Upon returning from Paris, I had been dreaming about making crepes for breakfast. The funny thing about crepes is that they’re a total tourist gimmick. Street vendors and restaurants in Western Europe may serve sweet crepes (crepes sucrees), but according to a restaurant owner I met in Roma, no locals eat them; they’re too fattening. And from the looks of the French and Italians’ shapely figures, I completely believe that they’re not eating crepes for lunch. Leave it up to us Americans to find any excuse to indulge in the calorie-infused faux ‘local cuisine.’ Even after learning this, I didn’t care. I ate crepes outside of le Lourve, at the bottom of le Sacre Coeur, and even in the Vatican Museum where they had an entire Nutella crepe-making stand:
By the way, the woman who assembled my crepe didn’t, by any means, skimp me out on nutella… and it was glorious. (Thanks to @Lou_Roll for the picture.)
I put it on my short term bucket list to make crepes for breakfast. Last month, I invited one of my best friends to come over for brunch during her lunch break from work. I didn’t tell her what I was preparing, but I knew it was the perfect opportunity to try my hand at crepes. The night before, I prepared the crepe batter and squeezed some fresh orange juice for us. When I awoke the next morning, to my surprise, this was the view outside my window:
I checked my phone and saw a text from my friend saying, “Love you babe but I’m gonna have to cancel lunch. The snow looks like its gotten pretty bad.” Not to be dramatic or anything, but my heart was shattered. Who was I going to share my first ever batch of crepes with?? I shamelessly sent her a picture of the freshly squeezed orange juice, and we were back on for lunch. She would be on her way in an hour, so I headed down to the kitchen, heated up the skillet, and poured some batter!
Luckily, the night before, Alton Brown assured me in a crepe-making video tutorial that the first one or two crepes weren’t going to come out the way I wanted… so I didn’t feel so bad when this happened:
Eventually, I got the hang of it and ended up with about eight crepes to serve/eat. We ate all of them — just the two of us. 🙂
The next time I made crepes was with my boyfriend. We made sweet crepes instead of plain breakfast crepes; this just means we added sugar and vanilla extract to the batter. I also used my baking knowledge and mixed the dry ingredients INTO the already mixed wet ingredients. (The first time, I didn’t follow my instinct and ended up with lots of clumps that I had to sift out.)
Sweet Crepe Recipe
(adapted from Alton Brown)
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
2 1/2 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. orange zest*
1 cup flour
Combine wet ingredients, then gradually pour in flour. Place the crepe batter in the refrigerator for 1 hour (or if possible, overnight). This allows the bubbles to subside so the crepes will be less likely to tear during cooking. The batter will keep for up to 48 hours.
Heat a small non-stick pan. Add butter to coat. Pour 1 ounce of batter into the center of the pan and swirl to spread evenly. Cook for 30 seconds and flip. Cook for another 10 seconds and remove to the cutting board. Lay them out flat so they can cool. Continue until all batter is gone. After they have cooled you can stack them and store in sealable plastic bags in the refrigerator for several days or in the freezer for up to two months. When using frozen crepes, thaw on a rack before gently peeling apart.
Yields about 8 crepes.
Put filling on half of the crepe. Fold over once to make a semi-circle shape, then fold over again to make a triangle shape.
Cinnamon Apple Raisin Filling:
1 tsp. butter
1 apple, diced
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. lemon juice