French Crepes

French CrepesHave you ever had the desire to show off at the end of a meal, and create a simple but amazing dish that will get everyone to Ooh and Ah?  My friends, I present for your consideration, French Crepes!’

(Please note, these are dessert crepes, so are slightly sweeter than the kind you would make for the main meal.  Those are awesome as well, but for a different day.)

French Crepes are easy to make (with only a little practice), very few ingredients (all of which are common), and will delight and inspire your guests.  I invite the guests to join me in the kitchen, and sit around the island talking while I make them, switching between two pans on the stove-top to get them done a little faster.  The guests then fill them with an assortment of fillings, based on what i liked that day.  Fresh fruits, like strawberries and blueberries, chocolate spread (I prefer Justin’s Hazelnut Butter over Nutella), whipped cream, caramel syrup, nuts, and almost all Sundae Toppings are always a hit.

If there is a trick to this, and I am not saying there is, it would be to figure out the heat setting on your stove to cook them to golden brown without cooking them too quickly, so you have time to swirl them around the pan before they set.  Say, start with medium, and let the pan get warm for a couple of minutes before you start.  Oh, and a good non-stick pan is a major help.  Oh, and make the batter the night before you want to cook them so the it can rest, or at least a few hours before.

Don;t let any of that intimidate you.  The batter is cheap, mostly flour and butter, so make twice what you want and play with it.  It really is worth doing.

Let’s bring on the photos!

Make the batter beforehand, in a blender.  It beats hand whisking every time (at least for crepes).


When ready, I use a measuring cup to get the right amount for the pan.  I use 1/3 cup for a 10″ pan.  Once the pan is good and hot, i wipe it down with a little butter on a paper towel, not a lot, just a hint of it.  Then pour in the measures batter all at once, and start swirling the pan to make a nice thin coating across the entire bottom of the pan.

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Let that cook over the heat for a little bit, may 30-60 seconds, then check under the edge with a spatula.  You are looking for a nice, golden brown, and a little shake on the pan should have the crepe move loosely.

French Crepes

When it looks good, flip it over.  My inner self always wants to do a large flourish of the pan to flip it, but that’s just me wanting to show off.  It is much easier to use the spatula and kind of pick it up in the middle and unfold it on it’s other side.  It also ends up with a lot less broken, lost, or messed up crepes.

French Crepes

The second side needs less time than the first side, and won’t get all golden brown, but it will set and get some brown spots, then slide it out of the pan and onto a waiting plate.  Cover the plate with a clean dish towel, or right onto a guests plate, but be careful to not burn them with the pan.

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And that’s it!  add some filling, less is often more so don’t overfill them, and roll them up.

Your guests will thank you.  Several times.


Recipe is taken from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by the wonderful Julia Childs.  If you don’t have it, go buy it.  Now.  I’ll wait.  It’s simple instructions and detailed recipes will make you a better cook, and the book is truly amazing.

French Crepes
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10-12 6" crepes
As dessert crepes, they are slightly sweeter than the savory kind, and can be wrapped around many things for a sublime after dinner treat. Best when the batter gets to rest for 2-24 hours. Try to make the night before you want them.
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¾ cup cold water
  • 3 egg yokes
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter
  1. Put all the ingredients into the blender in the order they are listed. Cover and blend at top speed for one minute. Scrape down the sides and blend again for a few seconds. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or better overnight.
  2. heat a non-stick pan over medium heat for a few minutes until hot. Wipe with a very small amount of butter. Pour in about ⅓ cup of batter and slowly swirl around until the bottom of the pan is covered. Cook for 30 seconds to a minute, until golden brown, then flip over (using spatula, fingers, or wrist flip of the pan. Be careful to not burn yourself.) 30 seconds on the second side, and remove from pan.
  3. Repeat until all batter is used.


World’s Best Pancakes

pancakesI love pancakes. In fact, I adore pancakes.  If it took no time to make them (and no calories), I would eat pancakes twice a week.  Unfortunately work and children conspire to take up my pancake time, and I settle for lesser food in the mornings.  (And I gladly make that choice, but I think it is ok to occasionally lament the good things we give up for better things).

This is another food that I would make ok at home but head to a restaurant for better on the weekends.  I even went through a phase when we used a powdered mix to save time and effort.  I learned that some things are worth the effort, or left alone until the time can be set aside to do them right.  Save yourselves from box mixes and instant foods!
So one day I finally had sufficiently bad pancakes to push me the the Internet in pursuit of the perfect recipe.  And there are a lot of them; some good, some terrible.  I tried twelve different pancake recipes, all claiming to be the best.  And some were really good.  We finally found one that headed toward great, but not quite there.  We tweaked, and we adjusted.  We tested and we adapted.  What we ended up with was different than all the others, with a little borrowed from a lot of different ideals.
We call them the World’s Best Pancakes.  It is a little bit hyperbole, but not much.  I think you’ll like what we came up with.

We are at 4200 ft altitude.  You may need slightly less flour, and maybe a pinch less baking soda if you are at sea level.  Please post a comment on any success or failure at different elevations.
Also, this makes a LOT of pancakes.  Most people have extras at the end.  They freeze well and heat up nicely in a toaster or oven, or you can half or third the recipe.
One other thing, the syrup makes a big difference.  Either use a high end syrup, or at least get one made from sugar (like Log Cabin) and not made from corn syrup.  Or try these with strawberries and caramel sauce.


World's Best Pancakes
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 40 - 3" pancakes
These pancakes are so good, they will ruin your appetite for all other pancakes.
  • 3¾ cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 3½ cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 ½ tablespoon vinegar
  • 3 eggs
  • ⅓ cup butter, melted
  1. In a medium glass bowl (4 cups or larger) make the sour milk, starting with the lemon juice and vinegar, and adding the milk until a you have a total of 3½ cups. Let sit at least five minutes while you mix the dry ingredients.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In the glass bowl with the sour milk, and the eggs and beat or whisk together. Once combined, slowly beat in melted butter. Keep the wet and dry mixtures separate until just before cooking.
  4. Heat your electric griddle to between 325 and 350. You know it's ready when you can flick water drops onto the surface and they bead up, sizzle, and dance for a moment before evaporating.
  5. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture, and whisk together. Do not over stir; mix just enough to bring together, a few small lumps are ok.
  6. Pour in ⅓ to ½ cup per pancake and brown on both sides, as if you are cooking pancakes. Which you are.
  7. Serve hot.