How to make crepes
A step-by-step process to making crepes
Dating back to the 12th or 13th century in western France, crepes have since gained immense international popularity. Normally served at breakfast or as a dessert, crepes can be made with sweet or savory fillings, or they can be served plain. This versatility makes it suitable for nearly any occasion.
Unlike pancakes, which are fluffy and made with a raising agent, crepes are thin and flat. They require a bit more precision and can also be a little more complicated to make, but the effort’s worth it. If you’re ready to make crepes at home, follow these steps.
What you need to make crepes
Use the right equipment to make crepes without burning the edges or making them rubbery.
Nonstick skillet or crepe pan
A nonstick, heavy-bottomed skillet is best when it comes to cooking anything that may stick to the bottom of the pan — like crepes. Not only do these skillets make it easier to flip the crepes, but it also requires less oil, which makes the food healthier. Alternatively, use a crepe pan. These pans have low sides and a large, flat surface that makes them perfect for crepes and versatile enough for other foods.
Any spatula will do, but a silicone spatula performs the best in high temperatures. Plus, unlike its metal counterparts, it won’t scratch the pan. A rubber spatula may work, but the material doesn’t hold up as well under high heat, so the edges may melt.
A ladle is needed to transfer the right amount of batter from the mixing bowl to the pan. On average, a ladle holds around 8 tablespoons of liquid or batter, which is about twice as much as what is needed for a standard crepe. That said, ladles can be used for pancakes, soups and more, making it a versatile, essential addition to the kitchen. Get a stainless steel ladle to prevent it from warping, staining or taking on odd smells.
Crepe spreader (optional)
This unique tool allows you to spread the batter evenly in the pan. If you don’t have one, spread the batter by tilting the pan until it’s evenly distributed.
Crepe maker (optional)
If planning to make crepes often or professionally, consider getting a nonstick crepe maker. These machines regulate temperatures better than standard pans and make cooking crepes much easier.
How to make crepes
For a standard recipe, you’ll need:
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- Dash of salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon butter (avoid using too much or you may end up with oily crepes)
- 1 cup flour
- Filling of your choice
- Optional: 1-2 tablespoons of sugar for sweeter batter
Crepes cook fast, so make sure you have everything that’s needed before getting started.
Choose the right flour
Traditionally, savory crepes were made with buckwheat flour, while sweet crepes were made with white wheat flour. For a healthier, denser crepe, use whole-wheat flour instead. Nearly any type of flour will do, but the flour used will impact the final texture and overall taste of the crepes.
Combine the ingredients
Start by adding the dry ingredients (salt, flour, sugar) together and whisking it until well mixed. Using either a whisk or an electric mixer, beat the eggs into the mixture. Then, add the milk. Make sure to mix after each addition to avoid lumps. If there are still lumps, use a food processor to get rid of it.
Let the batter stand at room temperature for around 15-30 minutes or until it starts to form small bubbles on top. For airier crepes, put the batter in the refrigerator for about an hour before cooking.
Don’t worry if the batter is thin. It should have about the same consistency as heavy cream. If it’s too thick, add a little milk or water to thin it out.
Heat the skillet
Lightly grease the bottom and sides of the pan with butter using a paper towel or pastry brush. Turn the heat on medium high and wait for the pan to get hot.
Add the batter
With a ladle, add approximately 4 tablespoons or 1/4 cup of batter to the heated pan. If the pan’s too hot, the batter will immediately start to stick. In that case, lower the temperature. Otherwise, swirl the batter in the pan or use a crepe spreader to spread it out as evenly as possible.
Cook the crepe
Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes or until golden brown on the side touching the bottom of the pan. You can check this by carefully lifting the edge with a spatula. If the batter sticks, wait another 30-60 seconds and try again.
Once it no longer sticks, carefully flip the crepe over to cook for another minute or until lightly brown on both sides. Remove the crepe from the pan immediately if the edges are starting to crisp.
Add the filling
You can either add the filling while the crepe is in the pan or put it on a separate plate first. Use as much filling as you want, but make sure the crepes can still close around it. Skip this step when making plain crepes.
In the pan: Instead of flipping the crepe, add filling to one half of the crepe and fold it over. Let it cook for a couple of extra minutes with the filling inside before removing it from heat. You can flip the crepe to help it seal.
On the plate: Transfer the cooked crepe to a plate and add the filling. Once that’s done, either fold it over (as with French crepes) or roll it (as with American crepes). As an optional step, you can return it to the pan for another minute to seal the contents inside.
When making sweet or savory crepes, prepare the fillings in advance. Meats, vegetables and fruits can all be cooked, chopped or sliced to your preference before adding them to the crepe.
Final touches for the crepe
Finish up the crepes by adding a garnish or toppings. For sweet crepes, add syrup, whipped cream or more sliced fruit on top. For savory crepes, sprinkle them with a bit of pesto or cooked spinach.
Angela Watson is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.