I started making crepes when my now very large children were still tiny. I immediately fell in love with the process. Scoop the batter out, quick pour onto the pan – not too much, not too little, then the all important swirl around the pan. Getting that swirl down is key. It is also the best part, for me, of the process. That is where the calm is, the zen moment, the beauty. I love seeing the batter spread and roll around the pan, knowing that it only happens correctly if I am on my game. It is easy to end up with a wonky crepe if you don’t have the amount calculated correctly and the swirl executed efficiently. Once you have it, though, the muscle memory kicks in and then it is smooth sailing and you become a crepe making machine, dump, swirl, flip, over and over, and you have a blessed hour to yourself at the stove.
That last sentence, I suppose, is the key to the beginning of my obsession with crepe making. When I started, I had 3 kids – 3 under 3, in fact. This was also around the same time I had my one and only star struck celebrity sighting experience. I was at the Cambridge Whole Foods when I spotted Madame herself – Julia Child. Now, I had run across well known people here and there before, each of those times eliciting a response of, “oh, hey, cool”. This, however, made me gaga. She was so cool, such an icon, so Tall. I wanted to follow her around and fill my cart with whatever she was buying. I controlled myself, however, and refrained from creepy stalking. Instead, I allowed that encounter to inspire me to finally try out making the delectable delicate pancake, and used her recipe as my instruction.
That first go round was definitely a learning session, but I was hooked pretty quickly and continued to make them whenever I had the chance. Back then, and in the next few years, it was easy to make a sufficient pile for the crew. Fast forward to now, I have to double and triple batch it while teenagers hover and hoover them up. One way I have found to make a smaller number of crepes go further is to make them into a crepe cake. Sounds like a thing, but really all it is is a pile of crepes with something yummy in between the layers. Typical is pastry creme but for our most recent one I did cocoa spread and sliced bananas. Oooooh, yummy! And, once you get the crepe thing down, tossing them into “cake” form is fairly simple. Below is the recipe for Julia Child’s crepes, from her book The Way To Cook. Make these. Pile them up with cocoa spread or jam or, if you are like my kids, just gobble each one up straight from the pan. Just do it. Then do it again. You are going to want to get good at it so you can keep up with the demand these will elicit.
Julia Child’s All Purpose Crepe
1 cup flour
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup water
3 large eggs, whisked
3 tbsps melted butter
pinch of salt
Place the flour and salt in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the milk and water until it is blended smooth. Add the eggs and butter. Heat a crepe pan or skillet over medium high heat. Lightly butter the pan. Depending on the size of your pan, pour 1/4 – 1/3 cup of the batter onto the center of the pan and immediately swirl it so it covers the pan. Let this cook for a minute or two, flip and cook for 30-40 seconds on the other side. Continue this until the batter is gone. One batch will make about 15-20 5ish inch crepes or 8-10 larger.