This weekend I went to my in-law’s holiday home with my wife and an old friend (Doug) with one of his co-workers (Sebastian). Doug suggested that he and Sebastian bring Sebastian’s crepe maker and they would make breakfast for us the next day. Sebastian is from Alsace in north of France and we thought it would be a great idea to have authentic crepes made by a Frenchman, and it was!
The humble crepe is so versatile. Not as heavy and stodgy as normal pancakes, the crepe is good with sweet or savoury fillings. Fortunately Sebastian made too much batter and we had crepes for breakfast one day and crepes for lunch the next. The breakfast crepes were filled with fresh fruit, cream and maple syrup and the lunch crepes were filled with mozzarella cheese, sautéed mushrooms and smoked salmon. Heaven on a plate.
Recipe for 4 people (about 2 crepes each)
250gr plain flour (you can substitute 1/3 of the flour with buckwheat flour)
500 ml milk
Pinch of salt
Dash of olive oil
Savoury Crepe suggested ingredients
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Smoked salmon or ham
Sweet Crepe suggested ingredients
Sliced fruits of choice
Double cream or Crème Fraise
Mix all the batter ingredients in a bowl and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Longer is better as it reduces the bubbles that are formed when the batter is cooked.
Grease up the crepe maker (or pan) when it gets hot, with either butter or olive oil. Pour about one and a half ladles of batter onto the crepe maker and spread quickly with a T-scraper (or spatular) using an arching motion. Allow the crepe to cook until the up side of the crepe is dry and the edges are starting to brown.
Next, lift the crepe with a spatular and flip it over.
If you are making a savoury crepe, this is the time to sprinkle on some cheese and what ever other ingredients you wish over the cooking crepe. Leave the crepe to cook for about another minute or two and then, using the spatular, fold over the sides and remove to a plate to serve.
If you are making sweet crepes, just remove the crepe and place the ingredients in the middle and roll it all up on a plate to serve.
Another sweet variation is to sprinkle some sugar onto the flipped side of the crepe and squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the sugar as it caramelises. When the sugar has melted and mixed with the lemon juices, roll up the crepe with the spatular and serve.
One of the really good things about crepes, besides their simplicity, is the fact that each person can make their own. It’s all a bit of social fun that tastes fantastic.
On an interesting side note, Sebastian who has lived in Australia for nearly ten years, told us of how when he travels, he “couch surfs”. Couch Surfing is a worldwide network of people who contact each other over the Internet and arrange free accommodation with other like-minded people. Sort of like hitchhiking but from couch to couch rather than car to car. Sounds like a great way to meet the gregarious and generous people of a society. If Sebastian is anybody to judge “couch surfing” by, then I’d say it’s a good way to meet interesting nice people from overseas.