When my husband and I moved away from Minnesota a couple years ago, we thought we were in pretty good shape a few days before the move. We had been packing and selling stuff on Craigslist for almost a month. My husband had taken several trips to Goodwill with his truck, and then more trips to the recycling/waste management location once Goodwill rejected my 23 year-old TV as being too old. (Which only reinforced my husband's hatred for that TV. Since I grew up with the thing I couldn't be objective about it. He tells me that TVs aren't supposed to come in wooden boxes like furniture.)
The moving day came and my husband drove to U-Haul, picked up our trailer, and we started to pack our stuff in it. And pack some more. And then realize that not everything was fitting, so we'd take some stuff out and pack some more. Eventually I left him to this important jigsaw puzzle while I tried to clean and get all the miscellaneous stuff thrown in my car. (Literally thrown.) Our noon departure time turned into afternoon, and then early evening, and finally we realized we'd be lucky to be done packing that day. My wonderful mother-in-law came down from work and helped us clean and finish everything up and suggested we stay one more night at their place and head out the next morning. It was music to our ears.
It got even better when my father-in-law made us dinner and my sister and our good friend Brian came over. After a day of stressful packing, it was just a nice night of good company, relaxed good-byes and some amazing crepes. My father-in-law made batch after batch of perfect crepes, each one the size of a dinner plate. They were delicate, eggy perfection with powdered sugar, whipped cream and sliced strawberries. I have to say, none of us really held back and we thoroughly gorged ourselves. To this day I think of that night whenever I make crepes.
I can't say that I have the art of making crepes down to perfection like my father-in-law, but this recipe has really helped me get closer. It's the easiest method I found to make crepes that aren't too thin, aren't too thick, and don't contain weird lumps. They lend themselves to all kinds of toppings, both sweet and savory. If you get this recipe down, you are in luck because the rest of the recipes I'm posting this week are other favorite ways to use them. I have to say, though, I have to plan ahead when I want some left over for other purposes. It's just to easy to gorge yourself on something so delicious as freshly made crepes, powdered sugar, whipped cream and some fruit.
Notes from America's Test Kitchen:
We determined that the success of our crêpe recipe relied on some crucial crêpe-cooking tricks. Heating the pan properly was essential to our recipe. If too hot, the batter set up before it evenly coated the surface. If too cool, the crêpe was pale (read: bland) and too flimsy to flip without tearing. Using just enough of our crêpe recipe’s batter to coat the bottom of the pan was also important, as was the tilt-and-shake method that we employed to distribute it. To avoid singed fingertips, we loosened the crêpe with a rubber spatula before grasping its edge and nimbly turning it to the flip side to cook until spotty brown.
Ingredients:1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 cup (5 ounces) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 1/2 cups whole milk (2% worked just fine for me, too.)
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1. Place oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet and heat over low heat for at least 10 minutes.
2. While skillet is heating, whisk together flour, 1 teaspoon sugar, and salt in medium bowl. In separate bowl, whisk together milk and eggs. Add half of milk mixture to dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Add butter and whisk until incorporated. Whisk in remaining milk mixture until smooth.
3. Using paper towel, wipe out skillet, leaving thin film of oil on bottom and sides. Increase heat to medium and let skillet heat for 1 minute. After 1 minute, test heat of skillet by placing 1 teaspoon batter in center and cook for 20 seconds. If mini crêpe is golden brown on bottom, skillet is properly heated; if it is too light or too dark, adjust heat accordingly and retest.
4. Pour ¼ cup batter into far side of pan and tilt and shake gently until batter evenly covers bottom of pan. Cook crêpe without moving it until top surface is dry and crêpe starts to brown at edges, loosening crêpe from side of pan with rubber spatula, about 25 seconds. Gently slide spatula underneath edge of crêpe, grasp edge with fingertips, and flip crêpe. Cook until second side is lightly spotted, about 20 seconds. Transfer cooked crêpe to wire rack, inverting so spotted side is facing up. Return pan to heat and heat for 10 seconds before repeating with remaining batter. As crêpes are done, stack on wire rack.
5. Transfer stack of crêpes to large microwave-safe plate and invert second plate over crêpes. Microwave on high power until crêpes are warm, 30 to 45 seconds (45 to 60 seconds if crêpes have cooled completely). Remove top plate and wipe dry with paper towel. Sprinkle each crepe with about a teaspoon of sugar, fold and arrange on a plate for serving.
Recipe source: America's Test Kitchen