How to make a perfect sweet French crepe batter
There is almost nothing as quintessentially French as crêpes. For those who don't know, a crêpe is a very thin pancake. It is perfect for a quick dessert, or for a savory meal. I make them whenever I'm missing France.
Today I was in the mood for something sweet. If, like me, you're craving for something sweet, make some crêpes. Generously stuff the crêpe with fruits (blueberries, strawberries, canned peaches), jam and whipped cream, just sprinkle some plain sugar or spread Nutella inside the crêpe. Yum!
Yields: 16 servings5-1/2 Tbs unsalted butter, diced, + extra for greasing the pan
5 cups whole milk
4-1/8 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
4 Tbs sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup lemon juice, pulp free
1 tsp lemon zest, freshly grated
1 tsp orange zest, freshly grated
1/3 cup orange juice, pulp free
In a deep saucepan, melt the butter into 3-½ cups of milk over very low heat. Remove from the heat as soon as the butter is melted. Let the milk cool completely.
Using a handheld mixer, whisk the eggs with the sugar until you get a pale, yellow foam. It'll take about 6 minutes. The consistency must be very airy. Add the vanilla extract.
Combine the flour and salt in a bowl. Sift the dry ingredients. Form a well in the center of the bowl. Pour in the egg mixture, lemon and orange zests, juices and butter/ milk liquid. Mix until the batter is smooth. Do NOT over-mix.
Let the crêpe batter rest for at least 2-3 hours. Thin the crêpe batter with the remaining milk (up to 1-½ cups).
Place your crêpe pan (or any flat pan) over medium heat. Grease it with a little butter using a silicone brush. Pour about 1/2 cup of the batter in the center of the pan. Lift the pan and then tilt and rotate it until the batter is evenly spread and forms a nice thin disk. Put it back on the stove. It should start bubbling after a few seconds. Leave it alone.
The crêpe batter should cook for about a minute before it's time to flip. When the edges look dry and start separating from the pan, take a long flat spatula and lift around the crêpe. Flip the crêpe and cook the other side for another 30 seconds.
Garnish with some strawberry jam, vanilla-flavored whipped cream and fresh strawberries. Decorate with some fresh mint, and dust with powdered sugar.
The longer you let the batter rest the better. It will still be good after 2-3 days in the refrigerator.
My secret for perfect crêpe batter is to melt the butter with the milk. Let the mix cool completely, then add the rest of the ingredients.
The first crêpe is never perfect. You might want to thin the batter with milk if the crêpe turns out too thick.
The best spatula to flip crêpe is the one from Ikea. It's long, flat, heat resistant and gentle on non-stick pans. And it's inexpensive .
If you're interested in making a savory version, check out my recipe for banh xeo, it's a Vietnamese crêpe.Published By: on June 1, 2009.