Crepes - the Authentically French Final Word

Total Time
30mins
Prep 10 mins
Cook 20 mins

From the French Menu Cookbook by Richard Olney. everything you need to know!

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Sift the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and make a well in the center.
  2. Remove the white membrane attached to yolks and then pour the eggs into the well and whisk, keeping to the center, until the flour is gradually absorbed into the eggs. Add a bit of milk, if this is too thickened to work with, and then whisk in about 1/2 cup of the milk.
  3. Add the cognac and the melted butter and then whisk in enough additional milk to bring the batter to the consistency of cream.
  4. [If careless execution has produced a batter that is not absolutely smooth, pour it through a sieve into another bowl].
  5. A small ladle (3 tablespoon capacity) is most practical for pouring; abou half a ladleful of batter is the right amount for a small pan (with a diameter of 5 inches).
  6. Heat the pan, lightly buttered, over low to medium heat. (After the first two or three crepes, adjust the heat if necessary.) If the pan does not sizzle at contact with the batter, it is not hot enough.
  7. Lift the pan from the heat and pour in the 1/2 ladleful of batter, at the same time giving the pan a rolling motion, turning it in all directions, so the batter spreads over the entire surface.
  8. Return the pan to the heat; after thirty seconds or so, the edges of the crepe will begin to turn golden and to curl; using a small, elongated spatula (or palette knife) or a round-tipped table knife, ease the blade all the way under and flip the crepe over.
  9. After about fifteen seconds, slip the crepe out of the pan with your fingertips, place it on a plate, remove the pan from the heat for a few seconds, and pour in another half-ladle of batter.
  10. It is essential to remove the pan from the heat for a few seconds each time before pouring a new crepe, because with the heat at the correct intensity for cooking the crepes, the pan rapidly becomes too hot.
  11. The batter should be given a stir with the ladle each time before pouring again.
  12. The crepes should be stacked as they come from the pan and, if they are not to be used immediately, should be covered with parchment paper to keep them from drying out. If prepared more than a few hours before using them, they should be refrigerated.
  13. Crepes are unleavened, paper-thin pancakes that can be rolled up or cut on the bias or folded like an envelope or left flat. They can also be gathered together like a string purse around a little ragout or stuffing and tied with a strand of blanched leek green and then heated in the oven to garnish a roast or braised meats.
  14. This recipe is only a general guideline; specific measures are of no importance with crepes -- most important is the consistency, which should be that of fluid cream. Batters that contain relatively little flour in relation to the eggs will make more tender crepes; the substitution of cream for part of the milk will make them even more tender, moist and delicate but will also make them so fragile that they are difficult to work with, often tearing when being turned. On the other hand, good crepes can also be made with water or beer.
  15. The addition of sugar to the batter for dessert crepes does NOT improve them and only makes it more likely that they will stick to the pan.
  16. Brandy is not essential but it does improve the flavor.
  17. For savory crepes, finely chopped fines herbs is a good addition.
  18. The batter does NOT need to stand before being used.
  19. The bottom of a standard small crepe pan measures five inches; one rarely has use for larger crepes.
  20. If the pan is used for melting the butter that goes into the batter, it can be lightly wiped with a paper towel and then it's ready to use - the batter contains enough butter to prevent the crepes from sticking.

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