Monday, September 10, 2012

Sunday Morning Crepes

Sunday morning was cool with a hint of fall in the air.  I usually have a smoothie (primarily green) for breakfast, but with the chill I felt like something warm and cooked.  When Adam and I do make weekend breakfast, it is generally eggs.  Adam was out fishing, so it was just me. Oatmeal seemed so blah.  Time to cook up something a little sweet!

Following a basic crepe recipe from The Joy of Cooking (by far my most-used cook book), I made a few ingredients alterations for dietary and availability reasons.  I mostly try to eat gluten-free, so I used an all-purpose gluten-free mix I keep on hand (substituted same amount).  It is based on the mix from The Gluten-Free Girl.  I couldn't tell you exactly what is in my current blend.  

We were out of milk, so I used coconut milk (also same amount).  I also try to not have too much dairy, saving it for cheese consumption and some kefir / yogurt.  We do usually have milk in the fridge for Adam, and culinary purposes. 

Making crepes always takes me back to Restaurant Desserts with Chef Rob.  I loved Restaurant Desserts (although I do still bear some caramel scars from that class).  One reason is probably evident, it was all desserts!  But also the class was in the afternoon, a welcome respite after all the early morning classes (Baking and Pastry, I loved you too, but the crack of dawn, really?).  The class was small, another welcome change.  I would stay with most of that group the rest of culinary school.  Chef Rob was laid back, one last difference after so much strictness and yelling.  

Photo from final class of culinary school, American Regional Cuisine.
I'm on the right, middle row, second woman in.

Anyway, during Restaurant Desserts, one day was designated as Crepe Day.  All we did was make crepes.  Sweet crepes, savory crepes, three different shades of crepe golden-ness.  At the old Kendall Evanston campus the pastry kitchen was on the ground floor, near the cafeteria, with a long window open to the hallway.  Eventually everyone would walk by.  And word got out around the small school - Crepe Day.  Banana Nutella crepe?  Yes, please!  

Three levels of crepe color

Crepes seem fancy and hard, but if you can make pancakes you can make crepes.  Know 
that your first one will not turn out, just munch on that while making the others. 

The topping is simple.  Dice a nectarine (I left the skin on).  Warm a little oil or butter in a saute pan.  Cook nectarine for a bit, then add in some maple syrup.  I think I used a little less than a tablespoon for the one nectarine.  Any fruit will work. 

Just roll up the crepes, and top with the fruit.  Et voila!  If you don't want a fruit topping, there are so many other choices - syrup only, powdered sugar, Nutella, peanut butter, whipped cream, etc. etc. etc.  

Enjoy!  Wishing you lovely weekend mornings.


P.S. Visit the companion Facebook page and share your everyday joy!  

Basic Sweet Crepes 
The Joy of Cooking (1997 edition) by Irma Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, and Ethan Becker

Makes about 12 7-1/2" crepes


1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup lukewarm water
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt


Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth

Pour the batter into a pitcher or other container with a pouring lip.  Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 30 minutes or refrigerate for up to 2 days.  (This allows the flour to thoroughly absorb the liquid and gives the gluten in the flour a chance to relax.)  

Place a nonstick or seasoned crepe pan over medium heat.  Coat the pan with a little unsalted butter.  

Stir the batter and pour about 2 tablespoons into the pan, lifting the pan off the heat and tilting and rotating it so that the batter forms an even, very thin layer.  Cook until the top is set and the underside is golden.  Turn the crepe over, using a spatula or your fingers (fingers work best here) and cook until the second side is lightly browned.  Remove the crepe to a piece of wax paper.  Continue cooking the rest of the crepes, buttering the pan and stirring the batter before starting each one.  Stack the finished crepes between sheets of wax paper.  Use immediately or let cool, wrap airtight, and freeze for up to 1 month.  

For savory crepe, omit sugar.

Note from Tara - It is very easy to whisk by hand if you don't want to bother with blender or food processor.  


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