Crêpes - French style pancakes
I have a very sweet friend who is French and very chic. She's always in heels and her kids are beautifully dressed in Vertbaudet. She's also an excellent cook and was shocked to discover that Betty Crocker was actually a brand of box cake and not a famous chef.
I invited her to my house for pancakes recently, but she ended up giving me a crêpe masterclass. Yep, crêpes - proper French style pancakes! They are completely amazing but very easy to make. We have made them every Saturday since in place of our 'one cup' recipe.
I have adapted her recipe oh so slightly, using vanilla extract & caster sugar instead of vanilla sugar, just because it's more to hand. The batter can also be made the night before. The recipe is too good not to share, so here it is - easy crêpes, or French style pancakes. Beautifully thin, vanillary and wonderful.
Crêpes - French Style Pancakes
- Makes: around 25 crêpes
- Time: 10 minutes prep plus cooking time
- Cost: 5p per crêpe (based on 25 crêpes)
- Calories: 84 per crêpe (crêpe only)
For the crêpes:
- 300g plain flour, sieved
- Pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons caster sugar
- 4 medium eggs
- 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 750ml semi-skimmed milk
- Sunflower oil for frying
To serve (ideas):
- Sugar & lemon
- Sugar & cinnamon
- Greek yoghurt & berries
To make the batter for crêpes:
- Mix the flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl until well blended.
- Make a well in the middle of the flour and crack the four eggs into the centre (or do this in another bowl first if you are worried about getting shell in there).
- Add the oil, vanilla and around a third of the milk to the eggs. Whisk the eggs in the centre of the bowl incorporating a little of the flour at a time as you do until you have a thick batter.
- Continue to mix the batter and add the milk gradually until you have a batter which is the consistency of single cream. You can add a little more flour or milk if you need to. Don't worry if there's a few lumps. Don't go crazy trying to whisk them out or your crêpes will be tough.
- The mixture can be kept in the fridge over night until you need it.
To make the crêpes:
- I use a 24cm non-stick frying pan and I get at least 25 crêpes out of the mixture. Lightly grease the surface oil and wipe away any excess with kitchen paper. Have two little bowls set up next to the pan - one for oil and one to put the greasy kitchen paper in between pancakes.
- Place the pan on the hob and get it nice and hot. You want it to be hot enough to cook the batter almost immediately on contact, but not too hot that you can't spread the batter by tilting or make 'tears' instead of a nice round shape. Be prepared to lose the first one or two pancakes.
- Take the pan from the heat and ladle in enough batter to make a thin round pancake without any extra batter pooling on top of the pancake. You will get to know how much batter you need as you go along, don't worry if you make them too thick or too small to start with.
- Cook the crêpes for around 30 - 60 seconds. You will know when it's ready to turn because the whole thing will easily lift off the pan as you slide the spatula underneath it. It will be golden brown underneath. Flip it over and cook on the top side for around 30 seconds
- Slide the crêpe onto a dinner plate. Add a little more oil to the pan and use the kitchen paper to wipe away any excess oil before making the next crêpe.
- As you make your crêpes you can stack them right on top of each other on a dinner plate until you are ready to serve them. If you need to, you can reheat them in the microwave, covered with pierced clingfilm for 30 - 60 seconds.