Crêpes de Froment (wheat flour pancakes) are thin, delicate pancakes made from wheat flour, eggs, and milk, usually served with a variety of sweet or savory fillings. Similar to Dutch poffertjes (fluffy pancakes with yeast and buckwheat flour), Indian dosas (fermented ground black lentils and rice), Russian blini (bite sized pancakes), Japanese hirayachi (thin savory pncakes) and Chinese jianbing (mung bean flour pancakes), crepes are a versatile and delicious dish.The history of this dish is complex and fascinating, involving centuries of development and adaptation to different cultural traditions. It is a favorite breakfast, brunch, or dessert option for many. The origins of the crepe can be traced back to the ancient Roman Empire, where a similar dish called ‘scriblitum’ was popular. This dish was made from a wheat flour batter, and it was cooked on a hot griddle. It was then served with honey or various sweet toppings. Over time, the dish spread throughout Europe, becoming popular in France in the 12th century in the French region of Brittany. They were then known as Galettes de Sarrasin (buckwheat pancakes) and made with buckwheat flour. They were a staple food of the working class and were often served with a variety of savory fillings like ham, cheese, and eggs. ‘Crepe’ comes from the French word ‘crêpe,’ which means ‘to curl.’ This name reflects the thin, delicate nature of these pancakes, which are so thin that they curl up and create a beautiful spiral as they cook. Over time, crepes became more popular and spread throughout France, with sweet fillings like chocolate, fruits, and whipped cream becoming more common. Vendors adapted this street food to include local ingredients and flavors, selling both sweet and savory varieties. Some of the beloved sweet fillings include Nutella, strawberries, sweet jams and whipped cream, while savory options included spinach, ham, mushrooms, cheese and vegetables. Today, crepes are enjoyed all over the world, with different cultures putting their own spin on this classic dish. In America, for example, crepes are often served with a fruit compote, cream, and powdered sugar. In Japan, crepes are often filled with ice cream, fruit, and whipped cream, creating a fun and indulgent dessert treat. Try this recipe today I hope you get to appreciate the delicate texture and rich, satisfying flavors. The possibilities are endless, and you are sure to find a flavor combination that you love.
PREP TIME: 10 mins plus refrigeration
COOK TIME: 15 mins
YIELDS: Makes 7
- All-purpose flour 1 cup
- Eggs 2, large
- Milk 1 cup
- Unsalted butter 2 tbsp, melted
- Salt ¼ tsp
- Sugar 1 tsp
- Vanilla extract 1 tsp
- Cooking spray or butter for the pan
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and eggs till smooth.
- Gradually add in the milk and water, whisking continuously until the batter is smooth.
- Add in the melted butter, salt, and vanilla extract, and whisk until fully combined.
- Let the batter rest for at least 10 minutes in the fridge.
- Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat.
- Using a ¼ cup measuring cup, pour the batter into the pan and swirl it around to form a thin, even layer.
- Cook for about 1-2 minutes or until the edges start to lift and turn golden brown.
- Flip the crepe and cook for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Repeat with the remaining batter, stacking the crepes on a plate.
Cream Cheese and Whipped Cream Filling Recipe
- Cream cheese 4 oz, softened
- Heavy cream ½ cup
- Powdered sugar ¼ cup
- Vanilla extract 1 tsp
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth.
- Add in the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract, and beat until light and fluffy.
- Transfer the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip.
Homemade Lemon Curd Recipe
- Eggs yolks 4
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice ¼ cup
- Granulated sugar ½ cup
- Unsalted butter ¼ cup, cut into small pieces
- Lemon zest 1 tbsp
- In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until light and frothy.
- Add the lemon juice and zest to the bowl and whisk until combined.
- Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
- Whisk the mixture continuously until it begins to thicken, about 10 minutes.
- Add in the butter, one piece at a time, whisking until fully melted before adding the next piece.
- Increase the heat to medium and whisk constantly until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
- Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the lemon zest.
- Remove the pan from heat and strain the curd through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl.
- Let the lemon curd cool to room temperature before using.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, pressing it onto the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming.
- Chill the curd in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before using.
- Spread a thin layer of the cream cheese and whipped cream filling onto each crepe.
- Spoon a dollop of lemon curd onto one half of the crepe.
- Fold the crepe in half, then in half again to form a triangle.
- Repeat with the remaining crepes and filling.
- Serve and enjoy!
Crepes can be made healthier, by using whole grain flours, alternative sweeteners, and nutritious fillings and can be adapted to fit a vegan or vegetarian diet. Swap out white flour with whole grain flour, such as buckwheat, oat flour or spelt flour, which are higher in fiber and nutrients than traditional white flour. Fill your crepes with healthy ingredients like fresh fruit, nuts, and seeds.
For a gluten-free option, try using coconut flour to make the crepes high in fiber and healthy fats. Oat flour is another healthy and gluten-free option that adds a nutty flavor to your crepes.
Vegan Crepe Options: Substitute eggs with a mixture of applesauce, mashed bananas, or chia seeds. Use plant-based milk, such as almond or coconut milk, instead of dairy milk. Vegan fillings can include a variety of vegetables, fruits, and vegan cheeses. Chickpea flour, also known as besan, makes a great vegan alternative to eggs in crepes. It is high in protein and has a nutty flavor. Fill your vegan crepes with tofu scramble, sautéed vegetables, or dairy-free yogurt for a delicious and satisfying meal.
Vegetarian Crepe Options: Vegetarians can enjoy a wide range of fillings in their crepes, from savory options like mushrooms and spinach to sweet options like bananas and chocolate. Cheese is also a popular ingredient in vegetarian crepes, with options like brie, feta, and goat cheese.
Spinach and Feta Crepes: Sautéed spinach and crumbled feta make a delicious and nutritious filling for crepes.
Mushroom and Goat Cheese Crepes: Sautéed mushrooms and creamy goat cheese make a perfect combination for savory crepes.
Other vegetarian filling ideas include roasted vegetables, nut butter, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, hummus, and various cheeses for a nutritious and filling meal.
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