Holy Crepes

In the 1970s the crêpes really hit the pan in the USA. Restaurants featuring the French ‘pancakes’ were very popular, giving the impression that this type of food was newly invented.  Au contraire, mon ami. The original crêpes come from Brittany, the peninsula in NW France where they grow buckwheat instead of wheat. Buckwheat crêpes are seldom seen in the US, and the tourist food from street corners in Paris use crêpe batter without it.

Crêpes are easy to make, without fancy equipment, and lend themselves to a variety of healthy fillings. By using a combination of unbleached wheat flour and buckwheat flour, you get a crêpe which is lighter in texture and in flavor. The batter can be made ahead and frozen. Or the crepes themselves can be made ahead and stored for a few days in the ‘fridge.

Crêpe batter   1 batch makes 16 crepes, each using ¼ cup batter      each crepe =  55 calories   0.8 g. fat   2.4 g. protein  9.9 g. carbs       PB   The recipe is from Susan Herrmann Loomis’ terrific book, French Farmhouse Cookbook.                                

1 cup unbleached flour                                    ¾ cup buckwheat flour                                                                                                                                         1 ¾ cup water                2 eggs               ½ tsp sea salt                                                                                                                                                              

Vigorously whisk the flours and the water until batter is smooth. When you lift the whisk, the batter should fall off in ‘ropes.’ Let sit for 2 hours or over night. HINT: batter could be divided into 1 cup or ½ cup portions and frozen. If using frozen batter, whisk it vigorously after it thaws. Heat a small cast-iron pan or ceramic saute pan. Lightly spritz with oil.  {If your pan is well seasoned or you use a ceramic pan, you should not have to oil the pan more than once.}  Dip a ¼ cup measure into the batter and let the extra drain off. Grasp the handle of the cook pan with one hand as you slowly pour the batter into the center of the pan. Tilt the pan in a swirling pattern to let the batter form a circle roughly 6” in diameter. Don’t get hung up on perfectly round or perfectly flat. Watch the crêpe cook and look to see when the edges start to dry and curl a bit. Using a heat-resistant bur non-scratching tool [I use my fingers], lift the crêpe and turn it over. Cook the other side until done. Time will vary, depending on the heat of your pan. Lift the cooked crêpes out, put it aside, and cook the next one. HINT: if storing them for later today or tomorrow, let them cool on a tea towel, then stack and store in a plastic bag.

What shall we do with the crepes? Are you getting ideas already of what to put inside? Stay tuned in future weeks to put your frozen crêpe batter into use.

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