Thursday, June 17, 2010

Weekend breakfast

When I was a kid, my mom used to occasionally make crepes for the family on weekends.  I never thought it was unusual until we had guests who "oohed and aahhed" over such a fancy breakfast.  But crepes really aren't all that hard to make.  It's more or less the same as pancakes, you just cook them one at a time in a smaller pan.  I'd say the hardest part is waiting the 30 minutes for the batter to rest.  With Father's Day coming up, I figured what better way to show your appreciation than to give him a special fancy breakfast. ;)

Here is the  recipe I used for the batter, from Crepes, Waffles & Pancakes! by Kathryn Hawkins:

Basic Crepe Batter
Makes 12 crepes

1 c. plain flour
2 Tbsp. extra-fine sugar (optional)
1 pinch salt
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1 1/4 c. milk
1/3 c. unsalted butter, melted

1. Combine the flour, sugar  (if using), and salt in a bowl.  Make a well in the center, break in the eggs, then add the extra yolks.  Add half the milk and gradually work into the flour using a whisk.  Beat lightly until smooth, but don't over-mix.

2. Add the remaining milk gradually, whisking gently until it is well combined.  Transfer to a batter bowl, cover loosely and leave in a cool place for 30 min.  Stir 1/4 c. melted butter into the batter before using.

3. Lightly brush a small frying pan (6-inch diameter) with a little of the remaining butter and heat until hot.  Holding the pan, pour in about 1/4 c. batter and tilt the pan from side to side so that thte batter runs into a thin, even layer across the bottom of the pan.

4. Place the pan over moderate heat and cook for about 1 minute or until the crepe browns around the edges and begins to curl away from the pan.  Slide a palette knife under the crepe and flip it over.  Brown the underside for a further minute.

5. Turn out onto a wire rack lined with a clean tea towel and baking parchment.  Fold the paper and towel over the crepe to keep it moist.  Continue to make further crepes, brushing the pan with melted butter as necessary, gently stirring the batter each time it is used, and stacking the cooked crepes between sheets of parchment until you are ready to serve.

My Notes
I did not bother with extra-fine sugar.  I used regular granulated and it seemed to work out just fine.  I also think that they took a bit longer than a minute for each side.  Oh and this made closer to 14 or 15 for me, but I probably could have made them bigger.

I got a fancypants crepe pan for Christmas last year, but any small nonstick pan will work just as well.  I also used a large offset spatula to lift and flip the crepes.  I found that was a bit easier to use than a regular wide spatula.

 To keep them warm, I stacked them on a plate in the oven with layers of parchment in between and a clean tea towel over the top.

IMG_1449 by you. 
IMG_1452 by you.

The thing I loved the most about crepes is that you can set up an assembly line of fillings and everyone can make their own.  You can do savory or sweet, healthy or not-so-healthy, fancy or plain. ;)  I set out everything from bananas and nutella (my fave) to crushed pineapple and whipped cream to just plain old strawberry jam.

IMG_1436 by you. 
IMG_1438 by you. 

I thought I was going to have enough leftover to try to make Crepes Suzette later, but these were all gobbled up in one sitting!