CrepesSeptember 18, 2014
Crepes are what the British call pancakes. Thin, large rounds of a slightly spongy wrap than can be filled with anything, sweet or savoury.
Having been in America for nearly 18 months, pancakes to me are now the fluffy stacks served up with bacon, whipped butter and syrup. It was the arrival of a new food truck in Providence, O Crepe who make the French inspired, large, thin variety that reminded me of my roots and made me get the frying pan out for breakfast!
You can fill your crepes with any number of fillings, here are a couple that I really love:
- Egg, cheddar & sweet soppressata
- Pear, goat cheese, balsamic and honey
- Lemon and sugar
- Stewed apples, cinnamon and brown sugar
The versatility and simplicity of your basic crepe makes them a brilliant base for any topping. With the main ingredients being small amounts of flour, milk and egg they are also a incredibly thrifty option for any meal.
Ingredients: makes about 6-8 crepes
1 cup/120g all purpose/plain flour
1 cup/240 ml milk
1 large egg
1/8 cup/30g melted butter, plus a little more for cooking
sprinkle of salt
Whisk together all of the ingredients until smooth and creamy. Leave to rest in the fridge for at least 10 minutes, this thickens the batter and makes it even creamier- you can leave it overnight if you want to prepare ahead.
To make a stuffed crepe, drop a little butter into a medium hot frying pan, let it melt then swirl the pan around to coat the whole surface with butter. It helps if your pan has shallow or sloped sides, this will make it easier to slip a spatula underneath the edge of the crepe to flip it.
Pour in the batter, swirl the pan around until the entire surface is coated in the batter, the crepe should be thin so use a small amount of batter first. If, when swirled, it doesn't cover the whole pan, pour a little more in to fill up the gaps.
Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes, at this time shake the pan back and forward to see if the crepe is free from the pan. If the pan was well greased with butter, the crepe will slide back and forth freely when the underneath is cooked. You'll be cooking this underside again, once the crepe has been filled so you don't want it to colour too much. As soon as it has 'set' and it's free from the pan, flip it over.
There's huge ceremony in flipping a crepe and catching it perfectly, there is however, huge disappointment in watching it tumble to the floor. Whichever way you decide to tackle it, turn your crepe over.
Turn down the heat on the pan to give you a little time to arrange your fillings without the underside burning.
Pile on you fillings, I recommend leaving the egg until last (if it's one of your fillings) use the other ingredients to create a little nest so it will behave and stay where it's supposed to until it's cooked!
Once your fillings have been place, fold up the sides of your crepe over the fillings to create a square pocket. Work in a clockwise direction, folding the sides up over each other so that the filling is completely encased.
Continue to cook like this, using the spatular to weigh down the folded up edges if needs be, for about 3 minutes. Now, flip the pocket over to cook the folded edges of the crepe pocket and the filling throughly. Another 2-3 minutes should do it.
For simpler flavourings, such as lemon and sugar, I usually cook my crepe on both sides then slide on to a plate, top with lemon juice and sugar before rolling up into a long tube of zesty, breakfasty goodness.