f you find yourself wandering through the center of Paris, you can’t miss street pancake sellers and numerous crêperies [krεpri] (French for ‘pancake place’). The crêpes make an exquisite dessert especially if they are filled with fruit jams, various creams, or any other imaginative fillings. And the bonus is that you can make them sweet or savory!
What are Crêpes?
These are thin and delicate French pancakes, made of eggs, flour, milk, and some butter or oil for frying. The thin batter is poured onto a large hot pan and spread, baked on both sides until done. You can use any old pan, like I did in the pictures bellow, but the one with the low rim is the best because it is much easier to get the pancakes out.
The History of Crêpes
The word crêpe [krɛp] is a French word for pancake, and it is derived from the Latin word crispa which means “curled”. Crêpes originated in French northwestern region Brittany, which is situated between the English Channel to the north and the Bay of Biscay to the south. Crêpes were originally called galettes [ɡəˈlɛt], meaning flat cakes.
White wheat flour crêpes appeared only at the turn of the 20th century when fine, white wheat flour that was expensive as sugar, honey or meat, became affordable, and slowly replaced cheaper buckwheat flour.
Crêpe making has evolved from being cooked on large cast-iron hot plates heated over a wood fire in a fireplace to hot plates that are now gas or electrically heated. The crêpe batter is spread with a tool known as a rozell and flipped with a spatula.
On February 2nd each year, crêpes are made and sold in France on the holiday known as Fête de la Chandeleur , Fête de la Lumière (holiday of the light), or “jour des crêpes” (the crêpes day). On that day, besides enjoying in loads of crepes, the French also reveal their superstitious side and do a bit of fortune telling while making them. The tradition is to hold a coin in your dominant hand, and a crêpe pan in the other. So, your job is to flip the crepe and, if you succeed to catch it with your pan, your family will be prosperous for the rest of the year.
Crepes are immensely popular all over the world! Here, let me tell you few interesting facts; Raggmunk, Swedish savory pancakes, with potato grated into the batter are usually served with slices of bacon or roast pork and cranberries. Dosas are fermented pancakes prepared from black lentils and rice batter, often served with a side dish of fruit chutney and adored in India and Sri Lanka. In Wales, people enjoy Crempog, pancake prepared from eggs, (salted) butter, self-raising flour, salt and milk. They are traditionally eaten as birthday treats and are buttered, served in a pile and eaten warm. Pikelets are small pancakes, made with milk, self-raising flour, eggs, and icing sugar. They are cooked in a frying pan and often served with jam and whipped cream. Where, you ask? In Australia and New Zealand, of course! Okonomiyaki, are savory pancakes from Japan. The batter is made of flour, grated yam, water or dashi (broth), eggs and shredded cabbage. Other ingredients may include pork or bacon, green onions, shrimp vegetables and cheese. In Italy they eat crespelle, in Hungary palacsintas, Jewish enjoy blintzes, in Scandinavia they have plattars, Russians are known for their blini, and Greek kreps. Holy Crêpe, right?
How to Make French Crêpes Step by Step?
- Sift dry ingredients, flour, and salt and put in a bowl. Whisk whole eggs and additional egg yolk with milk and water. Gradually add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients constantly stirring to avoid any lumps.
- Heat a crêpe pan and brush it lightly with melted butter
- Pour in one ladle of the batter and swirl so the pan is evenly coated with a thin layer.
- Cook the crêpe until golden brown on one side, and then flip it over and cook for another 30 seconds.
- Fill it immediately and serve while still warm. You can wrap it in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator until needed, and then reheat it before serving.
How to Eat Crêpes?
Crêpes are delicious when served warm, especially when you are mooning through Paris rues in the winter time. Not only will they warm up your hands, but they will warm you from inside out and restore your energy. However, in hot summer days you will yearn for some ice cream filled crêpes, and that will be one great idea! The true fans will even celebrate their birthday with a crêpe birthday cake! Sweet or savory, you can wrap your crêpe around almost anything you like!
9 Simple and Yummy Ways to Serve Crêpes
- Fill the crêpes with jam, roll ’em up, and go to town!
- Fill your crêpes with homemade vanilla flavored crème patissière.
- Make a ganache, fill your crêpes and your family members will worship you!
- Make a filling out of cottage cheese, eggs, sugar, and raisins, fill your crêpes, put them in a tray, top with sour cream and bake.
- Serve your crêpes with chantilly cream and some fresh berries if you want a light dessert.
- Fill your crêpes with your favorite ice cream.
- Cook sliced apples with some butter, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon, add chopped nuts and fill your crêpes.
- Make Mille crêpes, a cake made of crêpes (mille means a thousand – like a thousand crêpes!) and your favorite cream.
- Make savory crêpes! Fill them with cheese, ham, and mushrooms, and bake them in the oven, or roll them in breadcrumbs and fry!Bon Appétit!
- All purpose flour 100g (3.5oz)
- Salt 2g (1⁄2Tsp)
- Eggs 100g (3.5oz or 2 medium eggs)
- Egg yolk 20g (1 medium egg yolk)
- Milk 175g (6oz)
- Water 75g (2.6oz)
- Butter or vegetable oil for the pan
- Sift flour and salt into a bowl. In another bowl whisk whole eggs and additional egg yolk with milk and water.
- Gradually add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients constantly stirring with a whisk to avoid any lumps.
- Heat a crêpe pan and brush it lightly with melted butter. Pour in one ladle of the batter and swirl so the pan is evenly coated with a thin layer of batter.
- Cook the crêpe until golden and then flip it over and cook for another 30 seconds.
- Fill it immediately and serve while still warm. When your crêpes cool down, you can wrap them in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until needed.
by:Tereza Alabanda,The Pastry Maestra
Prep. time : 10 minutes
Cook time : 5 minutes
Ready in 15 minutes
Level : Basic