Crepes, not only fun to make but fun to eat! There is no wrong way to fill a crepe. Sweet or savory; the crepe is a delightful vehicle to eat any food. They can be served with a simple sprinkle of sugar or filled with ham and cheese, mixed vegetables, fruits, and jams. The options are endless, which makes this a fun item to serve. When I make crepes, I like to create a whole buffet of options. I tend to lean towards savory variations, as that is my nature. But if Nutella and banana suit you, then indulge away.
A Crepe is made by cooking a thin batter in a very thin layer. The mixture is made up of flour, eggs, and in this case, milk. However, beer makes a great variation as well.
Originating in Brittany, Crepes have become widely popular and have become a national dish of France. Traditionally served to celebrate renewal, family life, and hopes for good fortune and happiness in the future. It is customary in France to touch the skillet handle and make a wish while the pancake is turned.
We see variations of crepes across cultures such as an Indian Dosa or a Mexican Tortilla, East African Injera, or Blintz’ from Russia. Like many foods, the foundations of cooking are similar, but the ingredients and aromatics distinguish one region from another.
makes 8 crepes
1 cup flour
2 TBSP sugar
Pinch of salt
½ cup milk
½ cup water or sparkling water
1 TBSP butter
Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Create a well and add the eggs. Vigorously whisk, then add the milk; combine well, whisking out any lumps. Add the sparkling water and stir until smooth. In a small pot, melt the butter. When the butter has melted, you will see the milk fat separate from the oil. Swirl the pan around and cook on medium heat until the white milk fat begins to brown, and you get a deliciously nutty aroma. Remove from heat and pour browned butter into the crepe batter. The batter should be silky and loose. It should run off your whisk in a fluid stream. Let the batter sit for 20 minutes, up to an hour. This will allow the flour to swell and the air, from whisking, to dissipate. The batter will slightly thicken as it sits, so add more water if necessary.
Using an 8-inch non-stick pan, heat over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, coat it with cooking spray. Use a ladle to pour about 2-3 oz of batter into the pan. Gently swirl the pan around so the batter can evenly coat the whole surface of the pan (tilt your pan and let gravity do the work). Cook crepe on medium heat until it appears dry and it releases from the pan. Flip the crepe over and cook the second side for one minute. Repeat with the remaining batter. As the crepes are made, lay them out on a sheet tray lined with parchment to cool.
When ready to eat, lay the crepe out on your plate. Place a bit of filling just off-center; fold crepe in half to make a semi-circle then fold in half again to make a triangular shape.
For the filling, here are a few things that I love to fold into my crepe. My list could go on and on, so remember; cook the food you like to eat.
Prosciutto and a soft cheese, such as a triple cream or a creamy blue cheese
Prosciutto and apricot jam with arugula
Smoked salmon and cream cheese
Sauteed mixed mushrooms
Classic ham and gruyere
Berry jam and whipped cream
Sliced apples with cinnamon and sugar
Melted chocolate and sliced banana with powdered sugar
Chef Liza Greifinger
Your Guide to Our Culinary Trip Around the World
Growing up in New York, surrounded by the flavors of the world, Liza developed a love for food and cooking. After a fulfilling career in outdoor education, she decided to explore her passion for food. Liza studied at The French Culinary Institute and then trained with some of the top chefs in New York City before being drawn to the mountains of Colorado. She joined the team at Food Lab, in Boulder, in the spring of 2016. There she teaches cooking skills and technique to all ages as well as curriculum development for the educational programs.