Friday, 31 October 2014

Wheat Crepes

About every 5 years of so I decide I would like to make crepes, and until now I have not gotten very good results. Soggy! Broken! Broken! Lopsided! Broken!

The discipline of writing this blog, however, has made me keep much better notes and think much more about how I do things, and when I attempted them again recently... they worked perfectly! (Also I stopped believing the recipe I was using about how much flour was required. It was just plain wrong.) Woo-hoo! Look for more things made with crepes to come!

I served these crepes with applesauce and whipped cream, but they are also good with a pat of butter, a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of maple sugar. They are also the base for many savoury dishes; I look forward to making some.

10 to 12 crepes; 4 to 6 servings 
40 minutes to 1 hour prep time

Crepes with Apple Sauce and Whipped Cream

4 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups lower-fat milk

about 1 cup soft unbleached or soft whole wheat flour
about 2 tablespoons mild vegetable oil

Whisk the eggs with the salt thoroughly in a mixing bowl, then whisk in the milk, about 1/3 at a time, until completely blended.You can use skim, 1% or 2% milk.

Whisk in the flour, again about 1/3 at a time, until completely blended. If you are using white (soft unbleached) flour, you should be a little skimpy with it - say about a tablespoon short of the full cup, but if you are using whole wheat flour, you should use a full cup.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat; the same temperature you would use to cook other pancakes or eggs.

Pour about 2 tablespoons of oil into a saucer or other small dish, and dip one corner of a piece of folded up paper towel into it. Use this to smear a film of oil over the bottom of the skillet. If you want to finish the crepes faster, you can heat 2 skillets and keep them going - a crepe will cook on the first side in about the time it takes to prep a pan, so you can switch between them. You may want to use just one pan the first time though, so you can really get a feel for them.

Pour about 1/3 of a cup of the batter into the skillet, and AT ONCE swirl the batter to cover MOST of the bottom of the pan. I find if I leave a stretch of naked pan about 1" wide and 6" long along one side of the crepe, it becomes far easier to get the lifter under it and loosen it. You will need a good wide but thin metal lifter for this.

About a minute after the crepe has been formed, start running the lifter under the edges, all around the crepe, then working it in to the centre, particularly from the bare spot in the pan. Once it is completely loosened - and you will not be able to loosen it completely until the bottom is firmly cooked, so be patient - flip it over. It will then need only about 30 seconds to finish cooking on the second side. Remove it to a plate set in a cool oven (200°F is the lowest mine goes, but it could be 175°F if yours will do it) and keep the finished crepes warm while you make the rest of them.

Whisk up the batter before ladling out each crepe; it's so thin the flour tends to settle to the bottom of the bowl. 

* * *

You can serve the crepes at once, or keep them, well wrapped, in the fridge for up to 3 days. They can also be frozen, wrapped first in plastic then in foil (or in a vacuum sealed bag, if you have a sealer.) If frozen, thaw them for 24 hours in the fridge before reheating.

To serve them with the applesauce, I smeared applesauce over one half of each crepe, then folded the other half over to cover it. Then I folded them in half again, and heated them in a lightly oiled skillet (as they were cooked the first time) for about a minute on each side, until just hot. You can get 4 of these folded crepes into the pan at a time, of course.

Last year at this time I made Broccoli with Bacon, Mushrooms & Onions.


Megan said...

My French babysitter from long ago told us that crepes are always better if the batter sits overnight in the fridge. I don't know why this should be the case, but I try to follow it. My favourite filling is just a squeeze of lemon plus sugar. A simplified version of crepe suzette, with melted butter, orange rind, and sugar, is also very good.

Ferdzy said...

Yes, I think that's true! I think the flour just soaks up the liquid completely and makes it, I don't know, smoother maybe. I have to say I am rarely that organized! Oh! Yes, Crepes Suzette! Such a treat.