Years ago, I used to frequent a lovely little restaurant called La Bonne Crepes. Ever since then, I have developed a taste for wonderful savory crepes and on occasion, a delightful dessert crepe. Sometimes I just get a craving for something really good. And often times it needs to be of French or Asian origin!
In my mind, I figured that the batter was essentially a thinner pancake batter and decided to plunge right in and just make it without a recipe. Pulling out my larger Pyrex measuring cup, I made my batter: flour, water, salt, a pinch of baking powder and vanilla. Mixed it all together into a thin “pancake” batter and let it set. WRONG!!!! This is why this is my delicious disaster!
The first to go in the pan wouldn’t set and then it stuck so badly, I had to scrape it out and dump it in the trash! So I grabbed my trusty iPad and went searching for a good recipe. I found a wonderful recipe by one of my favorite TV chefs, Alton Brown on the Food Network Website. So here is what you need to make crepes:
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
3 tbsp melted butter, and enough butter to coat the pan.
Place all the ingredients into a blender and pulse together for 10 seconds. Then chill in the refrigerator for an hour. This will let the bubbles subside which will help prevent the crepes from breaking apart. This batter will keep for 48 hours.
Heat a small non-stick round pan, coat with butter. Pour 1 ounce of batter in the pan and swirl to spread evenly. Cook for about 30 seconds and flip, cooking for another 10 seconds. Remove from the pan and let cool on the cutting board. Continue with the rest of the batter, letting each crepe cool on the cutting board until all batter is gone.
Crepes can be stacked and frozen for up to 2 months or refrigerated for several days.
Savory – add 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs, spinach or sun-dried tomatoes to the batter
Sweet – add 2-1/2 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, and 2 tbsp of your favorite liqueur to the egg mixture.
It is obvious that I need to get a proper pan to make crepes, but since the stainless steel one didn’t work out well, I switched to my trusty cast iron pan, and found a little bit better success with it. It was very difficult to flip the crepes and I think mine were much too thick to qualify as a “real crepe.” Once cooled, they did fold easily enough, but they were definitely too thick (blame it on the baking powder!).
Recently I picked up some lemon curd and thought that mixed with some other ingredients, would make a wonderful filling for these crepes.
Approx. 4-oz Neufchatel cheese
1 tbsp lemon curd
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Blend together in food processor until smooth. Filling should be thick.
Take a cooled crepe and lightly spread a little Nutella in the middle. With a small teaspoon, add a little of the lemon curd mixture and top with banana slices and strawberries and another dollop of lemon curd mixture. Folding the crepes to overlap, then top with banana and strawberry slices and drizzle with the lemon curd mixture.
It’s always been my favorite to include lots of fresh fruit for breakfast or brunch and this was no exception. So I decided to add some sliced pears to my plate at the last second!
While these crepes didn’t fold as easily as they should and were not the perfectly round shape they are supposed to be, they were delicious. It was a wild combination of flavors and when I do them again, I will probably tone it down a little as the lemon curd was very tart. The Nutella has a very strong chocolate, nutty flavor that is melt-in-your-mouth-wonderful, but together these two very vivid flavors almost over-powered each other. Still, it was very good and I can’t wait to go shopping for a proper crepe pan and start all over. I’m thinking a spinach/mushroom savory crepe should be next!
As Julia used to say, Bon Appetit!