Quick sidebar- the first gift from our registry has been bought and it is- TA DA! the KitchenAid!!! Now, before you go thinking I'm trolling our registry lists trying to keep tabs on what people buy us, my mom called to tell me to check on what color I wanted because Bed, Bath and Beyond had sent her a coupon, plus they were offering some kind of rebate and a year's subscription to Martha Stewart's Everyday Food. So it wasn't cheating.... she told me she was buying it, so I had to go on there to see the validation, really, that's why...
So back to the crepes. When I went to France in college I had my first Crepe. It was divine and glorious and I immediately wanted to make them when I got home. My mom said it couldn't be done. My mom doesn't really like to bake or do crazy stuff in the kitchen, so I don't really know why I believed her when she said this.
I didn't have too hard of a time with them, just followed Julia's instructions to the letter. Generally, I think if you can figure out what she means exactly (some times she is really specific, to the point of including illustrations- and then at times she is frustratingly obtuse) following her instructions to the letter is a guarantee of things turning out perfectly.
Sweet Crepe batter (for stuffed crepes)
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup cold water
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons orange liqueur (I left this out- could have sworn we had some in the house, but we didn't)
1 cup flour
5 tablespoons melted butter
1. Place ingredients in blender in the order they are listed. Cover and blend at top speed for one minute.
2. If bits of flour adhere to the sides of blender, dislodge with spatula and blend 3 seconds more.
3. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.
4. Just before you wish to make the crepes, beat 3 egg whites and a pinch of salt until stiff. Fold half into the batter, fold in the other half, then make the crepes.
The Julia method for crepe-making (word for word more or less, just to preserve her fantastic writing voice)
The first crepe is a trial one to test out the consistency of the batter, the exact amount you need for the pan and the heat.
1. Rub an iron skillet or a crepe pan with a 6 1/2 inch to 7 inch diameter with a piece of fat bacon, pork rind, or a pastry brush dipped lightly in oil. Set over moderately high heat until the pan is just beginning to smoke.
2. Immediately remove pan from heat and, holding the handle of pan in your right hand, pour with your left hand a scant 1/4 cup of batter into the middle of the pan. Quickly tilt the pan in all directions to run the batter all over the bottom of the pan in a thin film. (Pour any batter that does not adhere to the pan back into your bowl; judge the amount for your next crepe accordingly.) This whole operation takes but 2 or 3 seconds.
3. Return the pan to heat for 60-80 seconds. Then jerk and toss pan sharply back and forth and up and down to loosen the crepe. Lift its edges with a spatula and if the under side is a nice light brown, the crepe is ready for turning.
4. Turn the crepe by using 2 spatulas, or grasp the edges nearest you in your fingers and sweep it up toward you and over again into the pan in a reverse circle; or toss it over by a flip of the pan. (I found it much easier to do this by hand than with the spatulas, and couldn't get it to flip- probably because of the pan I was using.)
|This one needed more batter, but still tasted great!|
5. Brown lightly for about 1/2 minute on the other side. This second side is rarely more than a spotty brown and is always kept as the underneath or nonpublic aspect of the crepe. As they are done, slide the crepes onto a rack and let cool several minutes before stacking on a plate.
6. Grease the skillet again, heat to just smoking, and proceed with the rest of the crepes. Crepes may be kept warm by covering them with a dish and setting them over simmering water or in a slow oven. Or they may be made several hours in advance and reheated when needed. (Crepes freeze perfectly.) As soon as you are used to the procedure, you can keep 2 pans going at once, and make 24 crepes in less than half an hour.