Crepes remind me of my trip to France in 2001. Ahhh. I lived with my penpal of over 27 years, V. and travelled throughout France with her and her now-husband, P. I had the time of my life. We lived for awhile in P’s brother’s home in Annecy for a while. There, we made homemade crepes on a brand new specialty T-Fal pan that V. purchased at the T-Fal factory.
You don’t know the pain I suffered as a foodie in France, visiting all those wonderful shops around France; woefully conscious of the lack of space in my luggage that I would have to drag up and down those imposing Metro stairs (no elevators!) on my own on the way back home. I had already purchased a huge copper pan from our travels and handmade bowls made by nuns in a convent we passed by. I had no more room for T-Fal products, but I wanted wanted wanted! The T-Fal nonstick crepe pan had a larger surface area than what we would find in North America. It was also way shallower. It even came with a handy wooden dowel to smooth the crepe batter. The pan was a cinch to hold as it was light…and you could also flip the crepes easily this way. In Vancouver, I looked high and low for these pans but alas, there were none.
Here are some pics from France, of me trying my hand with the T-Fal pan. The dowel allowed you to make a super thin crepe that wasn’t bumpy.
Here I am deftly flippy the huge crepe.
In Vancouver, I purchased a similarly large crepe pan but it was made of cast iron and covered with an enamel surface. There’s no flipping this baby. It’s so heavy…but I think that’s designed to distribute the heat more evenly.
In France, my favourite filling for sweet crepes was Nutella, of course. My favourite savoury crepe was ham and cheese. My daughters, being allergic to nuts (too bad!) love crepes with jam. Anything goes in my opinion.
Interestingly, V. & P. never used recipes when they cooked. However, I have included one if you are inclined to try your hand at it. Do use a nonstick pan and your life will be a lot easier.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 2/3 cups milk
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 1/3 cup water
- butter, oil or nonstick spray for frying
- Sift the flour, salt and sugar into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Mix the liquid ingredients together with 1/3 cup water and pour slowly into the well, whisking all the time to incorporate the flour until you have a smooth batter. Stir in the melted butter. Cover and refrigerate 20 minutes or overnight.
- Heat a crepe pan or a nonstick frying pan and grease with butter, oil or nonstick spray. Pour in enough batter to coat the bottom of the pan in a thin even layer and pour out any excess. Cook over moderate heat until the top of the crepe is dry and the crepe starts to come away from the side of the pan. Turn the crepe on a plate with pieces of waxed paper between them and cover with aluminum foil while you cook the rest of the batter.
- Serve with preserves, Nutella, butter/sugar/cinnamon, fruit & whipped cream, ham & cheese or whatever your heart desires.
- Remaining crepes can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days.