Crêpes with Summer Berries and Cream – No Points for Second Place. Only Brunch.

crepe with summer berries and cream
It looks like someone is taking me to Valentino. Or perhaps I feel like Vincenti. Shall I make the reservation, or will you? Oh, winning is such glorious victorious fun.

But since I am not a sore winner, I offer these Consolation Crêpes with Summer Berries and Cream in the spirit of your *ahem* second-place-is-really-the-first-place-loser team. We had Frenchy French crêpes in the colors of the flag for brunch just before the game. You know, just to make it fair, since we already gave all kinds of love to Italy.

Hey, just be glad I didn’t make French toast out of French bread with a side of French fries. ;)

Now this time, I actually did a little bit of research on crêpes. They originate from Brittany, a region in western France. Supposedly, as many foods are, crêpes were born out of necessity. Because the Brittany region is not conducive to growing large amounts of wheat to bake bread, crepes were a less flour-y alternative. A crêpe is a very thin pancake made with a batter of milk, flour, and eggs, but with a proportionally higher ratio of liquid to flour than a regular pancake. Crêpes can be made sweet or savory, often with the addition of a little bit of sugar or salt into the batter itself, and with choices of fillings. I need say but one word: Nutella. Am I right, or am I right?

For some reason, people sometimes have an circumstantiated fear that crepes are too difficult to make at home after marvelling at professionals wielding enormous pans and spatulas to fry crêpes as large as a Metro hubcap. Isn’t the batter difficult to get right? Doesn’t the batter have to be prepared long in advance? Don’t we need a special George Foreman lean, mean, crepe-making machine?!?!

Sacre bleu! Au contraire, mon frere. Frere jacques, dormez vous? Voulez vouz, and all that French osh kosh b’gosh! None of it is true.

I mixed the batter the morning of and fried the crepes a few hours later. Of course, it is true that many recipes recommend letting the better “rest” for up to 48 hours in the refrigerator to allow for a smoother, softer crepe. As the batter “rests,” the flour can soak up the liquid. Please – do you think I have the foresight to plan that far ahead?

And no, I do not own a crepe pan, which to me, would just be a ridiculous waste of money that I would rather spend on a massage. There was nothing difficult at all about using a regular frying pan. And forget about the specialspatular or long wooden dowel thing the professionals in the crepe stand at the farmers’ market use. Chopsticks are the same thing.

Simple Crepes

Blend (in a blender, duh) 1 c. milk, 2 large eggs, 1 c. flour, 2 Tbsp. sugar and 3 Tbsp. melted butter until smooth. If the batter is lumpy, I have seen some recipes recommend that you pour the batter through a fine sieve to de-lumo it. Mine was slightly lumpy. It was early morning, so I didn’t strain the batter. Oh well.

Allow the batter to “rest” in the refrigerator for an hour while you take a shower, get ready for the day, etc. The batter can be kept, covered, for up to 48 hours in the refrigerator.

Once you are ready to cook the crepes, spin the batter in the blender one more time very briefly. Heat a large frying pan, anywhere from 8-10″, depending on how big you want your crepe. Drizzle or brush a little melted butter into the hot pan, swirl to spread the butter, then pour a small amount of batter onto pan, swirling the pan to evenly, thinly spread the batter across the surface. Cook the crepe for 30 – 45 seconds on the first side, then using a spatula, chosticks, or whatever tool you find works for you, flip the crepe over and let cook for 10-20 seconds, or until brown on the second side.

The first one is going to hurt a little, but you know it always does, doesn’t it? It might feel awkward pouring the batter, lifting and swirling a heavy pan, etc. Don’t worry, the first few might be ugly, but they will still taste the same as the diametrically perfect ones you make at the end. Keep the ugly ones for yourself, or just cover them with whipped cream later.

As you make the crepes, lay the finished crepe flat on a plate to cool and rest. You can also keep them warm in a 200 degree oven.

I have seen people serve crepes flat, like regular pancakes, topped with fruit, etc., I have also seen them rolled up with a filling inside, like a blintz, and folded ever which way like a napkin. I simply folded each crepe into quarters, fanned a few out on each plate, and added fresh berries and a very generous dollop of whipped cream (Yes! Real whipped cream that I whipped. From real cream!) that had been sweetened with a little bit of sugar.

** a year ago today, The Don makes me an offer i can’t refuse **

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anonymous July 10, 2006 at 3:49 pm

Vincenti?! I was thinking a slice of pizza! ;) JP.

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2 onetomato July 10, 2006 at 10:17 pm

yummy! your crepes look delicious. maybe i’ll trek out to that crepe nazi on sawtelle for a banana and nutelle concoction.

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3 sarah July 11, 2006 at 12:58 am

jp: hm. you know, now that i think about it, i could definitely go for some pizza. but someone better be willing to spring for TWO slices! TWO!

onetomato: i though tof doing the nutella – but i just didn’t want to go into a complete food coma. besides, i have weird memories of nutella from my childhood. very weird, indeed.

l.a.c.: don’t worry. i only drink Arbor Mist. And I bring my own.

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4 peachiee July 11, 2006 at 5:03 am

Ooooh- patriotic AND yummy! Never thought I’d find those 2 words in the same sentence.

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5 Anonymous July 11, 2006 at 4:41 pm

Looks good. Personally, I prefer crepes to pancakes. More fruit and ggod stuff.

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6 Julianne July 11, 2006 at 6:24 pm

Yummy…I can be such a Francophile when it comes to crepes:)

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7 KILROY_60 July 13, 2006 at 1:06 am

It is….indeed….a delicious life.

Looks like a perfect Fourth of July treat. Or August, September October….yadda yadda yadda…..June :-)

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8 Nerissa July 16, 2006 at 10:23 am

I’ve been to a real Creperie in Brittany. They offer so many innards, both savoury and sweet, that it’s astonishing! I’ve never made my own so I just might have to give yours a whirl. I love the look of the berries on yours. Mmmmm berrrrrrieeeez

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9 Max Million July 17, 2006 at 3:03 pm

“Allons, enfants de la Patrieeeeeeee-yeh!”

Love love LOVE crepes!! Love le tricolore in advance of Bastille Day.

Here’s a useful tip — heat a bit of oil and butter (about 1 t each) then whisk the fats back into your batter, then start cooking. That way you don’t need to grease the pan before every crepe!

Great post.

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