When Louis la Vache posted l'histoire de Bécassine, the Breton who became the first heroine of a comic strip, he wrote that crêpes originated in Bretagne. This being the weekend, the idea of un repas de crêpes sounds good to Louis and he thought you, too, might like the idea.
First, a little histoire. A crêpe is a thin pancake. The common ingredients include flour, eggs, milk, butter and a pinch of salt. Crêpes are usually of two types: crêpes sucrées made with wheat flour and served with a sweet filling, and crêpes salés made with buckwheat flour and filled with ingredients such as chicken, eggs, cheese, vegetables or perhaps fruits de mer (seafood). The type of filling used in either sweet or savory crêpes is limited only by your imagination and willingness to experiment. Buckwheat as commonly used in savory crêpes originated in China and made its way to eastern Europe (where it is commonly used in making blintzs) and migrated to France's west coast, côte oeust, Bretagne.
The name originated from the Old French crespe meaning "curled." The Old French word came from the Latin crispus. In this you see the origin of the English "crisp." In French, many words that formerly had an "s" after a vowel, dropped the "s," but the former presence of that "s" is indicated by the punctuation mark ˆ, thus the modern French crêpe.
Crêpes may be rolled or folded. Crêpes salés can be eaten at any meal. Crêpes sucrées usually are served as a dessert. They can be filled with various other sweet items: jam, melted chocolate, dairy, ice cream, berries, nuts, cinnamon etc. Popular sweet toppings include sugar (granulated or powdered), sugar and lemon juice, whipped cream, fruit spreads, sliced soft fruits, etc. A typical dessert crêpe is the Crêpe Suzette, a crêpe with lightly grated orange peel and liqueur (usually Grand Marnier) which is subsequently lit.
In France, crêpes are traditionally served on La Chandeleur, Candlemas, on le 2 février.
Basic Crêpes Sucrées
Makes about 16 crêpes.
Preparation time: 1 hr 25 min
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 pinch salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter, plus more for cooking
1. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, 1/2 a cup of milk, sugar, flour, and salt until the batter is smooth.
2. Whisk the remaining cup of milk and 1 tablespoon of melted butter into the batter. Let it stand for 1 hour at room temperature.
3. Heat 7 inch crêpe pan (or small skillet) over moderate heat and brush with melted butter.
4. Pour 3 tablespoons of batter into the pan and immediately rotate the pan to coat the bottom evenly. Cook until lightly browned on the bottom (about 30 seconds).
5. Flip the crêpe and cook until brown dots appear on the second side, which takes about 10 seconds longer.
Continue making crêpes with the remaining batter. Separate the crêpes with wax paper as they come off the pan. This recette should make about 16 crêpes. Crêpes may be made ahead. They freeze well. It is common in France for boulangeries to sell ready-to-fill crêpes.
Total preparation time: 2 hours
Finish preparing the sauce about 30 minutes before serving.
1/3 cup orange juice
1/4 cup butter
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp grated orange peel
1/4 cup Grand Marnier
1. In medium bowl, whisk together all filling ingredients (except the Grand Marnier) until smooth. Chill 2 hours.
2. In 10" skillet over low heat combine the orange juice, butter, sugar and orange peel until butter melts.
3. Fold crêpes in quarters and arrange in the warmed Suzette sauce in the skillet; simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Pour the Grand Marnier evenly over the crêpes and sauce. DO NOT STIR.
5. Heat the Grand Marnier a minute or two, then remove from stove. Light a long match (such as those used to light kindling in a fireplace). Apply match to the crêpes and sauce in the skillet. Serve crêpes and sauce immediately.
Garnish with very thinly-sliced oranges if desired.
This recette is also posted at The Frog Blog of Louis la Vache.
Plus de recettes:
Crepes: Sweet and Savory Recipes for the Home Cook