Saturday, 28 May 2011

The French Pancake: Crêpe

Blueberry Crêpe with Frozen Yoghurt and Raspberry Sauce

Pancakes were a Friday morning special in my house as a child. There was always a little bit of batter left in the end, not enough to make two pancakes and too much to make one, so my mom would make a big thin one. She would then eat it with honey and cinnamon, or jam, rolled or folded, and told me this was a ‘French pancake’. This was my first encounter with crêpes.

Original crêpe recipes have egg in them, and are almost identical to pancakes in the ingredients, although they differ in the ratios. However, I prefer to eliminate the egg in my recipe, to keep a distinction between pancakes and crêpe. Also, it is a very handy recipe if you are in the mood for something simple and sweet and do not have any eggs in the house, also for people with egg allergies.

Crêpes are one of the most versatile deserts, and you can also turn them into a savory dish by eliminating the sugar in the batter. In the pictures I show very simple fruit crêpes, Apple Caramel Cinnamon and Blueberry with Frozen Yoghurt and Raspberry Sauce. Whipped cream is an easy way to fill the crêpes, and adding cocoa to the cream will turn it into a light and airy chocolate dessert.


- 2 Tbsp Butter
- 1 1/3 cups Milk (I prefer skim)
- 1 Tbsp Sugar
- 1 cup Flour
- pinch Salt
- Vanilla extract

Cinnamon Apple Crêpe with Caramel Sauce

Preparation (Aprrox. 20 mins)

Mix the dry ingredients then add in the liquid. Mix until its incorporated. Allow the batter to rest for 15 mins (although the original recipe calls for a 1 hour wait, I can never wait that long!)

In an omelet-sized non-stick pan, add a few drops of oil and rub around using a paper towel. Keep this paper towel for rubbing the pan in between crêpes as needed. Allow pan to heat on medium. With a ladle, pour some batter into the pan and immediately lift the pan and rotate as to cover the whole bottom. For a 20 cm pan, you only need about ¼ of a cup of batter to make nice thin crêpes. I use 1/4 cup scoopers to make the sizes consistent. When the crepe starts to bubble and the sides start lifting from the pan slightly, use a thin spatula and flip. Leave it on the other side for about 30 seconds then remove. Repeat until batter is finished.

Tips for beginners:

- If the crêpes are too thin to handle, start with using more batter just to practice. They will be a thicker, but still perfectly edible.

- Make sure to lift the pan while you pour in the batter, this will prevent the batter from cooking too fast before you cover the bottom of the pan.

- If the crêpe is stuck to the pan, loosen lightly with the spatula around the edges moving into the center slowly. This means your pan isn't greased properly. Use a little butter if oil is no working for you. But do not let it brown too much or the butter will burn.

- Do not use too much oil, or the crêpes will be greasy. The oily paper towel is enough, unless you are making double the batch.

- You can store the crêpe batter in a Tupperware and use a day later. You will need to add some more liquid since it will thicken.

- Crêpes stressing you out? Check out Alton Brown’s take on the French pancake in his show Good Eats,  in the episode Crêpe Expectations.

What is your favorite crêpe filling?


  1. my favorite filling is chocolate sauce...yummy :)

  2. My favorite would be cinamon with like apples or something. They look scrumptous! Cant wait to try