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Crepes are a popular street food in Paris. You can find a crepe stand on almost any street and people in line to get a savory or sweet crepe. And the best part is they are cheap, 5 euros or less—yes, there is good cheap food in Paris!
When I’m searching for a crepe stand, the most important thing I look for is that the crepe maker is making fresh crepes for each order. Some stands have a stack of pre-made crepes. That’s just not acceptable; I have no problem waiting the less than five minutes it takes to make a crepe. I want a freshly made crepe, and I like to watch them pour the batter and use the funny-shaped wooden spreader to make a thin round layer of batter. (What can I say, I’m easily entertained.)
The savory filling choices include a combination of ham, cheese, and/or eggs. Some stands also have a few vegetable choices you can add. As I have a sweet tooth, I usually get a sweet crepe with Nutella slathered on. There are other sweet choices: sugar, jam, Grand Mariner, and Nutella with bananas.
(My tiny “kitchen” here in Paris)
I had some left over strawberries from the Bastille market, so, in my little so-called kitchen, I made some crepes to go with the strawberries. Of course, it’s much nicer if you have a crepe maker and the little handle to spread the batter, but you can make them with a small non-stick pan. Below is how they turned out and the recipe with some helpful hints to get thin crepes using a non-stick pan.
Crepes With Strawberries and Cream
Makes about 20 eight-inch round crepes (6-8 servings)
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
For the filling:
About 1/2 cup strawberry jam, slightly warmed (about 1 teaspoon per crepe)
1 1/2 pounds strawberries, sliced in half
About 1 cup slightly sweetened whipped cream
Whisk the two eggs together in a bowl, just to break the yolks. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk together until combined. Put in the refrigerator for one hour before cooking. (This lets the flour rest, so that the crepes are not chewy and tough.)
Lightly (very lightly) butter a non-stick pan and heat. Pull from heat and pour in about 1 1/2 ounces of batter. Before putting back on the heat, swirl the pan around so that the batter spreads and creates a round crepe. Cook on medium-high heat until the edges turn slightly brown, about 1 to 2 minutes. The crepe should be a golden color before you turn it.
Flip over using a spatula and cook for about 30 to 45 seconds more.
Remove from the pan, and continue cooking the remaining batter the same
way as above. (The second side will not brown as much as the first
side.) Place on a tray covered with a paper towel. As you cook the
crepes, you can stack them one on top of the other, separating them
with a paper towel.
Tips for making a thin crepe:
1) The key to a thin crepe is
to find the right amount of batter that will thinly coat the bottom of
your pan. You might have to make a few messy crepes testers (I made 2 “testers”)before you find the right size. For an 8-inch pan, an 1 1/2 ounce ladle should work.
You also want to very lightly grease the pan. Dip a pastry brush
or paper towel in already melted butter and lightly brush/rub onto the
pan once, before cooking any crepes.
3) You want to have a hot pan, but raise
the pan off the heat when you ladle the batter into the pan, and
once you’ve poured in the batter, immediately start swirling the pan to move the batter out and into a
circle. Again, you might make a few mistakes with the first couple of crepes, but “practice makes perfect.”
To assemble, spread the warmed jam on half of a crepe, then fold the crepe in half. Then fold it in thirds to create a cornet. Do this for two or three crepes, add a dollop of whipped cream. Top with the strawberries and another dollop of whipped cream. Enjoy!
Let me know how they turned out.