Crepes are thin, delicate pancakes prepared in a skillet or special crepe pan. They're then folded or stuffed and rolled to gourmet perfection. You don't have to be a cooking maven to make crepes. They look intimidating, but after you try your hand at a couple, you'll get the hang of it. Making crepes is a bit like making regular pancakes, but with a thinner batter. The first couple of tries look pale and sloppy, but after that, everything evens out and you hit your crepe crafting stride.
Losing the jitters and developing a knack for making crepes could pay big dividends. You can use them in savory dishes as well as desserts, and they're great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. They also look beautiful on a plate. Here are some tips:
- Let the batter cool in the fridge for an hour before using it. You'll lose most of those pesky bubbles.
- Don't use recipes that add a leaven; your crepes will end up lumpy.
- Learning to flip crepes without a spatula is worth a few false starts. It's an impressive looking and useful skill. This is how it works: Season a flared, non-stick pan with oil and pour in just enough crepe batter to coat the bottom. Swirl the batter until it sets and the edges start to pull away from the sides. Then give the crepe a shake to loosen it . . . and flip.
- Make a big batch of crepes and keep them warm in your oven until you're ready to roll or fold them.
- You can freeze crepes for up to a month. Layer them between sheets of wax paper before you seal them in a freezer bag, though.
We're offering up a number of crepe recipes to try, including crepes Suzette, the classic crepe dessert flavored with orange liqueur and ignited flambé style. This dessert will finish the meal with a theatrical touch.