If you’ve ever been intimidated by crêpes, try these Easy Basic Sweet Vanilla Crêpes and you’ll wonder why you ever worried.
If you can make a pancakes, you can make crêpes. Before you get started though, here are a few tips that will make the process even easier.
- Crêpe batter should be thinner and smoother than pancake batter – just thick enough to thoroughly coat a wooden spoon. If your batter seems too thick when you take it out of the refrigerator, add additional milk 1-2 tablespoons at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.
- Crêpe batter can be made the night before and left in the refrigerator until you are ready to make them.
- When pouring crepe batter into the pan, I pour with my my left hand and simultaneously swirl the the pan with my right hand. (I’m mostly right-handed.) The batter sets up very quickly, and this allows me to distribute it around the pan before it sets.
- Crêpes are ready to flip when the edges start showing the slightest color brown and the center is no longer glossy.
- I don’t actually use a spatula to “flip” my crêpes. Instead, I use the spatula to gently lift the edge up enough so that I can get hold of it, and then I flip it quickly using my fingers. I cannot, however, encourage you to do this because it may lead to burnt fingers, and I will not be responsible for that. So whatever you do, don’t flip your crêpes with your fingers. 😉
- The are two basic methods for filling crêpes: the Roll and the Quarter-fold (or Cone). For most applications, I personally prefer the Roll method, but that’s just me. However, the Quarter-fold method makes a better presentation for unfilled crepes that just have toppings.
- Sweet Vanilla Crêpes can be served plain with just a dusting of powdered sugar and a sprinkle of lemon juice, or filled with your favorite sweet filling.
- I prefer to serve my crepes with the second side out: I think it is more interesting to look at. Nevertheless, this is in direct conflict with common practice, which is to hide the second side. It’s all just a matter of personal taste as far as I’m concerned, but I thought you should know… just in case you are planning to host a group of snooty French gastronomes for brunch, because then you will probably want to put the browned, first side out.
- 1½ cups milk* (see note)
- 3 eggs
- 4 tsp. vanilla
- 1½ cups flour, sifted
- 3 Tbs. sugar
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ cup melted butter
- A dusting of powdered sugar and a sprinkling of fresh lemon juice
- Fresh fruit
- Whipped cream
- Jam or jelly
- Put all the ingredients - the milk, eggs, vanilla, flour, sugar, salt and melted butter - in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Allow crepe mixture to sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour before using.
- Heat a crêpe pan (or an 8- or 9-inch non-stick sauté pan) over medium-low heat. It is important to find the right temperature for crêpes. They are not supposed to be all brown and crispy. Start your pan on medium low and work from there.
- If you are worried about your crêpes sticking, rub a little coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil over the surface with a paper towel. Remove any visible oil before proceeding.
- Pour ¼ to ⅓ cup crêpe batter into the middle of the heated pan. Immediately swirl it around to create a thin flat crepe that reaches just slightly up the sides of the pan. I usually lift it off the burner for this step: it makes it much easier to manipulate the pan.
- The crêpe is ready to flip when the edges are just beginning to turn brown and the batter in the middle is no longer glossy or wet looking.
- Using a large, thin spatula, flip the crepe and cook another 15-20 seconds.
- If you are making another crêpe, don’t let the pan set empty on the burner for more than a few seconds or it will get too hot.
“Hey, Renée! That’s a pretty groovy little crepe pan you have there! Where’d you get it?”
Well, yes it is, and thank you for asking! I received this sweet crepe pan as a gift from Anolon, for attending a class they sponsored at IFBC 2015 called “How to Create Standout Holiday Content.” Besides being the perfect size and shape to create beautiful crepes, it has a hard-anodized PFOA-free non-stick coating that is (drum-roll, please) safe for Metal Utensils and guaranteed for life. So cool. So far, I am loving it.