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battlepanda

Tips for Crepes?

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I'm visiting my cousin in toronto. She and her boyfriend has a crepe maker they recieved as a gift or something. They never use it. In fact, they don't know how to cook. I'm itching to try it out sometime in the next few days. Does anyone have a good recipe? Also, when I see the crepemakers being used in restaurants, they have a little paddle to smooth out the batter and make it nice and thin. I can't find the paddle in their kitchen anywhere. Is there anything I can replace it with?

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The missus makes excellent sweet and savoury crepes in our steel omlette pan. She just ladles the batter in and then rapidly swirles it around to coat the bottom of the pan evenly.

I guess if you have a contraption that can't be lifted off the burner, a little crepe hoe (there's a joke there, somewhere) would come in handy, or if you're making the huge ones you see in the crepe kiosks in Europe. But you can prbably just use the end of a spatula, too.


I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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I use Alton Brown's recipe for crepes with perfect results everytime. To make perfect crepes, just ladle the batter into a non-stick pan, swirl to coat the bottom and here is the best tip (I think I got this tip from a Jaque Pepin recipe):

USE more batter than you need per crepe and as soon as the bottom is coated pour the excess back into the batter container. This will ensure even thickness (or thinness I guess) with no lumps, excess batter or holes. This will make crepes that have a sort of a tail. when all of them are cooked, just cut the "tail" off, perfect crepes every time. I also like to cut the outer most edges (just about 1/8th of an inch or so to make perfect edges) when the crepes are rolled, for purely aesthetic reasons.

Elie


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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I use a French steel crepe pan and a plain old wooden spatula to smooth the batter tissue thin. As far as a recipe goes, I pretty much stick to the Larousse Gastronomique. Fillings is where I get create. Some days I use home made jam, other days it is asparagus with a a lime hollandaise.


-- Jason

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If the crepe maker is the electric kind that is dipped into the batter, then turned upright to allow the crepes to bake, the trick with the batter is make it the evening before and put it in the fridge overnight. I have one of these and this is what I do when I use it for smaller crepes, 7 inch diameter.

I also have a larger electric crepe maker and I have use the flat edge of one of the nylon or silicone dough scrapers to drag the batter around the top. It came with a thing that set in a groove on the outside edge but it was a little too unwielldy for me to use so I use the scraper instead.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Let the batter rest for at least 30 minutes. I don't really like the put in more, swirl and pour off excess method mostly for aesthetic reasons, you get that piece of cooked smear at the edge. But if it works for you than do it. I've tried various recipes for crepes. The trick to thin crepes is the consistency of the batter. Which I cannot show you with words. Test one if it's too thick add more liquid. Also experiment with finding the perfect sized ladle or measuring cup that will evenly coat the pan.


I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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1. i do not endorse the fancy shmancy non stick pans/crepe makers. non. iron cast crepe pans. old fashioned and heavy, but they will never fail you. so no tips in that area.

2. adding a little brun noisette butter to the crepe mix gives it a nice flavour/colour and adds fat to the mix. because of said fat, your crepes wont stick to the pan.

3.following up on #2, the first crepe will be on a dry pan. so wipe the pan with a little noisette butter/clarified butter so the first crepe doesnt stick. you dont need to do this for the second crepe and so on.(dont know how this will translate for a crepe maker)

4.always rest the crepe mix for at least 20 minutes after you whisk the ingredients together.

5. strain the crepe mix so there are no lumps etc.

my crepe mix ratio: 125gm soft flour + 300 ml milk + 1 egg + 20gm beurre noisette(brun) + salt OR sugar, to taste.

i am a crepe swirler.


Edited by FaustianBargain (log)

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I use a $10 steel crepe pan...well seasoned.

http://fantes.com/crepe.htm#steel

The first crepe goes in the trash...always.

You will not need to lube the pan after the first crepe.

To tell if the pan is hot enough, hold it up to your ear....you will hear it.

Make your batter a tiny bit thick and let it rest several hours. You can always stir(not wisk) a little liquid into it to thin it if you need to.

Find the right sized ladle(or cup) for the pan.

Pour and swirl.

As the edge dries and lifts, use you fingers to peel the crepe up. Lift the pan off the fire and flip the crepe by hand.

Or

Use the plug in gadget. Read their directions.


Edited by RETREVR (log)

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I guess the consensus seems to be you don't need a big bulky appliance to enjoy crepes. My poor cousin and her boyfriend are basically stuck with it on their counter, and it's got a huge footprint. I wish folks would think before they give gifts more!

Tomorrow will be project crepe day. I found the poor little wooden paddle at the bottom of the "odds and ends" drawer. I will combine some suggestions and modify alton brown's crepe recipe by browning the butter slightly first. Sounds yum! Stay tuned to see how it all turns out.

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Relately, "Indian crepes" are dosas. Same principle and it is 'spread' out with the back of the ladle. It is more concentric than a smooth round thingy.

Apropos to nothing, last tuesday, Feb 02, marked La fete de la Chandeleur, Candelmas or French pancake day. A week later(and just before Lent), on Feb 08, it is Shrove Tuesday(The French Mardi Gras) here in the English speaking part of the world. Both harken back to the times when the celts/pagans 'sacrificed' wheat(by eating them as pancakes shaped like the sun itself) for the next harvest.

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your posting reminds me of how long (too long) it has been since I made crepes. Why? they are so delicious and versatile.

the advice I'd echo--(1) let the batter rest before using and (2) brush the pan with buerre noisette or clarified butter before adding the batter.

I've made crepes with whatever saute pan I've had on hand, non-stick as well as cast iron, small as well as large. in every instance, always perfect, no need for specialized equipment.

In my experience there are two small adjustments that are always required in any crepe-making session: (1) level of heat and (2) amount of batter. Both depend on how thick your batter is, the pan you're using, etc. It always takes a crepe or two to get it right.

The first crepe goes in the trash...always

WHAT?? This is heresy. The first less-than-perfect crepes make a delicious nibble for the toiling cook with her nearby glass of wine...

And don't forget, so long as you are making them, make plenty. Crepes freeze beautifully. I let them cool and use wax paper to separate them before wrapping them well. They defrost in no time, just let them sit on the counter a little while.



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A few memories, a few thoughts.

Memories:

Anyone remember the restaurants called The Magic Pan? The one in Minneapolis was on Nicollet Mall, between 8th and 9th, and was magic for a young girl.

In the mid-80's, my friends and I held baby shower after baby shower. Crepes (savory and sweet) were the order of the day.

Thoughts:

One doesn't need a specific electrical gadget for crepes. A nice pan that one is comfortable with is better. I have an old pan, inherited from my great grandmother. It has a metal handle, that once had wood riveted to it (but no longer). The pan is cast iron, and enameled. It is perfect for crepes and a multitude of other things. No footprint, as it is just part of my kitchen.

Later this month, my kids have a few days off school. Strikes me that most days kids have off school are rainy or snowing and in order ot avoid fighting among the siblings, learning to make crepes would be a great thing.

Since you've brought this up, let's talk fillings! Further educate my working force...


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Fillings, indeed. Most important, now that I've got the batter part down.

I'm thinking ham/sauteed mushrooms and cheese for the savory part. Unimaginative? All the fillings I can think of are omelett fillings adopted for crepes. As for sweet, my favorite forever is nutella! There's already jam in the house so we can use that too. Any other ideas?

I'm going to give everyone free choice over their fillings and cook the crepes right at the table to make sure everybody likes their food. Yesterday I made porkchops with apple sauce with a little sauteed red cabbage on the side and pumpkin pie for dessert. Sounds safe, right? Well, my cousin didn't eat the pie (she doesn't care for cinnamon), her brother wouldn't touch the red cabbage and acorn squash ("too weird") and her boyfriend, who usually eats everything, worked so late he had to eat at work.

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Anyone remember the restaurants called The Magic Pan?  The one in Minneapolis was on Nicollet Mall, between 8th and 9th, and was magic for a young girl.

Susan, I remember it! There was one near where I lived on Wisconsin Avenue in DC and the last one I ever ate in was at The Galleria in Houston, TX back in the '80s. They had an open kitchen where you could watch them make crepes on that big crepe wheel. My father used to get them with the ratatouille filling and I'd order the cheese fritters and the spinach crepes. (sigh)

I wonder if anyone from the DC area remembers a crepe place in Georgetown, they had wonderful crepes - beef bourguignon, seafood and an amazing escargot crepe. They weren't rolled or folded, they were draped over the filling on the plate, oh it was a charming little cafe!

We like to make crepes from time to time now. Sometimes with sweet or savory fillings, but every now and then just plain with butter and sugar is just fine.


Edited by spaghetttti (log)

Yetty CintaS

I am spaghetttti

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Are you doing only savory crepes, or are you doing desserts as well? Even though I haven't tried them, I have to recommend the lemon cream filled crepes with orange sauce in Desserts by Pierre Herme. I have tried the lemon cream, and it is ridiculously good.


"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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Are you doing only savory crepes, or are you doing desserts as well? Even though I haven't tried them, I have to recommend the lemon cream filled crepes with orange sauce in Desserts by Pierre Herme. I have tried the lemon cream, and it is ridiculously good.

Yum! How do you make this lemon cream? Is the recipe online anywhere?

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Fillings? I like to make buckwheat crepes and use:

Sour cream or creme fraiche and a dollop of grocery-store grade caviar

Mashed strawberries, and whipped cream with vanilla sugar

Spinach and ricotta, with a handful of grated gruyere...........


Edited by Susan G (log)

I'm a canning clean freak because there's no sorry large enough to cover the, "Oops! I gave you botulism" regrets.

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I confess that I have never made crepes. I love to eat them (and, too, remember the Magic Pan!), but never think to make them. I have to admit to being a little intimidated by them, too. Which is silly for a future pastry chef, I suppose.

For the buckwheat crepes (love those), do you substitute buckwheat flour for all of the flour?

As to fillings, nutella has to be one of my favorites.


"I just hate health food"--Julia Child

Jennifer Garner

buttercream pastries

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No, I usually do a half-and-half combination of the flours; (thanks for reminding me!) The fully buckwheat-floured ones have a texture that goes well with the sour cream and caviar filling, but detracts from the vegetable or fruit textures of the others.

Don't be intimidated! This is honest-to-god comfort food: Easy to make, and hard to screw up!! :biggrin:


I'm a canning clean freak because there's no sorry large enough to cover the, "Oops! I gave you botulism" regrets.

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Are you doing only savory crepes, or are you doing desserts as well? Even though I haven't tried them, I have to recommend the lemon cream filled crepes with orange sauce in Desserts by Pierre Herme. I have tried the lemon cream, and it is ridiculously good.

Yum! How do you make this lemon cream? Is the recipe online anywhere?

Its starts like a lemon curd, except that you bring it up to 180F, cool it to 140F, then mix in ~half pound butter with an immersion blender. I can't find the recipe online anywhere, unfortunately. I can paraphrase the recipe in the book when I get a chance though.


"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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I wrote an extensive article a few years back that gives lots of information on crepes. It should answer most of your questions.

Bouland-

You ARE obessive. :biggrin:

At home my wife makes sweet crepes with whole grain, stone ground pastry flour. Melted butter in the batter of course. Walking into a home with the sweet buttery smell of crepes cooking... LOVE. We pack them as snacks for our daughter, the other kids beg and plead for her to share. Needless to say we always pack extra. A little sprinkling of sugar or some nutella.


I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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Some simple ideas:

savory buckwheat crepes:

sauteeed mushrooms, gruyere cheese and sliced almonds

mushroom leek creme fraiche filling

ratatouille

sweet:

chestnut rum cream inside; whipped cream on top

sauteed apples inside; whipped cream on top

lemon juice and sugar


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Are you doing only savory crepes, or are you doing desserts as well? Even though I haven't tried them, I have to recommend the lemon cream filled crepes with orange sauce in Desserts by Pierre Herme. I have tried the lemon cream, and it is ridiculously good.

Yum! How do you make this lemon cream? Is the recipe online anywhere?

The cream is made as follows.

First, set out 10.5ozs/2 sticks+5Tbs of unsalted butter to soften. Cut it into tablespoon-sized pieces.

Second, after this has sat out for a while, get a pot of simmering water started.

Third, in a bowl that will fit over the top of your pot of water, mix 1C sugar and zest from 3 lemon. Rub the zest thoroughly into the sugar using your fingers. You'll end up with a crumbly, yellow fragrant sugar.

Fourth, whisk in 4 large eggs, then 3/4C of fresh lemon juice.

Fifth, place your bowl on top of the pot of simmering water. Stirring constantly, heat until the mixture reaches 180F. As soon as you reach 180F, take the bowl off the simmering water and strain the contents into another bowl. Let it cool to 140F.

Sixth, when you get to 140F, start beating the butter into the mixture a few pieces at a time using an immersion blender. Keep beating for several minutes after all the butter has been added.


Edited by Patrick S (log)

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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Thanks for the recipe, Patrick S. I will be sure to try it once I'm home.

I have been defeated by my cousin's crepe maker. The wooden paddle thing is broken, and instead there is a metal spinney thing that you put batter into and swirl around the griddle like a compass. I know I'm not explaining this very well. You must finish the revolution under 4 seconds or the batter cooks before getting spread out. Apparently, when the crepe maker is used properly it makes the finest, most thinly lacy crepes possible, but it's beyond me.

Once I'm home I'll be experimenting, using my good old frying pan.

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