Follow this step-by-step crepe guide for foolproof results. If I am going to the bother of making crepes, I tend to make a large batch. This allows for the first one not working (although wiping out the pan as in this method usually means it doesn’t need discarding), my attention going elsewhere and perhaps overcooking a couple, or else it leaves some spares for who knows what – but they freeze really, really well.
Makes 18 – 20 crepes
Prep time: 5 minutes
Standing time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 45 minutes if using one pan
1 ¼ cups plain flour
1 ½ cups milk
1 tablespoon brandy
1 tablespoon oil
butter for frying
- Combine all ingredients in a large food processor and whizz until smooth. (Alternatively, sift flour and salt into a large mixing bowl, make a well in the centre and add the beaten eggs and milk, gradually whisking in. Add brandy and oil and whisk again). Ideally, stand the batter for one hour before cooking.
- Heat a small crepe pan, approx 18cm, over medium-high heat. Add a knob of butter and when melted, wipe out with kitchen towel. Return to heat and pour or ladle in around 2 tablespoons of batter, or enough to thinly cover the base of the pan as you tilt it to spread the batter evenly. If there is too much mixture, tip the excess out.
- Cook until bubbles appear all over the crepe and the batter loses its shine. Loosen the edges and flip over. Cook for a minute or so on the other side. Drop onto a clean tea towel or piece of baking paper.
- Repeat the process with the remaining batter. (To save time I find it efficient to cook in two pans at once and halve the cooking time). Occasionally wipe out the pan with the buttery kitchen towel. Stack crepes on top of each other. Wrap up well if you are making them in advance and they refrigerate and freeze well.
Lyndey’s Note: This basic recipe works well for both savoury and sweet dishes.
Some classics, such as Crepes Suzette, never lose their appeal. A light dessert which nevertheless packs a punch with flavour, it is easy in that it can be prepared ahead of time, the crepes simply re-heated in the sauce and if you must show off, the whole can be flambeed at the table.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
4 sugar cubes
75g unsalted butter
A few drops of lemon juice
½ cup Grand Marnier or Cointreau
½ cup brandy warmed (optional)
- Rub the sugar cubes on the rind of the washed orange until they have absorbed the orange oil. Crush the sugar with a fork and then cream with 45g of the butter. Place the remaining 30g butter in a frying pan or chafing dish. Squeeze the orange and add the juice to the pan with the lemon and Grand Marnier or Cointreau. Bring to the boil, and taste to see if you need more lemon juice. Add the creamed orange butter and stir until dissolved.
- Place the crepes in the pan one at a time and heat, spooning sauce over. Fold each crepe in four and push to the side of the pan before adding the next one. (To speed up this process if crepes have been made ahead they can be reheated in a low oven or microwave, keeping them well wrapped).
- When all the crepes have been folded, spoon sauce over them, drizzle with warmed brandy and set alight if desired. As soon as the flames die down, serve 2 crepes per person with a little sauce.
And for something completely different Japanese Pancakes Osaka-Style.