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The best Crepe that has ever existed.

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I want to make crepes, but I'm not certain what they're supposed to taste like. It's a bit weird, isn't it. I could try a bunch of different internet recipes, but I would love to get a bunch of recipes that are known as being 'good' or 'traditional' or 'simply right'. If you have any bizarrely specific recipes that tell you how to make the perfect crepe by Moon and Tide and Historical-ness, I would love to hear them.

The thickness of the batter and the doneness of the sides are particularly mysterious to me. I just don't get it.
post #2 of 8
Look on the bright side, if you don't know what they are supposed to taste like, anything you make is going to be good.

But really, most crepe batters are very similar in nature and it's hard to mess one up. Some will tell you to rest the batter in the fridge for an hour or so before using while others let you mix it and use it right away.

There is a big difference between savory crepe batter and desert crepe batter. The savory is often made with buckwheat flour for one thing. but the process is the same either way.

As to technique, the idea is to pour just enough batter in a hot, lightly oiled pan to make a paper thin crepe. This involves quick swirling movements to cover the bottom of the pan before all the batter sets up. It will take approximately 45 seconds or so to cook on one side then you flip it over and cook another 30 seconds. All these instructions will come with the recipe.

I have seen one technique that calls for pouring twice as much batter in the pan as needed to fully coat the bottom of the pan and immediately pour it out again. What is left is the right amount without all the pan twirling stuff. You cut off the little tail piece from pouring and that is the cook's treat.

If you are looking on the internet for recipes I have to assume you haven't many or any cookbooks. If that is so, go to a book store or library and peruse books by well known and trusted authors like Julia Child for example. If you must look on line may I suggest epicurious.com. The recipes there are all from Bon Appetite and Gourmet magazines and can be trusted.

post #3 of 8
The book "Le Cordon Bleu Dessert Techniques" has recipes and techiques for crêpes, both savory and sweet. Out of the recipes I've tried, all of which have little variation, theirs has been my favorite. Batter requires a dose of clarified butter and a 30 minute rest.
post #4 of 8
The Magic Pan had one of "the best" out there but that was almost 30 years ago and I don't think there are any still in business. Boy they had it perfected. If you could get that recipe that was the best I'd personally ever had... then or since.
post #5 of 8
I loved the Magic Pan!

Found this: "Rich Melman of Lettuce Entertain You restaurant chain bought the name and the recipes from the original Magic Pan."
post #6 of 8
And another clue, from Findarticles:

Crepes at the reincarnated Magic Pan, which will cost between $2.99 and $5.99, also will be larger than in the old days. Melman said that's because he's scrapping the old chain's signature cooking method, in which the underside of an omelet pan was dipped in batter and cooked on a heated conveyor while diners watched.

"Personally, I didn't think that produced the best crepes," he said.
post #7 of 8
I learned to make crepes from Julia Child (well, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, that is). I find they taste mostly of egg, since that's a big part of the batter. But mostly they are a foil for what goes in or on them, whether simple (butter, lemon juice, sugar) or fancy (ratatouille, bechamel, cheese).

Batter thickness should be like heavy cream (but not as thick as double cream, if you're UK). It should be pourable but not super-runny.

Another important point is that after you make the batter (I think JC says to do it in a blender, very easy), you have to let it rest. Otherwise the glutens in the flour will toughen up when you cook them.

The best thing about crepes is that since the ingredients are easy to get and inexpensive, you can practice until you get it right without spending a ton of money. :D And you really do have to practice, to get a feel for the right amount of batter to put in the pan (nonstick is good here) and how to swirl it around to get it to cover the bottom. (I've tried the "double the amount" thing, and find that unless I work very, very, very fast, it cooks too much to be able to pour out the excess and I end up with crepes that are way too thick.)
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
post #8 of 8
Use any good crepe recipe (I'm partial to Alton Brown's) and I find that a scant 2 oz. ladle works great for my 10" crepe pans. Just swirl really darned fast, as they'll set up pretty darned quick.
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