crêpe is a very thin pancake, which is usually stuffed and folded. These culinary treats are commonly found throughout France. Most people think of crêpes as being filled with fruit and topped with chocolate sauce or whipped cream. However, one of the great things about crêpes is that not only can they be served sweet like this, but they can be served savory, as well. The combination of fillings for a savory crêpe is endless. Think of anything you would put on a sandwich or a pizza.
To make your own crêpes, start with a basic crêpe batter. Whisk together 2 eggs, 3/4 cup milk, 1/2 cup water, 1 cup sifted flour, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Once the mixture is smooth, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. This allows the batter to thicken, which is an important step in crêpe making. Customize your savory crêpes by adding in your own blend of spices or herbs.
Once the batter has rested, it’s time to cook the crêpes. Heat a small non-stick pan over medium-low heat. Brush a little melted butter over the surface of the pan. Pour a small amount of batter (about 1 ounce) in the center of the pan. Quickly lift the pan and swirl to allow the batter to spread out into a circle. Cook until the edges of the crêpe look dry, about 45 seconds to a minute. Gently flip the crêpe over and cook for another 30 seconds, or until done. The crêpe will be dry, yet pliable, but will not take on any golden brown color. Transfer to a plate and continue with the rest of the batter. Stack up the crêpes as you make them. The batter will make a number of crêpes, so it’s okay to consider the first few crêpes as practice.
Anything goes as a filling for a savory crêpe, so make your own delicious combinations. Here are a few crêpe ideas to get you going:
- Try a breakfast crêpe filled with crispy bacon, shredded white cheddar cheese, and either scrambled eggs or a fried egg.
- Fill a crêpe with long strands of thin prosciutto, blanched or steamed asparagus, and crumbled goat cheese.
- Make a simple béchamel (white sauce) and stir in sautéed wild mushrooms. Place inside a crêpe along with leftover shredded poultry (e.g., chicken, turkey, or quail).
- For the flavors of a classic ham and cheese sandwich, layer slices of ham, gruyere, and a thin spread of Dijon mustard.
- Add crisped pancetta, braised rabbit, and some fresh rosemary inside of a crêpe for a remarkable combination.
- Fold a crêpe around duck confit and sweet caramelized onions for an elegant lunch.
- Create a hearty crêpe with leftover braised lamb and herbed marinated tomatoes.
- For a simple vegetarian option, prepare a crêpe with sautéed spinach finished with a touch of cream and parmesan cheese. Drizzle the top with white truffle oil.
- Leftover ratatouille also makes an easy filling for a vegetarian crêpe.