We’re talking Crepes here friends, not creeps. I promise. This week The Usual Suspects and I are delving into the wonderful world of crepes to celebrate the diversity of this fanciful little pancake. Sweet or savory these pancakes add a dash of class to any brunch spread. And contrary to popular belief – they are not as difficult as they appear. And by not difficulty – they’re freakin’ easy!
And with the tutelage of America’s Test Kitchen, you know you can’t go wrong.
This week the whole kit and caboodle of us are teaming up with America’s Test Kitchen to showcase the perfect crepe, give you the tips and tricks to make crepes like the pros and absolutely rock the socks off your brunch guests.
For #CrepeWeek kickoff, I wanted to keep it simple and fresh, so I added booze to it. Oh yeah, and lots of fruit. With so many berries and stone fruits being available I grabbed one of everything at the store, diced and sliced like a bad infomercial and poured a heavy hand of Grand Marnier over the top to seal the deal. And with a little Blackberry Grand Marnier jam in the middle of the crepes there were angels tap dancing on my tastebuds.
But to make sure I had all the right skillz, yes this warrants a “z” – I had to go straight to the source to make sure these were an epic success rather than an epic failure.
I had the chance to chat with ATK’s crepe developer Andrea to find out all the necessary tips and tricks that went into the perfect crepe. It was enlightening.
The first and perhaps most important tip imparted on us was that heating your non-stick pan for 10 minutes on low heat before making your crepes was key. It will give your pan ample opportunity to heat throughly and evenly, putting a halt to the temperature roller coaster that typically plagues pans when you make multiple batches of anything. What’s worse than unevenly cooked crepes – Nothing. Except having a house devoid of chocolate when you’re jonesing for a piece.
Next, mix your wet and dry ingredients together in two batches. Don’t just throw them both together all at once! Second worst thing about failure crepes? Lumpy batter. No one wants that. Splitting the whisking of the wet ingredients in with the dry in two separate batches ensures you get a smooth batter that will yield supermodel worthy crepes. Hey Kate Moss, nothing tastes a good as skinny feels? False. Perfect crepes do!!
And don’t fret about investing in crepe specific pans. Andrea told me that even Great Aunt Julia Child use a good ‘ol basic non-stick pan. If its good enough for Aunt Julia, its good enough for us!
Lastly, with the high liquid to flour ratio – there isn’t enough time or flour content to promote the formation of gluten in the batter. You can use whatever all purpose flour you have laying around for these without worrying about them becoming to tough.
So when you get around to pouring that little dollop of batter into the pan, swirl your pan around in the most artistic fashion you can, with the batter slowly coating the entire bottom of the pan. Let your crepes cook for about 1 minute on one side, until they become golden brown – and turn them with a spatula under the edge to lift the crepe away from the pan and use your fingers to flip it over! Be bold, be daring and be dexterous.
The whole spatula flip maneuver can go sour in a second, so use your phalanges and be the daredevil inside you were meant to be.
These delicate pancakes aren’t something to be afraid of. Make a batch, or two for practice – and eat the results. There is nothing unfortunate about a cooking experiment you get to devour afterwards. Hone your skills and perfect your coat-the-pan-in-batter wrist flourish. You’ll be a culinary rockstar yet.
But what would CREPE WEEK be without something fun for everyone involved?? Dun Duh DUHHHNNN!! It’s GIVEAWAY time! Our friends at America’s Test Kitchen have something super special ready for everyone. This week four of us will be giving away a series of ATK cookbooks! Hello!
— GIVEAWAY CLOSED –
THE WINNER IS –
Contact me – and I’ll make sure you get your hands on this fabulous book!!
This week enter to win a copy of the Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook from Me!
This baby is packed with 2,000 recipes from the 20 years of cooking from America’s most trusted food magazine. 2,000! Seriously, I dare somebody to go Julie/Julia on this and cook their way through this. You’ll never be hungry again.
To enter to win the Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook: (mandatory)
Tell me – Are you a sweet crepe or savory crepe fan?
For additional entries: (optional)
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Tweet the following! -> Happy #CrepeWeek! I just entered to win the Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook from @TestKitchenFeed & @CountryCleaver http://www.countrycleaver.com/?p=2112
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Keep up with us on all the social medias to make sure you don’t miss any of the Crepe Week Action!!
Don’t forget to check out any of the other fabulous crepes this week from:
Kirsten – Tuscan Crepes
Moi – Mixed Berry Grand Marnier Crepes
Kat from Tenaciously Yours – Southwest Crepes with Cilantro Pesto
Jeanne from Inside Nana Bread’s Heat – Lemon Cream Crepe Cake for Two
Lauren from Climbing Grier Mountain – Herbed Goat Cheese Crepes
Madeline from Munching in the Mitten – Blueberry Lemon Crepes
Carrie from Bakeaholic Mama – Vermonter Crepes with Ham and Cheese
Katie from Hill Country Cook – Sweet Crepes
Monica from The Grommom – Prosciutto and Asparagus Crepes
Mads from Le Petite Pancake – Strawberry Crepes Au Lait
Allison from Decadent Philistines – Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Crepes
Anne from My Sweet Heart – Red Velvet Crepes with Mascarpone.
Mixed Berry Grand Marnier Crepes
Fresh berries soaked in Grand Marnier laid on Crepes
1 pound Strawberries, hulled and quartered
2 cups Bleuberries
2 Peaches, diced
3 Tbsp Grand Marnier
1 Tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Orange Zest
1/2 tsp Vegetable Oil
1 cup All Purpose Flour
1 tsp Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
1 1/2 cup Whole Milk
3 large Eggs
2 Tbsp Butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup Blackberry Grand Marnier Jam
In large bowl, mix together berries. Pour Grand Marnier over the top. Sprinkle with sugar. Mix to evenly coat berries. Place in fridge for one hour, stirring occasionally. Keep chilled
Place oil in large nonstick skillet and heat over low for at least 10 minutes to throughly heat the pan.
In large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. In separate bowl, whisk together milk and eggs. Add half of milk mixture to dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Add butter and whisk until incorporated. Whisk in other half of the milk/egg mixture until smooth and fully incorporated.
With a paper towel spread heated oil around the non-stick skillet. Increase heat to medium and let skillet heat for 1 more minute. Test heat of skillet by placing 1 teaspoon batter in center and cook for 20 seconds. If mini crêpe is golden brown on bottom, skillet is properly heated; if the crepe burns or does not brown, adjust the heat of the skillet to accommodate.
4. Pour 1/4 cup batter into far side of pan and swirl gently until batter evenly covers bottom of pan. Cook crêpe without moving it until top surface is dry and crêpe starts to brown at edges, loosening crêpe from side of pan with rubber spatula, about 25 seconds. Gently slide spatula underneath edge of crêpe, grasp edge with fingertips, and flip crêpe. Cook until second side is lightly spotted, about 20 seconds. Transfer cooked crêpe to wire rack, inverting so spotted side is facing up. Return pan to heat and heat for 10 seconds before repeating with remaining batter. Place the done crepes on a wire rack to cool and allow steam to wear off.
When done plate the crêpes on a large microwave-safe plate and invert second plate over crêpes. Microwave on high power until crêpes are warm, 30 to 45 seconds (45 to 60 seconds if crêpes have cooled completely). Remove top plate and wipe dry with paper towel.
Serve them by
Recipe adapted from America's Test Kitchen Lemon and Sugar Crepes Recipes