Flippin’ Amazing Crêpes That Stack Up: Crêpe-Making Tips & Tricks
Who doesn’t love a good crêpe? They’re such a delicious treat. Anytime we get the chance to visit a French café, or pass a crêpe stand in the park, rest assured we’re going to order one!
Crêpes might seem intimidating to make at home, but they’re easier than you might think, and they require mostly pantry staples you likely already have on hand. Plus, it’s so fun to try out different sweet and savory fillings – once you master the basic crêpe, the possibilities are endless! So, we’re here to offer some useful advice to help you on your crêpe-making journey.
Make the Batter Ahead of Time
First, you want to make sure the crêpe batter is the right consistency. The batter should be runny, similar to the consistency of heavy cream. And unlike pancake batter, you don’t want any lumps in your crêpe batter. To achieve a batter free of lumps, I like to combine the ingredients in a high-power blender. You could also use an immersion blender, or strain the batter after whisking, to remove any remaining lumps.
Then, allow the batter to rest for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator, or up to 24 hours. The purpose of resting the batter is so that the gluten relaxes, and the flour is able to fully absorb the liquid, resulting in the most tender crêpes possible. Overnight resting makes for a quicker and easier breakfast in the morning, too, as an added bonus.
Choose the Right Pan
There are several different types of pans that work well for making crêpes. You’ll want a nonstick pan or well-seasoned cast iron pan to prevent sticking, ideally with a large circular surface area, but square pans and griddles will also work. There are even electric crêpe makers, which are just circular flat top griddles without a lip so you can spread the batter all the way to the edges.
After you choose your pan, apply a thin layer of oil to further prevent the delicate crêpes from sticking. Use a spray bottle with oil or drizzle a small amount of oil and use a pastry brush or paper towel to thinly and evenly coat the bottom of the pan.
Spread to a Thin, Even Layer
For consistently sized crêpes, you should portion out the batter with a measuring cup. You’re aiming for a very thin layer, so ¼ cup of batter is usually a good starting point. Adjust from there if necessary, based on the size of your pan and the size crêpe you want to make.
Then, pour the batter into the center of the preheated pan and spread it as thinly and evenly as possible. There are a number of tools available to help you accomplish this task. The easiest option is a T-shaped crêpe tool called a billig. It is usually made of wood, but sometimes they are made of stainless steel or heatproof silicone. Use this tool in a circular motion parallel to the pan to swirl the batter into a thin even layer.
If you don’t have one of these specialty tools, don’t worry, you can still make perfect thin crêpes using an offset spatula. With the spatula almost parallel to the pan, spread the crêpe batter as thinly as possible without touching the spatula to the pan.
You’ll want to work quickly after pouring the batter into the pan, so you can spread it before it starts to cook. Don’t worry if your crêpes aren’t perfect circles either, they will get better with practice. And they’ll still taste just as delicious!
After about 2 minutes, your crêpes should be ready to flip. Carefully loosen the edges with a spatula first, to make sure it is golden brown underneath and to prevent tearing when flipping. We’ve been known to use a fish spatula, which has a very thin edge for handling delicate items without tearing them, such as fish, or crêpes in this case.
There are also specialty crêpe spatulas available that are oftentimes sold as a crêpe-making set along with a T-shaped crêpe spreader.
If you’re making a big batch of crêpes, you can transfer them to a sheet tray covered with parchment and keep them in a warm oven, about 200 degrees, until you are ready to fill and serve them. Alternatively, you can make the crêpes ahead of time, store them wrapped in the refrigerator, and reheat them when you are ready to serve.
Folding and Filling Crêpes
Now that you’ve made your crêpes, let’s talk assembly! There is really no wrong way to fill a crêpe, but here are a few common folding and filling techniques to get you started:
1. Tri-Fold Wrap
Place the crêpe on a flat surface. Then, spread the filling in a line down the center of the crêpe, taking up approximately the middle third of the crêpe’s surface. Then, fold the two sides over the middle one at a time to enclose the filling. This type of fold sort of resembles an omelet.
2. Triangle Fold
Also start with the crêpe on a flat surface. Then, place a small amount of filling into the center of the crêpe. Carefully fold the crêpe in half, and then in half again, forming a triangle with alternating layers of crêpe and filling. This technique is best for crêpes with a minimal amount of filling, as you want the triangle to stay relatively flat, like a slice of pizza.
3. Pocket Fold
The pocket fold starts the same way as the triangle fold—placing a heaping spoonful of filling in the center of the crêpe. Then, fold the two sides over the center so that they overlap slightly. And finally, fold the top and bottom to the middle so they also overlap and completely enclose the filling. Turn the folded crêpe over so that the top side is flat, and the folds are on the bottom, so that it stays closed.
4. Crêpe Cake
The crêpe cake is a fun option when you’re feeding a crowd or celebrating something special! To make a crêpe cake, place a single crêpe on a serving platter or cake stand. Then, spread a thin layer of filling over the crêpe, leaving about ½ inch around the edge. Continue to alternate layers of crêpes with thin layers of filling. Then, top with whipped cream, slice and serve!