With the memory of 2003’s Crêpe Crisis fading ever so slightly, I set out to conquer my fear and redeem myself in the kitchen. The first thing I did was purchase a real crêpe pan. This is key: The French know how to make crêpes like Americans know how to make cheeseburgers, so follow their lead and get yourself a nice, flat, T-fal (made in France!) crêpe pan. After staring at my crêpe pan for a few weeks, I finally got the nerve to look up the recipe online, gather my ingredients (eggs, milk, flour, water, salt), and take a leap of faith. French friends have often told me that the first crêpe of the batch always turns out looking deformed. Shrug it off, throw it out, and try it again, they say. So I didn’t panic when my own first attempt came out looking as such:
The next three tries turned out to be totally edible – even round! – and I was particularly proud of my success at flipping the crêpes without sending them flying halfway across the kitchen. Sure, they came out a little thick, but all in all it was not a traumatizing experience. And it only took me six years to get there.
Should you decide to tackle crêpe-making yourself, here are my tips for helping you avoid disaster:
1. Use the correct pan. Get a flat, T-fal pan or a crêpe maker like this one
2. Grease the pan well with butter. This will help when it comes time to flip. And butter is yummy.
3. Chill the batter for at least 5-6 hours before using. Overnight is better. This will keep your crêpes from getting too thick as mine did.
4. Use quality toppings: good butter, fresh fruit, etc.
5. Be creative! The French have crêpes of all kinds. Salty, sugary, for breakfast, for dinner, and more. Experiment. After all, how can you mess up crêpes? Wait…