I have a cookbook, the name of which I shall not disclose at this time, which has a recipe in it for crepes. The introductory paragraph for said recipe never fails to crack me up. I have been known to get it out and read it just for a giggle, though I have never, and probably will never actually make the recipe. A little background, before I give you the gag; the author of this cookbook is a really fancy British guy, whom, I imagine, has really fancy British children. The introduction begins, “When you ask your children what they want for breakfast, you are sure to hear a chorus of “Crepes!”.” Now, just me, or is that a very posh breakfast choice?
Ain’t no chillins’ I know who be asking for crepes for breakfast. Pancakes? Sure. Crepes? HUH?! What is this nonsense? I guess kids just aren’t exposed to crepes as much round these parts. It seems like a very European choice for a breakfast. Come to think of it, do the French even eat crepes at breakfast? Or is it more of a dessert/snack choice? Je ne sais pas. Which is French for; I don’t know.
What I do remember is being in Paris, during their spring time, and watching the crepe-masters at work. They are on every street corner. They pour their crepe batter onto flat round electric pans, and use a flat wooden implement – a rateau – to spread the batter out in a circular motion. When I was there, the air was brisk and cool and steam was curling up off the batter as it cooked in the open air. The batter steams on the top side to an even translucency, and then the often-surly crepe-maker would perform an expert flip to reveal the lacy browned pattern underneath. At this point your topping of choice would be doused or slathered on top.
On the streets of Paris popular choices include, honey, nutella, bananas, strawberries and salted caramel. In all honesty though, I think it’s hard to improve on the simple perfection of a crepe lightly sprinkled with fine caster sugar and spritzed with lemon juice. A little sweet, a little tart, with browned butter flavours from the crepes and a slightly chewy texture, this is breakfast bliss. Alongside an essential caffeinated beverage – may I suggest an Earl Grey tea? – I really can’t think of a better way to start a long Easter weekend.
If you’ve got kids, maybe you could introduce them to the idea of a crepe for breakfast? Maybe then you would enjoy a chorus of “crepes!!” from your little ones… I always imagine it in a French accent… Makes me laugh and laugh..
Crepes: A recipe for the ages…
1/2 cup plain flour
2 tbsp sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 tbsp melted butter
In a medium mixing bowl combine the flour and sugar, and crack in the eggs. Begin whisking in the eggs, and slowly add the milk until you have a lump free mixture, with the consistency of single cream. This mixture can keep in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. Just before you are going to make the crepes, stir in the melted butter.
Heat a frying pan over medium heat, and melt about 1tsp butter in the pan. Ladle in about 1/4 cup of batter and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Cook on one side for around 1-2 minutes, flip and cook ont he second side for a further minute. Serve sprinkled with caster sugar and spritzed with lemon. Yum.