Crepes, a type of thin pancake, are a quintessential French snack. We are no strangers to crepes in many guises, and in France they can be stuffed with sweet (nutella, jam, bananas) or savory (ham, cheese, eggs) fillings. They are such a popular street food in Paris that you can find a crepe stand on almost any street. Towns throughout France have "creperies", quaint little restaurants with crepes - and many possible options for fillings - as their main menu items.
|Crepe stand in ParisPhoto Credit: Serge Melki (CC)|
The French don't typically eat crepes for breakfast, but as a snack or lunch. As a snack, a French crepe is most often enjoyed in its simplest form, with a dusting of sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice (ok, Nutella's a pretty big hit too).
Crepes really aren't difficult to make as long as you let go of the notion of having them in a perfect circle. You don't need any special tools or a crepe pan, a regular frying pan and a spatula will do - just be prepared to have the first one or two as "Chef's crepes", that is not presentable to be served and kind of a tester. The batter should sit for 1 hour, up to overnight, to make crepes that aren't tough, so plan ahead.
The girls love these as a snack and enjoy making them as much as eating them - which makes these a win-win.
Serves 4-6 as a snack
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tbsp melted butter, plus more for pan
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Make a well in the flour and add in the beaten eggs. Gradually add the flour to the beaten egg, then add the milk and vanilla and beat until smooth. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
2. Brush a little melted butter onto your pan, and heat to medium high heat. Pour a ladle full of batter* on hot pan and either swirl the pan to evenly distribute the batter into a circular shape or use the edge of a spatula and spread the batter (which is mostly how we do it - using a cast iron pan makes for heavy lifting to swirl!). Cook for approximately 2 minutes, until golden brown, flip with spatula then cook for another minute. Set aside on a plate and continue with the rest of the batter, brushing your pan with butter every few crepes or when needed.
*The amount of batter you use is based on your preference (how thin or thick do you like your crepe) and the size of your pan. We use a scant 1/4 cup to make thin crepes.
To serve, sprinkle with sugar and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Fold in half (it's tasty to sprinkle and squeeze some more) then in quarters. Enjoy eating them with your hands :)