J’ai Faim: French Crêpes

On Tuesday night, in lieu of studying or sleeping, my friends and I made crêpes. Because what seems more French than a week-night dinner of simple crêpes and delicious wine?

Crêpes may seem intimidating, but they are very easy to make. No matter how culinarily inclined, you will succeed in making these warm, delicious thin pancake-like discs, the perfect portals to carry delicious fillings from plate to mouth. They can be eaten as a main course and dessert. If any are leftover, they are perfect the next morning for breakfast.

Crêpes are made entirely with pantry ingredients – milk, butter, eggs, sugar, salt, and flour. They can be kept simple, by just filling them with jam, granola and yogurt, honey, eggs, or herbs. Or, they can be dressed up, filled with hot fruit, and whipped cream, ice cream and fudge or caramel sauce, caramelized onions, mushrooms, and cheese, or spinach with potatoes and ham.

Just like any classic dish, there are a few tricks to perfect crêpes. Let the batter rest in the fridge for at least an hour (and up to 24 hours) before cooking. The pan should be as hot as possible when cooking the crêpes. To tell if they are ready to be flipped, watch for the edges to brown. As you want the crêpes to be thin, take care not to put too much batter in the pan. And lastly, always butter the pan in between cooking (especially if using a non-coated pan).

Have fun flipping!

Alexis ZK studies French and Food Studies at New York University. She loves travel, dinner parties, digging in the dirt, ballroom dancing, foodie adventures and creating tasting menus in the shower. She recently ran away to Paris on a mission to discover France through food.


French Crêpes
Serves: Makes 8 full-sized crêpes

Feel free to experiment adding flavors into the crêpe batter, like lemon or orange zest, or perhaps fresh herbs. The best part about these is the multitude of filling possibilities.

3/4 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
3 eggs
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour

Assorted fillings of choice

Whisk together the milk, butter, eggs, sugar, and salt. Add the flour and whisk till smooth.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour (and up to 24 hours).

Bring batter to room temperature and briefly re-whisk, till most lumps are gone.

Heat the skillet on high heat. Using a wadded paper towel, rub the skillet with butter.

Pour a small ladle full (1/4 cup) of batter into the pan, swirling till the batter covers bottom of pan. Let cook for 45 seconds to 1 minute, until the edges begin to brown.

When the edges are brown, run a thin spatula around the edges of the crepe and into the middle. In one swift flick of the wrist, flip the crepe over. Cook for another 45 seconds.

Fill with whatever your heart desires!

Crepes can be stored in the fridge for up to two days, wrapped in plastic wrap. They can also be wrapped in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and frozen for up to two months.

Originally posted on Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

3 Responses to “J’ai Faim: French Crêpes”

  1. Zimmie

    November 23rd, 2011

    These sound delicious! Actually, I remember… they ARE delicious. But, do you happen to have a gluten-free, dairy-free version of the recipe? Granted, that’s a tough question, even for a master chef. But, do you?

  2. Sarah

    November 27th, 2011

    Unfortunately, crepes are essentially gluten and dairy, so I think most recipes just substitute for the flour and dairy. Here’s one, where you’d substitute a banana for the eggs:
    However, this one looked interesting, if not exactly in the mold of a traditional french crepe. It is from a reputable source, so I’d say go for it:

  3. Zimmie

    December 1st, 2011

    Sarah, Thank you so much! This sounds great. I will definitely try the bean and rice version. Thanks!

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