Last week I shared a recipe for homemade pasta, which we made the same day as these crepes. I picked both recipes for their versatility, and the countless recipes you could come up with using either one as the base. I started the day off by making homemade pasta, a super savory recipe that just ached to be followed by something sweet.
Anchor Knocking Glass Measuring Cup
Paderno Measuring Cup in action
Since I knew ahead of time I'd be making the savory pasta recipe, I decided to go with crepes sweetened with a touch of sugar and orange liqueur. If you were planning to fill these crepes with savory ingredients, you'd just omit those two sweet components and still be left with a really wonderful canvas.
The batter for these crepes comes together quickly and easily. You simply places all of the ingredients into a blender, and blend until the mixture is thick and smooth. It does need to rest for a couple of hours before it's ready to use, so planning ahead is key!
Since we were making these in the store and working on an induction cook-top, we couldn't use a proper crepe pan (no heat conduction!), so we used an All-Clad Nonstick Fry Pan 12". This is not something I'd recommend, especially if you're trying crepes for the first time, and I will tell you why.
Crepe pans are engineered to have the perfect cooking surface to execute these delicate, egg-y pancakes perfectly. The diameter is smaller, the sides of the pan flatter, which makes spreading the batter and flipping the crepes both much easier. Using the nonstick fry pan, the crepes had no trouble coming loose for flipping, but the cooking surface was simply too large, and not conducive to properly cooking and flipping the crepes. We still ended up with a tasty product, but they weren't the prettiest crepes, and they were definitely a bit thicker than I'd have liked.
Fortunately, since the crepes still tasted divine - slightly sweet, with citrus notes and a wonderful texture - we filled them up with fresh strawberries and a touch of jam, gave them a generous grating of lemon zest, and sprinkled them with sugar. A simple preparation that looked beautiful, and tasted even better!
Using a Microplane Zester to garnish finished crepes with lemon zest, served on an Alessi Bavero Dinner Plate
Finished crepes on an iittala Sarjaton Dinner Plate
Dessert Crepes Ingredients 3/4 cup cold milk 3/4 cup cold water 3 egg yolks 1 tablespoon orange liqueur, rum or brandy 1 cup all-purpose flour 5 tablespoons melted butter Optional, for filling: fresh berries, your favorite jam
Directions Place each ingredient into an electric blender in the order in which they are listed. Place cover on blender, and turn on to top speed for 1 minute. If bits of flour get stuck to the sides of the blender, use a rubber spatula to re-incorporate them, then blend for another few seconds. Once batter is thick and smooth, and you see no lumps, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
When ready to cook, heat crepe pan to medium-medium/high heat, and grease lightly with oil. Once pan is hot, remove pan from heat, pour a scant 1/4 cup of batter into the center of the pan, and swirl quickly to coat pan bottom with batter. Return pan to heat, and cook for about 2 minutes. The crepe will start to have little bubbles all over it, and will begin to look cooked around the edges.
Remove pan from heat again, and shake pan back and forth a bit to loosen up the crepe. Once it is sufficiently loosened, carefully flip the crepe over, either using a spatula or your fingers. Exercise caution here, or you'll risk ripping your delicate crepe in half. Once your crepe is safely flipped, cook for an additional minute, just to be sure the crepes are cooked through.
Slide finished crepes onto a sheet pan, and let cool before using, or stacking to store. Repeat process with remaining batter.
These crepes can be used immediately, or kept in a just-warm oven for an hour or so until ready to use. They also freeze beautifully!
Yield: 10-18 crepes, depending on pan size
You can't make this dish without:
A Crepe Pan: As evidenced by our experience executing this recipe, a crepe pan is really imperative. The shape, low sides, and pan construction all allow for much easier execution than using a pan not specifically meant for this purpose. With a crepe pan, you can much more quickly and easily spread crepe batter once it's poured into the pan, and flip the crepes. As if that's not enough, crepe pans also ensure a perfectly round crepe with clean edges and a more polished look. We recommend the Mauviel Copper and Stainless Steel Crepe Pan.
Measuring Cups: Measuring cups are dual-purpose in this recipe, using them first for measuring ingredients, and second for measuring out batter. Most crepe recipes, this one included, will give you a volume amount of batter to use for each crepe, so it's important to have measuring cups around instead of eye-balling, which will often yield a thick, doughy crepe. We used this Paderno Measuring Cup Set.
A Blender: Using a high-powered blender ensures that your batter becomes smooth and thick, free of any lumps. This is imperative, because you can't achieve the silky smooth, tender and delicate crepes without a spot-on consistency to your batter.