I was craving crepes this week. I had a really amazing one last weekend at a little place in Austin called Crepe Crazy. The owners and staff are all deaf, which is pretty cool. You can read more about them here. The crepe I got was tiramisu flavored. It was amazing. It even had espresso-soaked ladyfingers in it.
Crepes are so in right now. I swear to you, they are everywhere. There is a little place by my house that offers them too, with my favorite being a chicken/mushroom/spinach version. So delicious.
Needless to say, I had to crepe it up this week. And they are so easy that I hope you will too!
If you need some song suggestions while stirring up the batter, may I suggest:
- Crepe by TLC
- Crepe by Radiohead
- or Crepe by Stone Temple Pilots.
Horrible joke. Let’s get started!
Crepes are essentially a one bowl recipe. Sure you can use a blender or food processor, but why wash more dishes when you can just use a whisk? As you can see, I also like to add a dash of cinnamon to my batter, for no reason other than I seem to put cinnamon in everything.
It’s possible that there will be a few stubborn lumps left in your batter. You can leave them in like I did (I’m lazy), or you can pass the mixture through a sieve to remove them. But according to Chef John over at Food Wishes, a successful crepe batter is dependent on two important things: 1) Letting it rest in the fridge (He recommends an hour, I think I waited like 30 mins) and 2) Making sure the batter is really thin, adding more milk if you need to.
A while ago I went on a bit of a rampage and threw out every single crappy pan of mine in an effort to declutter my cabinets. I went a little overboard, so now I have just one (also crappy) 10-inch non-stick pan. It’s in such bad shape that the non-stick coating is all but gone, but THAT’S OKAY. I worked with it. I used about 1/8th cup of batter at a time, which resulted in crepes that were about 6-inches in diameter.
The key to knowing when to flip them is when the batter looks dry. Those blisters are the sign of a good crepe!
I got about 12 crepes altogether, not including the inevitable eff-ups that broke while flipping or stuck to the pan. I quickly learned that you need to keep the pan well-oiled between each crepe. After every 2nd or 3rd crepe I wiped down the pan with a wet paper towel and re-sprayed with the oil; this helped to ensure that oil didn’t burn and make the crepes look dirty.
But now for fillings! Sure, you can just sprinkle on some butter and brown sugar and eat them that way (the best way), but I was feeling a bit extra and wanted to try my hand at making blintzes, which is essentially just a crepe that you stuff, fold, then bake in the oven. So to do that I started off by making a cheese filling consisting of ricotta, cream cheese, an egg, and a pinch of salt.
After whisking it together I knew right away that I’d made too much, so I divided the mixture in half and made one savory. To the crepe cheese filling (on the left) I added a few tablespoons of powdered sugar, a dash of vanilla, and some lemon zest. On the right I added some extra salt, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. I figured it would be good on some stuffed shells or something. But to be honest, I found this filling way too thin, and I’m 99% sure the reason is because I used low fat cheeses. So if you recreate this, make sure you go full fat!
The second filling is a blackberry compote. Compotes are perfect for when you aren’t in the mood for jam but you’re too lazy to make a fruit sauce. To make, all you have to do is add some fruit, water, sugar, and lemon juice (optional) to a pot and bring it to a boil on the stove top. Then once the sugar is all melted you can reduce the heat and let it simmer for a few minutes. I like to use a fork to break up the berries.
Here’s what it looks like when finished. This is straight out of the pot. The compote will thicken as it cools. I popped mine in the refrigerator to speed it up.
There are four steps to making the blintzes: stuff, roll, fry, and bake. Or stuff, roll, bake and fry if that’s easier for you. Either way you’ll need to preheat your oven to 325 F. I added about a teaspoon of each filling to the center of my crepe.
Then fold in the sides like so…
And roll it up the rest of the way. Why yes, this is a completely different crepe than the one in the above photo. I was hoping you wouldn’t notice. 😉
The next step is to bake and fry, or fry and bake. Baking them will ensure that the egg in the cheese filling is cooked, and frying them in a little bit of butter will make them golden brown. If you don’t have any egg in your filling then you can obviously skip the baking altogether. I personally found it easier to bake them first, seam side down, so that a little crust developed and they were easier to move around on the frying pan later. They only need about 10-12 minutes in the oven, and 1-2 minutes in the pan. Easy peasy.
But there you have it! I recommend eating these immediately and sharing them with no one. In the below recipe I have altered the cheese filling to what I imagine would make it a bit thicker, but I haven’t actually tried it yet so take that with a grain of salt. Luckily you can just keep adjusting it until it’s the consistency you need.
Until next time <3
- 1 c (125 g) all purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 c (8 oz) milk, or more to thin the batter
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 pinch of cinnamon (optional)
- 3/4 c ricotta cheese (important: full fat!)
- 1/4 c cream cheese (important: full fat!)
- 1 egg
- 2-4 tbsp of powdered sugar (adjust to taste)
- 1 dash of vanilla (optional)
- lemon zest (optional)
- 1 c (approx 150 g) fresh blackberries
- 1/4 c water
- 1/4 c sugar
- The juice of half a lemon (optional)
- Add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk together until smooth. If any stubborn lumps remain, pass the mixture through a strainer. Batter should be the consistency of melted ice cream. It's recommended to chill the batter in the fridge for an hour, but I left mine in only as long as it took me to prepare my fillings (20-30 mins).
- For 6-inch crepes, poor 1/8th cup of batter into a pre-heated (med heat) well-oiled pan. Swirl the pan to spread the batter. After about 1 minute the top should look dry. Carefully flip the crepe and cook the other side for another 15-20 seconds. Repeat until you are out of batter.
- Mix together all of the ingredients and set aside.
- Add all ingredients to a small pot and bring to a boil. When all sugar is melted, reduce the heat and use a fork to break up the berries. After about 5 minutes you can transfer the compote to a dish and allow it to cool/thicken in the refrigerator.
- Add one teaspoon of each filling to the center of the crepe. Roll them up like you would a burrito, but folding in two sides and then rolling up the rest. Place them seam-side down on a baking sheet and bake for approximately 10-12 minutes on in a 325 F oven. Finish them off by frying them in a little bit of butter, about 1-2 minutes per side. Allow to cool slightly before eating. Dust with powdered sugar to make them pretty!