Sunday, March 15, 2009

Basic Crêpes

Crêpes are such a versatile dish that requires only creativity. They can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert! Make them ahead of time and store in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to use. They can be sweet or savory, depending upon what you choose to stuff them with. For a sweet breakfast crepe, stuff them with fresh cut berries and whipped cream, or try Nutella, sliced bananas, and confectioner's sugar. For a savory lunch or dinner crêpe, stuff with smoked ham and cheese, or try the Spinach-Gruyère Gâteau de Crêpes.

Be sure to strain the mixed batter to ensure that it is smooth and without any lumps. For a buckwheat variation on the basic crêpes, simply substitute ¾ cup buckwheat flour for ¾ cup all-purpose flour, and add an additional ¾ cup whole milk.

Source: Basic Crêpes, Martha Stewart Living (February 2009)

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon coarse salt
2 cups whole milk, room temperature, plus more if needed
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 ½ ounces (5 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for skillet

Sift flour and salt into a large bowl. Whisk together milk and eggs in a medium bowl. Pour milk mixture into flour mixture, whisking to combine. Whisk in butter. Strain mixture into a medium bowl, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or up to a day). Batter should be the consistency of heavy cream; add more milk if needed.

Heat an 8- or 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, and brush with butter. Ladle or pour 3 tablespoons batter (for small crêpes) or ⅓ cup batter (for large crêpes) into pan, turning and tilting skillet to coat bottom evenly with batter. Cook until top of crêpe appears set, bottom is firm and golden
brown in spots, and center is lifted by pockets of air, about 1 minute. Run a spatula around edge of crêpe to loosen. Slip spatula under crêpe, and gently flip in one swift gesture. (If it doesn’t land quite right, that’s okay; use the spatula to unfold or rearrange it.) Cook until bottom is firm and golden brown in spots, about 45 seconds. Transfer to a plate, and cover. (The first one will not be your finest.) Repeat with remaining batter, brushing pan lightly with butter as needed (every 2 or 3 crêpes). Serve immediately.

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