Crêpes are the kind of “sometimes food” that really are better off as an all times food.
For one, if you are doing them right, they are super thin. So thin as almost to be non-existent. And two, because those lacy, crispy edges have the sort of restorative, steadying powers that could galvanise a nation. And really, who doesn’t feel they could benefit from daily galvanising? I’m a paid-up fan of it.
Apparently the word crêpe is derived from the Latin crispa – which means curled. I like my crêpes crispa-ed with lemon and sugar tucked inside, thank you very much. Simple, but perfect because the lemon juice dissolves the sugar and the crêpes soak it all up like the best sweet, lemony sponge you’ll ever encounter.
Once I went to a crêpe place in Battery Point, Hobart, when I was a little girl and had a crêpe with my mum. I wanted to be a fancy crêpe eater, truly I did, but the crêpe had so much buttery sauce on it, my throat sort of closed up and my nostrils did the sort of wild flare that could end in tears.
Luckily I regained my composure and went on to discover that crêpes don’t have to be gagging with melted butter, that they can be delicately drizzled with lemon juice, spread with Nutella or even topped with condensed milk, if you are feeling a bit late-night-city-dessert-dispensary.
Several times I’ve even had a cake made from stacks of crêpes, layered with lemon curd and then topped with a sort of citrus jelly. They were good times. Of course cakes should be made of plentiful stacks of crêpes. It’s a given.
I used to make terrible crêpes, but now I know better. I’m good at it. Here is what I do. You can do it too, if you are an all times food kind of person like me.
1 cup of flour
1 1/2 cups of milk
butter to grease pan with
heavy based pan for best crepe results
Whizz (in food processor or other) or whisk everything together except the butter.
(If you’re doing it by hand, make a well in the flour, mix the egg and milk together and slowly beat the wet into the dry.)
Strain your mix through a sieve, to ensure no lumpy bits. Lumps ruin everything. Even small lumps suck.
(I strain my mixture through the sieve and into a jug, for easy crêpe pouring.)
Butter a heavy based pan well. Heat over a medium flame.
Make one sample crêpe. This one is for the dog. The thing about crêpes is that the first is the worst, so make the first one smallish. Just like a thin pikelet, even. Then give to dog.
Now let’s get going with the best are the rest crêpes.
Butter your pan again.
Pour your crêpe mixture into the pan and then tilt the pan to distribute the mix into a thin round that almost reaches the sides of the pan.
Thin is in. I like mine so thin you can see the plate’s pattern through the crepe.
Allow to cook until browning nicely (take a peek!)
It should take a minute, maybe less. Depends on your stove/pan.
Flip over with a spatula and cook for another 30 seconds.
Sometimes they puff up a bit. That’s okay.
Always they get crispy edges. Yum.
Once done, lift out of pan and repeat the crêpe process.
Top with your favourite delicious things, roll up and gobble down.