1 cup all-purpose flour (250 ml)
1/4 teaspoon salt (1 ml)
1 tablespoon sugar (15 ml)
2 large eggs or 3 small ones
1-1/2 cups milk (375 ml)
1/2 teaspoon orange essence (2 ml)
1 teaspoon rum (5 ml)
1 tablespoon melted butter (15 ml)
Sift together flour, salt, and sugar. Pour into a bowl, make a hole in the center, and break an egg into it. With a wooden spoon, stir the egg, slowly incorporating the flour. Continue until all eggs have been used. Add milk, a little at a time, beating after each addition with a wire whisk, until batter is smooth. Add orange essence and rum. Let rest at room temperature for 15 minutes.
To make crêpes, heat a seasoned frying pan over medium-high heat until hot. Coat the pan lightly with butter, lift the pan from the heat, and pour in just enough batter to cover the bottom of the pan, tilting and rotating the pan to coat the surface. When the bottom is lightly browned, turn pancake by lifting a corner with a knife, then taking and turning the pancake with your fingers. Brown other side. When the crêpe is cooked, place it on a warm plate and keep warm until the rest of the crêpes are cooked.
Garnish to taste or fold into quarters and serve with butter and syrup.
Adapted from a recipe found in L'Encyclopédie de la Cuisine Canadienne (1963) by Mme. Jehane Benoit.
I come from Brittany. There, crêpes are found everywhere. The buckwheat ones are delicious with butter (salted of course!), or eggs, ham, and cheese. Crêpes are made on "galétoire" or "bilig". They can be made with a variety of fillings, but are best with plain butter, when the crêpe maker is an expert...
In France, on Candlemas day (la Chandeleur) , many people traditionally eat crêpes. There are many tales and beliefs on what will happen within the year depending on one's success at flipping them correctly, with one coin in the hand,etc.: one will get rich, another will marry, etc...
I love crêpes. We used to make them right after we were back from the farm with fresh eggs and milk. This is definitely the best, and crêpes are best enjoyed right from the pan, in the kitchen.
Following is my recipe. If you make them for children, avoid the brandy ( I used to hate it as a kid). I think apple brandy tsates better than rum since I eat them with apple cider. Trust your palate to adjust the quantity, for a delicate taste of fruit. I never measure, but try one or two crepes and add whatever is missing, some sugar, some brandy, some milk...Use a flat frying pan and a wooden spatula to flip the crêpe.
2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2/3 cup sugar
a pinch of cinnamon
a pinch of salt
1 tbs of apple brandy
Put the flour, salt and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the flour, and slowly add some milk in order to dilute the flour. Add more and more milk, avoiding making lumps, until you added about half of the milk. Then add the eggs, one by one, and whisk them in. Add sugar, more milk, then brandy. Let the batter stand covered in the fridge at least two hours. On high heat, put some butter in the pan ( I always use at least two pans to speed up the process...), tilt the pan and, using a ladle, pour enough batter to spread evenly over the bottom. That's when you know whether you need to add more liquid (if yes, just add more milk so that the crêpe spreads more easily on the pan). Cook the crêpe until it starts getting brown all around. Then using the spatula, flip it over and continue cooking until all golden (2-3 minutes). Eat right away, while still hot, with apple cider. If any crêpe remains, they make a great breakfast next morning. Keep them covered in the lower part of the fridge.
For the addicts! You can heat some brandy in a small saucepan, then ignite the liqueur with a match and pour over the crêpes. Delicious...
There are just three tricks to making crepes. First, make sure your flame is just the right heat to cook the crepe quickly without drying it out, bubbling, or burning. Using my steel pan, I keep the heat medium-high, but you may find that a medium flame works best with thinner pans. Keep your empty pan on the flame until it gets hot, then brush the surface with just enough melted or clarified butter to make it shine. Second, your batter must be the proper consistency. Too thin, and the crepe will rip and burn easily; too thick, and it won’t smoothly cover the bottom of the pan.
Third, master a smooth and easy roll of the pan. Lift one end at a twenty-degree angle and swiftly and smoothly pour the right amount of batter (you’ll learn the amount through trial and error) onto the lifted end. A good batter will start flowing evenly. Keeping the pan lifted, angle your wrist so the liquid flows toward one side; then, as it reaches the rim, roll your wrist–and the pan–so that the batter slides around to fill the circle. At the end of the roll, the side of the pan that started off highest should be balanced against the burner while the opposite end is tilted up. Quickly patch any holes with a dollop or two of extra batter. Be patient, and practice: I still throw out my first two or three attempts. Let the crepe brown lightly, then slide a butter knife underneath to make sure it will detach from the pan. You can then use the knife to lift the crepe and flip it over to finish cooking. If you’re cooking for a crowd, stack the crepes on a plate and reheat before serving (they also keep well in the freezer). To serve Breton-style, lay a crepe back on the heated pan and arrange the fillings in the center–keep the flame a little lower if you’ve got to heat or melt anything–then fold the edges to make a square and let the bottom get a little crispy.
Following is my recipe for buckwheat crepes. I cobbled it together from several French cookbooks to produce a delicate result that wasn’t too rich or too rustic. Buckwheat crepes are good wrapped around everything from Gruyere to pork sausage, from scallops to ratatouille. Take warning, though: Once you get stuck on the real thing, you won’t be able to subsist on melted cheddar and chopped onions again.
Crepes au BlÉ Noir (Buckwheat Crepes)
1 1/2 c. buckwheat flour
1/2 c. wheat flour
3-4 Tbsp salt (to taste)
2 c. milk
1 1/2 c. water (optional: 1 c. water and 1/2 c. light beer)
1/4 c. oil
Stir dry ingredients together in a large bowl, and then add the eggs and the milk. Stir briskly with a wire whisk until batter is smooth. Add water (I added beer, too, for a little sourness and depth of flavor) in three or four batches, stirring to fully incorporate after each. The batter should be the consistency of heavy cream. Finally, whisk in the oil and let rest 10-15 minutes before cooking; if you find your crepes are coming out too thick, add a little more water. For a 9" pan, use about 1/4 c. batter for each crepe. Makes approximately 20.
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[ April 06, 2001: Message edited by: cchiu ]