About twice a year I make crepes. The boys love them and they are easy to make. However, they add a bit of sophistication to a meal.
You may choose to do savory or sweet crepes, which are both delicious (or serve both for a complete crepe themed meal). As far as making them, the recipes I use are simple and use ordinary kitchen staples. Eggs, flour, oil, butter, salt, sugar, flour and milk are the normal range of ingredients, however, I do make some buckwheat crepes that are delicious.
As for what to use to cook them, you can probably get away with a cast iron pan or other pan 7 or 8 inches in diameter. I use a blue steel crepe pan. A friend told me she has one of the electric crepe pans that she likes to use. There are several brands of the electric pans available on Amazon.com. The one she likes is the type you dip the bottom on the pan in a dish of batter. I think this would make prettier, more uniform crepes.
If you make them in a regular pan or traditional crepe pan, just remember that the first one or two won’t turn out correctly. It takes a few sacrificial crepes to get the butter correct (a thin layer of butter, none standing) and the heat just right (low).
For sweet crepes, I use the Better Homes and Garden cookbook recipe. I noticed there are some online at bhg.com, but they are not the same as the recipe book. Mine doesn’t have baking soda, vanilla or salt, nor does it use Bisquick. I couldn’t find the actual recipe I use, but this one from Alton Brown looks pretty close, although I use less sugar and no vanilla or liqueur. However, I bet this recipe would be wonderful.
Remember that crepes are very thin pancakes, so don’t expect them to rise. They are as thin, if not thinner, than a tortilla. So, the batter is thin. As for flavor, it is a mild flavor, which isn’t too sweet. This allows you to add rich fillings and your dessert won’t be too sweet to eat.
Another hint is that you will want to try several ladles to dip the batter, so that you find the one just right for your pan. You can’t ladle two scoops because the crepe starts cooking immediately. If you ladle more batter into the pan, you will have a thick crepe.
Crepes can be made ahead of time. Separate the crepes with wax paper to prevent them from sticking together. Wrap the stack of crepes or put them in a resealable bag. They freeze well.
Sometimes you will see a recipe that says to only cook the crepe on one side. However, I like to cook mine on both sides. My theory is that if you cook only on one side, you have to cook it so long that it will get too dark and dry. I like to cook a bit on both sides, so that they are colored and cooked evenly. I let the edges get crunchy, because at that point, the crepes are very easy to turn without tearing.
So go ahead and make some crepes. I bet you will enjoy making and eating them!
Extra: I made the whipped cream at the lake house, where we could not find the mixer or a whisk. I had to whisk the whipping cream with a fork. Amazingly, it only took about 15 minutes and my arm did not fall off! I will probably have a bigger muscle on that arm!
Ideas on serving dessert crepes:
Whipped cream with a softened fruit, such as strawberries, bananas, peaches, etc. You might want to use fruit preserves.
Ice cream, whipped cream, and hot fudge
Canoli filling with whipped cream
Maple syrup and whipped cream
Caramel sauce and whipped cream