For as long as I can remember, my father has been a fan of thin pancakes. They didn’t necessarily have to be crepes, but the thin style of pancakes is his favorite and he would typically only be able to get them when we went out for breakfast at the few restaurants that offered that style.
When my family comes to visit, or we visit them, I usually make it a point to cook one of the dishes my father says only I make “just right”. Tortilla Española is the standard, but before this last visit, my mother mentioned that my father hasn’t had crepes in a while and she thought he’d enjoy some. I got to work, testing and tweaking recipes, to make sure I had the perfect one for his visit. What can I say? I’m definitely a Daddy’s Girl.
Most French crepe cafes will use one master recipe for sweet and savory crepes, but I personally like to change up the batter a bit to suit each style. Since we were serving these for breakfast and I know my father prefers sweet pancake toppings, I opted to make sweet crepes. My dad also really likes options at breakfast, so I put together three suggested crepe topping combinations and then placed all the toppings on the table so everyone could build to their liking.
The options were:
– Strawberries and Nutella (a Godfather favorite)
– Maple Syrup, homemade whipped cream, and fresh blueberries
– chocolate chips with a homemade caramel drizzle
I can’t pick a favorite… they were all delicious. I love fresh fruit though, so I mixed the fresh berries for my crepe and added a tiny drizzle of maple syrup and a small dollop of whipped cream. With my coffee, it was perfect. Crispy edges, chewy center, and easy to make with a regular nonstick skillet since I don’t have a crepe pan. I used a wide spatula to flip the crepes, no flipping for me yet. I am not a coordinated person, so flipping mid air would be certain trouble for me!
One thing I love about this recipe is that I don’t have to wait 30 minutes for the batter to rest. I can mix it up, heat my pan, and start making practically perfect crepes! Most crepe recipes require at least 30 minutes of wait time, but when you have a hungry family wanting breakfast, waiting isn’t always an option. I do find that I get better crepes after about 10-15 minutes, but the difference isn’t dramatic enough for me to wait longer than the time it takes the pan to heat. I find it’s best to keep two pans going if possible to finish faster, but if you only have one skillet (and even if you have both going), just preheat your oven to the lowest temperature it will go (mine is 170 F), then turn it off and use it as a warm spot to hold your crepes until you’re done. The crepes that sit in the warm oven won’t have edges quite as crispy as the last few you make, but they’re still delicious and I think crepes are best served warm anyway. Enjoy, lovelies!
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 cups whole milk
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 tbsp sugar
- 2 vanilla beans, scraped
- Preheat your oven to the lowest temperature possible, and then turn it off. You will keep your crepes warm here.
- Mix the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Add the wet ingredients (all except the butter) and mix by hand, with a hand mixer, or your stand mixer until the batter is mostly smooth.
- Place your pan(s) over a medium heat with 1/4 tbsp butter, just enough to grease the bottom of the pan lightly.
- Add just enough batter to barely cover the bottom of the pan. For an 8" nonstick skillet, I use a little under 1/4 cup. The trick is to swirl the pan as you pour the batter in to get nice even coverage without adding too much.
- Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes until the edges start lifting and then carefully flip using a spatula or try the air flip (if you're brave!).
- Cook an additional minute on the other side, and then transfer to your serving platter in the warm oven while you finish making the rest.*
- Repeat with the remaining batter, adding more butter about halfway through if you find the crepes are starting to stick.
- Serve warm with desired toppings.
Recipe adapted from French Today
*The first crepe will not be the prettiest, so it is often called the "chef's crepe". Feel free to eat it and pretend it never happened. 😉