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Monday afternoon, in the middle of January. A bright, simple dish to lift the day.
Having enjoyed a phone conversation with a friend who enjoys cooking and is regularly reminding me of simple ways to enjoy food full of flavor, she off-handedly brought to my attention the versatility of crêpes. My meal for the evening became complete with her words as she unknowningly prompted me to pull off the shelf Martha Holmberg’s Crêpes: 50 Savory and Sweet Recipes cookbook for both a savory crêpe filled with chicken and a cheesy wine sauce, but a sweet crepe filled with the simplest of ingredients – lemon, butter and sugar.
Earlier this year crêpes became a part of my go-to for meals – whether for lunch – a Buckwheat Crêpe with prosciutto, egg and gruyére paired with a simple green salad – or, as seen today, a simple, yet satiating dessert.
Prepped with a seasoned, reliable crêpe pan (I love this one, but it is heavy) along with the necessary tools – a spreader and wooden crêpe spatula, I have yet to make a bad crêpe – so it is indeed the pan and proper tools and not the cook 🙂 as I have run into trouble with other traditional pans.
One of the handful of fresh fruit and vegetables I always have in my kitchen is a good lemon or two as I can add a squeeze to just about anything – a hot cup of water in the morning to jumpstart the day, a lovely sauce for my evening fish dish or a dash of juice in a vinaigrette – and brighten up the flavor and deepen the satiation of the dish. So it was good fortune to have a lemon at hand on Monday as I eagerly wanted to enjoy a simple sweet crêpe for my dessert.
Having batter left over from my savory crepe, I made my dessert and in five minutes had it dished and ready to enjoy. And I think you will as well. Here’s the recipe, and may your weekday dessert lift the entire day. 🙂
- 2 cups whole milk (@500 ml)
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp fleur du sel
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (190 g)
- 5-6 Tbsp unsalted butter (85g), high quality butter melted, browned (not necessary, but does add an additional lovely layer of flavor)
- 2-3 Tbsp salted butter – the best butter you can find for the pan (to butter each time you flip the or add the batter/crêpe)
Filling (flavor components :))
- 1 tsp salted butter
- 1/2 tsp granulated sugar confectioners' sugar if you prefer
- 1 squeeze lemon (fresh juice)
Brown Butter (optional, but easy to do and worth it)
- To brown the butter, simply cook it longer in the sauce pan in which you are melting it. More specifically, you are cooking the butter until the water within it has boiled off and you will begin to see the milk solids turn a lovely golden brown. This is flavor that will deepen the pleasure of each bite in your crêpe. Enjoy a subtle nutty, toasted flavor, and make sure you don't over-brown the butter. 🙂
- Over medium heat in a small saucepan, melt your (my preference) salted butter. Remain present, stirring the butter or swirling it from time to time. In about one minute, sometimes less time, the water will boil out. Then the milk solids will begin to brown – this will take about 2 to 4 minutes. Cook until it turns a golden brown, not just a pale brown. Remove from the stove immediately and pour into a cool container to stop the cooking. Cool to room temperature and then add to the batter. Include all of the brown solids as they have an abundance of flavor you will not want to leave behind. 🙂
- Mix the crêpe batter in a blender – milk, egg, flour, salt – first. When all combined, slowly add the melted butter (browned if you preferred) until the batter is the consistency of heavy cream, but not as thick as traditional pancake batter.
- You can let the batter rest for 5 minutes or up to a day to deepen the flavor. I often use it immediately (so a rest of 5 minutes), refrigerate the rest for the next day, and both are delicious. 🙂
Making the Crêpe
- Placing the batter in a pour-spout container (or leaving in the blender as it has the same capabilities), place your seasoned crêpe pan on the stove top over medium heat. Melt 1-2 tablespoons of salted butter on the crêpe pan.
- Pour into the center of the crêpe pan once hot, enough batter that immediately spills to 1/3-1/2 of the pan's diameter. Quickly, using your crêpe spreader (the T shaped tool), spread the batter eveningly to the edges of the pan, filling any small holes (using extra batter if necessary). Cook for about 2-4 minutes until golden brown. Shake the pan from time to time to ensure the crêpe is not sticking.
- Get ready to flip and don't worry, the batter is strong. 🙂 Have ready a tablespoon of salted butter to butter the pan again for the second side. Using your crêpe spatula, place underneath the center of the crêpe as far underneath the entire crêpe as you can. Before you flip, put the butter in the pan, letting it melt as much as possible. Then carefully flip the crêpe (you can watch me do this in my Buckwheat crêpe episode – season 3, episode #6 – https://thesimplyluxuriouslife.com/vodcasts3e6/ ).
- Cook over medium heat for about 2-4 minutes until gold brown. While the crêpe is still cooking, rub salted butter over the entirity of the open crêpe and sprinkle a little bit of sugar. Fold the crêpe in half, and rub it with salted butter again, sprinkle with sugar AND this time, squeeze your fresh lemon juice onto the crêpe. Fold for the final time an imperfect quarter fold and you are ready to enjoy!
- Sprinkle with a bit of confectioners' sugar if desired for presentation and a slice of lemon as well for added citrus should you want it and enjoy!