Crêpes

IMG_1774 Households all over France were whipping up mounds and mounds of crêpes---very thin pancakes that are ever so light and melt in your mouth.  The occasion was La Chandeleur---and like any good French holiday, there's a very food-centric way to celebrate it.

I was feeling quite festive on La Chandeleur, so I whipped up some crepes too.  The problem is that my crepes had some very serious American holiday tradition competition that same day.  It was Superbowl Sunday.  Undeterred, I made crepes and topped them with a variety of toppings I had on hand:  nutella and banana for some; butter, sugar, and a squirt of fresh lemon juice for others.

La Chandeleur (or "Candlemas") may be over, but it's not too late to make some super simple, super light and fluffy, super Francais crepes.  Crêperies in France use a large, flat, round heating element to make perfectly thin, perfectly round, and perfectly delectable crêpes.  I would love to have one of those, but my nonstick skillet did just fine.

I'm actually kind of quirky about eating crêpes at home or in a restaurant.  Crêpes are quintessential street food.  Take one and keep it moving.  Some of my fondest memories of Paris are stumbling down a winding, cobblestone ruette on a sunless day with freezing rain, and a warm butter and sugar crêpe in my hand.  In fact, on the grayest, coldest, wettest days, I remember Paris.  Especially when the fumes of someone's cigarette waft in my direction... an odd, yet comforting feeling of familiarity envelopes me, transports me back those gray, cold days with a crêpe in my hand to warm me.

Transport yourself to Paris for a gray, cold day. Or La Chandeleur.  Or whatever reason you like.  This recipe is easy, and it's adapted from Master Pâtissier Pierre Herme.  I'm even including a video of me making a crêpe below.

Crêpes

2 and 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter (35g) 3/4 cup all purpose flour (100g) 3 tablespoons white, granulated sugar (30g) (superfine preferred) 1 and 1/4 cups milk (300g)(whole milk preferred) 2 and 1/2 eggs (120g) 1 tablespoon Grand Mariner (10g) (you may sub with vanilla or almond extract) 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil (40g) (you may sub with any mild-flavored vegetable oil)

  1. Melt butter. Set aside to cool.
  2. Sift flour into a large bowl, mix it with 3 tablespoons of sugar, and make a well in the center.
  3. Combine milk and eggs. Pour mixture into well.  Gradually stir the mixture in the center toward the outer edge, incorporating the dry ingredients little by little.
  4.  When the batter is smooth, add the cooled melted butter, the Grand Mariner, and the 3 tablespoons of oil.  Beat well and let rest at least four hours in the refrigerator.
  5.  Heat a non skillet pan and brush it with a thin layer of oil.
  6.  When the pan is hot, pour about one ounce of the crepe batter, spreading it evenly over the surface of the pan.  Cook one minute on each side.
  7.  Serve with your favorite toppings.  These are best if eaten immediately!

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