heat will melt the chocolate.
- Or spread favorite jelly or peanut butter onto crêpe.
- Fold over, then spread melted chocolate on top.
Tip: In a hurry?
- Fill crêpes with your favorite ice cream, then drizzle with a store-bought chocolate or fruit sauce.
- Or chop up some apples or pears, cook in a little butter and sugar until tender, add a couple of dashes of cinnamon, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve warm as filling or even a topping.
Tip: Is it a crêpe or a blintz? — Both are a variation of a thin pancake, with blintzes sometimes being a little thicker. Blintzes are always filled, rolled, and ends tucked in.
Crêpes can be filled and rolled or folded, or with filling between stacks of crêpes.
Originally published in the October/November 2020 issue of Backyard Poultry and regularly vetted for accuracy.