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Chris Amirault

Crepes--Cook-Off 23

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torakris   

I have never attempted crepes, I leave that to the French man in the family :biggrin: (my sister's husband is from Strasburg) who does it quite well. After a week at the Novotel on Lombok (Indonesia) this January where I enjoyed crepes (from the crepe station) fresh every morning, I have decided I want to eat them more than once a year.

I was just looking around the internet and want to learn more about the crepe pans, The Le Creuset one caught me eye, but the price led my eye to wander. :hmmm:

I then noticed this Calphalon one with a very reasonable price.

How important is the pan? Wouldn't any frypan work as well? I should mention though that I don't have any decent frypans (they are all slightly warped) and I am looking to slowly upgrade my cookware.

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How important is the pan? Wouldn't any frypan work as well? I should mention though that I don't have any decent frypans (they are all slightly warped) and I am looking to slowly upgrade my cookware.

Kris: Buy the cheapest, tawdriest size-appropriate nonstick pan. Spend no more than five bucks, and hide it in the depths of your cabiniet for Crepes Night. Spend the good money on upgrading pots and pans you'll use more often.

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Abra   

With all due respect to Ms.Cat, I disagree. Why not this? It costs practically nothing, and it's the real thing. In fact, it might be exactly like mine, and now that Sam set me straight on the tempering thing, I think it's wonderful. It's always a pleasure to have a good tool, especially when it's inexpensive.

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BryanZ   

Is using an electric griddle cheating? I hope not.

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jenc   

Abra > you can, of course, pay more, but it's easy to find a cheap crèpe pan. But having one is not necessary. I own a cheapie one myself and it's well worth it!

SO! I decided to make the mille crèpe. I decided on using the piles of strawberries on hand and lemon zest mascarpone frosting for the filling. Ran out of frosting, (was using leftover stuff I had on hand), so it's short. Regardless, I got good reviews from my taste panel!

And here it is:

gallery_45917_3086_40261.jpg

and a sliced view:

gallery_45917_3086_28530.jpg

I have step x step photos up at my flickr album. Too lazy to upload and retag everything on image gullet!


Edited by jenc (log)

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slkinsey   

Yea, the beauty of carbon steel is that it's so inexpensive it's not a big deal to buy a specialized pan (omelette, fish, crêpe, etc.) that really isn't useful for anything else.

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Abra   

This morning I took the last two remaining crepes, rolled them around some quark and a spread of ginger marmalade, and sauteed them in a little butter with a sprinkle of sugar. Just about as easy as making toast.

Any idea how long a stack of crepes, well wrapped, keeps in the fridge? I'm guessing 4-5 days.

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mrbigjas   

4-5 days sounds about right to me.

one of the things i like about these cook-offs (and kevin72's italian threads) is how they jar me out of my routine. i make breakfast for the mrs most weekends, and she's been on a pancake/french toast kick recently. well, i mentioned this cookoff, and she said crepes sounded great. so this morning: crepes with banana walnut filling.

this also gave me the first opportunity to try out the crepe pan i picked up on a whim at somewhere like ross dress for less or somewhere like that a couple months ago. it was under $10, and is a pretty nice heavy aluminum nonstick pan. i bought it because i was tired of making crepes in a skillet, with the sides getting in the way and screwing everything up. but for some reason i never used it till this morning.

but that brings me to my point: i am gradually becoming convinced that proper browning of crepes and pancakes and french toast and other egg-batter things isn't related as much to the makeup of the pan (like it is with browning meats), as it is to having fat in the pan.

(when i say 'proper browning' i mean getting that pattern of brown lines and spots on the first side of the pancake/crepe/whatever)

as proof i offer this pic:

gallery_7799_1601_10369.jpg

(please try to ignore the third one back there, which she rolled up inside out)

(and the fact that i should have put some powdered sugar or whipped cream or something on it)

anyway, i don't have a ton of experience cooking sweets, but the filling was a real success. i just chopped up two bananas, put them in a pan with butter and a little sugar (and a pinch of salt), and grated a little nutmeg on them. partway through i added the walnuts. and that was it! the bananas melted into ... well, a great filling. i don't know why i've never done this before.

anyway, good idea for this one chris. thanks.

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Chufi   
Any idea how long a stack of crepes, well wrapped, keeps in the fridge?  I'm guessing 4-5 days.

They freeze really well. if you want to keep them longer..

but that brings me to my point: i am gradually becoming convinced that proper browning of crepes and pancakes and french toast and other egg-batter things isn't related as much to the makeup of the pan (like it is with browning meats), as it is to having fat in the pan.

I agree! I just cooked a stack (pics will follow later.. I'm just browsing eGullet while I wait for dinner to finish cooking in the oven :biggrin: ) and I was thinking the exact same thing! just a tiny bit of butter in the pan for every pancake.

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Chufi   

So I made crepes. I used Jane Grigson's recipe from her Fruit book: 3 eggs, 60 ml. water, 60 ml. milk, 6 tablespoons flour. The batter was very thin and I was able to make very thin, delicate, lacy pancakes. Fried them all in a little bit of butter. I made 13, ate one, so this is DouzeCrepe cake, layered with lemon curd:

gallery_21505_2929_51552.jpg

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The crepes were soooo good. In a flash of inpsiration :biggrin: , I added a tablespoon of basque aromatic mixture to the batter. I made this last week to make the Gateau basque from Paula Wolfert's Cooking of Southwest France. I am telling you, even if you never want to make this cake, you have to make this aromatic mixture.. it's rum, brandy, anisette, almond extract, and orangeflowerwater, and it has the most haunting and delicious aroma. The crepes were delicately flavored with it. Really really good.

edited to change onze to douze, I was never good at french maths :biggrin:


Edited by Chufi (log)

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Chufi, that looks beautiful!

I was so inspired that I decided to make a couple of crepes myself, but a small batch - just one egg, a little flour, water and milk. The first one was not as browned as I would have liked; the next two came out well!

Filled two with just butter and sugar, and one with Bonne Maman peach preserves.

gallery_26775_1880_20979.jpg

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Abra   

That aromatic mix sounds like such a great crepe idea - maybe even in the pastry creme for a milles crepes? For anisette I have Pastis, and Absente. Would either of those work?

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Chufi   

I think that would be a great idea. To be honest the flavoring was overpowered by the lemon curd, but tasted delicious in the crepe I ate while I was assembling the thing. So putting it in the pastry cream for a filling would be great.

I think pastis is fine, I used pernod, because that's what I had.


Edited by Chufi (log)

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Here's my submission: traditional Breton Buckwheat Crêpes (Crêpes Sarrasin).

Batter recipe is:

1-1/4 cups milk

3 eggs

1/2 cup buckwheat flour

1/4 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons melted butter

Combine all ingredients except butter and whisk well. Pour into a bowl. Let stand 1 hour.

Whisk in butter. Heat a lightly oiled 10" crêpe pan over medium-high heat. Pour in a scant 1/4 cup batter and tilt pan quickly to cover the bottom. Cook 2 to 3 minutes until bubbles appear on the surface and the bottom is golden brown. Turn and cook the other side about 15 seconds. Makes about 12 crêpes.

gallery_27586_876_2596.jpg

I filled these with Swiss cheese and ham, rolled them up, and finished them with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

gallery_27586_876_162752.jpg

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Lovely, All. What an inspirational topic. I'm still trying to decide what kind to make.

Finally, you know that little bit of leftover batter that's not enough to make another crepe?  Cook's treat, right?  So I toss the bit of batter into the pan, turn around to rinse the blender, and voila

gallery_16307_2558_9641.jpg

Think I could sell this on eBay to some cat worshippers?

LOL, that is too funny.

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Poll:

Who adds fat before each new crepe?

I make crepes in either a blue steel crepe pan or an All Clad stainless steel frying pan. Either way I have to add fat before cooking each crepe. Seems to take me forever to get through the batter. The most requested filling is home-made nutella. My home-made product is much thinner at room temp and easier to spread than the real thing.

The blue steel crepe pan seems to really splatter when the batter is added. Does anybody else find that? I make crepes almost every weekend and still don't seem to be 'getting it.'

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torakris   

I am definitely going to attempt crepes this week!

As I was out with the family yesterday and we passed yet another Japanese crepe stand I thought to myself that I want my kids to know what crepes are supposed to taste like.

For those of you that have never experienced Japanese style crepes...

voila!

gallery_6134_91_1104450242.jpg

The whole Japanese crepe thread

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Chocolate crepe with lemon curd, a bit of whipped cream and strawberry. My husband had a couple of them with just apricot preserve.

gallery_8322_465_44966.jpg

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Grub   

Seafood Crêpes:

170254358_d88b05b5ee.jpg

Filling is sauteed onion, celery and shrimp in a Bechamel sauce with lime juice and cayenne pepper, salt & pepper.

Crêpe batter is 2 eggs, 1 cup flour, 1.5 cup milk, 1 tsp salt. Done in a cheap, non-stick pan, with a tiny bit of butter in between every second crêpe or so -- but wasn't really necessary, though.

I was kinda proud, but mostly confused, because all of a sudden, it seemed as if I'd totally mastered this stuff -- everything turned out really well, and browned just perfectly. This recipe used an extra half a cup milk compared to what I'd done earlier. It was a little thinner, and every single crêpe turned out just so. Actually, one other difference is that I used bread flour, instead of AP this time. I wonder if that's what made it so easy?

Enough with the savory crêpes for me -- next one, I'll do some desert ones instead I think.

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BryanZ   

So we made the mille crepe today that's been all the rage. Actually my sister made it and I kind of watched.

gallery_28496_2870_314696.jpg

We got like 30+ layers in this thing.

gallery_28496_2870_562288.jpg

It was really good.

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ludja   

Beautiful milles crepe torte, BryanZ! What did you end up filling it with?

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So we made the mille crepe today that's been all the rage.  Actually my sister made it and I kind of watched.

:laugh:

Yeah, it can be like that. We had three people in the kitchen when I made mine, and we made a whole job of just cleaning the boozy whipped cream out of the bowl...

gallery_26775_1623_34141.jpg

Looks awesome, Bryan!

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Chufi   

Gorgeous Bryan. My little douze crepe cake stands humbly in the shadow of your achievement!

Suzy, you reminded me I have some buckwheat flour so I think I should make buckwheat crepes too! (in my ongoing quest to "cook from the pantry" :biggrin: )

Grub those crepes look great, lovely browning.


Edited by Chufi (log)

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Seafood Crêpes:

So we made the mille crepe today that's been all the rage.  Actually my sister made it and I kind of watched.

Nice job both of you, YUM!! that kindof looks like the perfect dinner with dessert!

Crepes are on the menu for tonight, I've never done them before and will be using just a basic non stick pan I use for omelets. How long do most let their batter rest for?

Wish me luck!!

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jenc   

Not long - 20 mins or so? Sometimes not at all if I'm impatient. I uh.. didn't actually know we had to let it sit until I started reading this thread!

Good luck little ms foodie!


Edited by jenc (log)

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