I’m back to write about my experience making crepes.
I’ve actually made crepes before. During the fall term of freshman year, I was still tricking myself in believing that I may considering being Pre-Med. During that time, I was a part of Dartmouth’s GlobeMed chapter. To raise money, we would sell crepes. That night, we sold pumpkin crepes along with regular crepes with toppings such as Nutella and bananas. I had a large circle griddle specifically for making crepes and that little wooden T you use to spread the batter into a thin sheet.
I have to say I did a really good job. The pumpkin batter wasn’t that great (it was their first time making it) and it wouldn’t cook well so when ready to flip it, it would just fall apart. When I got there, they decided to not sell that. So I just made the regular one while practicing my batter-spreading and flipping skills. As my shift almost arrived to a close, more students came. I guess the later it is, the more your appetite calls for food to fuel those long-night study sessions.
Eventually, we ran out of the regular batter. I decided that we should offer the pumpkin crepe but at a discounted price due to it not being able to be served as an entire crepe. Why throw out the batter when people want it? Sure, crepes look pretty but all the toppings and crepe will end up in the same place–your stomach. You’re basically mixing it up when you chew it. So I tried my best to keep the pumpkin crepe as together. There were some successes. There were some… Oh boy, that looks like scrambled crepes.
Not calling myself an expert, but I’m not newbie. But at home, I didn’t have the large circle griddle or special wooden T tool. I had a small pan and only my wrist to roll the pan to spread the batter into a thin layer. Oh, and no butter in an Asian-household kitchen. So I searched for a crepe recipe that didn’t require butter. Let’s begin this recipe!
(Adapted from the AllRecipes.com)
- 1 cup flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 egg
- Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. The recipe required all-purpose flour but I used the flour in my pantry, a Korean brand that said wheat flour. I probably should do a blog on why there are different flours… Even I don’t know why.
- Heat your pan.
- Add oil so the crepe doesn’t stick. I didn’t want a thick layer of oil so I used paper towel to spread the oil in the pan.
- Use a ladle to spoon in the batter. Do this slowly and only pour in enough to form a thin layer.
- Hold the pan and rotate your wrist to roll the pan so the batter spreads into a thin layer.
- The side will cook faster than the middle since it’s thinner. Once that part is cooked, I would use chopsticks to slowly detach that from the pan. Eventually I would get through the entire crepe by slowly working into the middle.
- Flip when the entire crepe is no longer sticking to the pan. The underside of the crepe should be fully cooked. You should be able to move the pan back and forth with the crepe sliding around. I used a spatula or chopsticks to flip. I tried to flip it by moving the pan but only had 1 success with the rest being flipping only 2/3 of it with 1/3 stuck to the crepe itself. You can watch Cassey Ho of Blogilates detailing her crepe flipping adventures from 4:40 – 6:00. Believe in yourself!
- Cook the other side until fully cooked.
- Slide it onto a plate.
Use whatever you have available. In my fridge were sweet cream cheeses, which you’ve seen used in my previous posts on Breakfast Sandwiches (here and here). In my freezer were frozen blueberries, which I left out while cooking to defrost, even if it was only slightly unfrozen. By the way, frozen blueberries are tasty treats for hot days! I also had vanilla Greek yogurt and whipped cream. There was also some walnuts, which I diced.
I also had mangoes and I used it to make some mango syrup. Or at least that was the idea. I didn’t have any berries except for frozen blueberries, because my mom just loves to prolong the lives of food to an unnatural length by freezing them. Raw mangoes didn’t sound that great with crepes. So I imagined a syrup in my head. It just turned out to be warm mangos. Below is how I made it… if you’re interested.
- Fill a pot with about 1.5 inches of water.
- Heat it.
- Add sugar. I don’t have a specific amount. Add to your heart’s content.
- Dice mangoes.
- Add them to pot when water boils
- Add honey. Why? I just had it and I thought it might make it stickier… Didn’t. But probably added some honey flavoring.
- Just let it boil. The water should evaporate to create a sticky bit of liquid and cooked mangoes.
- Spread the syrup/sauce to a quarter of the crepe. When I first made it, I did it for a 1/3 but realized that I folded in fours. You can spread it on the entire crepe but only wanted subtle flavoring.
- Fold the crepe in half along the spreading and then in a quarter.
- Add toppings. Make it pretty!
Below are the crepes I made:
Walnut Honey Cream Cheese Crepe topped with Vanilla Greek Yogurt, (Frozen) Blueberries, Crushed Walnuts, Honey Drizzle
This combination was great. I loved the taste of the cream cheese and with the honey, there would be occasional bursts of sweetness when I got some into a bite. I made this a few more times for myself and my parents. My mom preferred it without the walnuts but I liked it with the slight crunch since variety and juxtaposition excites me. Next time, I would prefer it with defrosted/fresh blueberries but it was hot so I tolerated the occasional frozen blueberries in bites. I feel so fancy when I make this dish! I love these pictures.
Blueberry Cream Cheese Crepe topped with Whipped Cream and Warm Mangoes
I didn’t quite like this one as much as the other one. I added the Blueberry Cream Cheese here because I didn’t want a ton of blueberries with that cream cheese and the actual blueberries. All the flavors are nice, but it just didn’t mesh well. Sometimes you get great ones, and other times you get so-so ones. Then there are the rare times you get horrible ones and you wonder why it didn’t taste as good as when you mixed the ingredients together in your imagination.
- Uncooked? After making it a couple of more times, I noticed that the crepe sometimes seemed uncooked or as in soft in middle. Usually, crepes almost has a “crispiness” to it. Mine had a slight crisp at edge since there is less batter there. Not sure. But I haven’t had a stomach ache from eating? I’m sure it’s fine.
- Recipe Makes a Lot! Because I only needed a little for a thin layer and my pan was small, I ended up able to make a lot of crepes. It ended up in my fridge for a couple of days and I would pull it out to make crepes. I suggest you do this if you want to make a lot for a group of people or be prepared to know you’ll have it in your fridge for awhile. When you take it from the fridge, the dry ingredients settle to the bottom so remember to mix it before cooking it. In the end, I was told to finish it by my mom since it was taking up space in the fridge. I ended up being creative by adding some things to the batter. We can talk about this in another post. Repurposing simple crepe batter…
- Thickness. Be careful to not put in too much. You want a really thin layer. I soon learned that about 3 ladles of the ladle I had was enough. I’m not sure what’s happening but I observed after pouring in the refrigerated batter and making a crepe, it was thin. But when I would make the second one, a ton of air bubbles would form and it would puff up even though I used the same amount of batter. Could this be caused by a hotter pan? Slightly warm batter? Any scientist care to explain?
- Fruits. But just make sure to cut them into small pieces. Most crepe places use berries and bananas. Why not be adventurous? Durian may not be the best choice though. Don’t reject it. Although I don’t like the raw version, it was great in this pastry I had for dim sum in Boston.
- Yogurt. Got cartons of yogurt lying in your fridge? Tired of just eating them like that? Add it to crepes!
- Nutella. Do it. Do it. You know it’s been done many times before.
- Any Syrup. I used honey but I wish I had maple syrup at home! Got chocolate syrup? Add it. Condensed milk may taste good…
- Red Bean Paste. I’ve had this in many Asian desserts. Why not in crepes?
- Apple Sauce? Maybe. Just maybe. It’s sweet. Fruity. Why not?
- Ice Cream! Need I explain?
- Savory Ingredients. I haven’t tried this yet but you can be inspired by the savory ones I ordered at Vive La Crepe!
Comment with any suggested topping ideas that you have. Any crepe combinations you’ve made or had really blew your mind? Let me know so I can try it and so other people can see! A future post will be on how I repurposed the crepe batter since there was so much!