Who doesn't love crêpes?! We can't think of a better vehicle for all the fresh strawberries, cherries, rhubarb, and other fruits coming into season right now. Add a little whipped cream and maybe a smear of nutella, and you've got the perfect brunch for Mother's Day...or any other day!
Crêpes are one of those dishes that look fancier and harder to make than they actually are. You don't need to know any special techniques or use any special pans to make them. We use a small 8-inch non-stick skillet that came in a kit we got after college, and it works like a charm every time. Of course, if you happen to come across a cheap cast-iron crêpe pan or already own one, go for it!
The Basic Recipe
Makes about 20 crêpes, enough for 6-8 adults
Whisk all the ingredients together either by hand, with a blender, or in a food processor. It should form a smooth, fairly runny batter. If the batter is too stiff, add a little more milk. If you have time, let the batter rest for 1 hour or overnight in the refrigerator.
The Basic Method
Heat an 8- or 10- inch non-stick skillet (or a cast-iron crêpe pan) over medium heat. Add a small pat of butter and swirl to coat the pan.
Pour 2-3 tablespoons of crêpe batter into the pan. Tilt the pan from side to side until the batter forms a very thin layer over the bottom of the pan. Cook until the edges of the crêpejust start to curl away from the pan (about a minute) and then flip it over to brown the other side (another 30 seconds or so).
Stack the finished crêpes on a plate and loosely cover them with aluminum foil. Keep them warm in the oven at very low heat. Add more butter to the crêpe pan as needed while you cook.
Fillings for Crêpes
One of the best things about crêpes is how versatile they are. Fillings can be sweet or savory, light or filling, vegetarian or with meat. For a brunch or dinner party, we like to set up a station with lots of different fillings and let guests help themselves to what looks good. Here are some of our favorites:
Sweet: Fresh cut fruit, cooked fruit or fruit puree, jams and jellies, whipped cream, sour cream, ricotta, cream cheese, goat cheese, nutella, peanut butter, maple syrup, dulce de leche, and honey.
Savory: Cooked mushrooms, sautéed veggies, roasted red peppers, pickled vegetables, salad greens and sprouts, cooked beans, pulled pork or beef, seafood ceviche, crab or tuna salad, shredded lettuce or cabbage, whole grain mustard, goat cheese, sour cream, blue cheese, and feta cheese.
Fold crêpes anyway you like: in half, in quarters, rolled up, or like a burrito.
If desired, you can fill and wrap your crêpes and then put them under the broiler for a minute or two. This crisps up the crêpe and gets the filling nice and bubbly.
You can also top the rolled sweet crêpes with ice cream, a sprinkling of powdered sugar, or a dusting of cinnamon, or savory crêpes with melted cheese, a savory sauce, or course-grained salt.