CREPES FINES SUCREES
The following recipe is made with an electric blender, because it is so quick. If you do not have one, gradually blend the egg yolks into the flour with a wooded spoon, beat in the liquids by droplets, then strain through a fine sieve. Crêpe batter should be made at least 2 hours before it is to be used; this allows the flour particles to expand in the liquid and insures a tender, light, thin crêpe.
The first crêpe is a trial one to test out the consistency of your batter, the exact amount you need for the pan, and the heat.
3/4 cup cold milk
3/4 cup cold water
3 egg yolks
1tbsp granulated sugar
3 tbsp orange liqueur, rum, or brandy
1 cup flour (scooped and leveled)
5 tbsp melted butter
An electric blender
A rubber scraper
An iron skillet or a crêpe pan with a 6 1/2- to 7-inch bottom diameter
2 to 3 tbsp cooking oil and a pastry brush
A ladle or measure to hold 3 to 4 tbsp or 1/4 cup
Place the ingredients in the blender jar in the order in which they are listed. Cover and blend at top speed for 1 minute. If bits of flour adhere to sides of jar, dislodge with a rubber scraper and blend 3 seconds more. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hour or overnight.
Brush the skillet lightly with oil. Set over moderately high heat until the pan is just beginning to smoke.
Immediately remove from heat and, holding 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 back into your bowl; judge the amount of your next crêpe accordingly.) This whole operation takes but 2 or 3 seconds.
Return the pan to heat for 60 to 80 seconds. Then jerk and toss the pan sharply back and forth and up and down to loosen the crêpe. Lift its edges with a spatula and if the under side is a nice light brown, the crêpe is ready for turning.
Turn the crêpe 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.
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 crêpe. As they are done, slide the crêpes onto a rack and let cool several minutes before stacking on a plate. Grease the skillet again, heat to just smoking, and proceed with the rest of thecrêpes. Crêpes 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. (Crêpes freeze perfectly.)
As soon as you are used to the procedure, you can keep 2 pans going at once, and make 24 crêpes in less than half an hour.
Makes 10 to 12 crepes 6 inches in diameter, or 16 to 18 crepes 4 to 5 inches in diameter.
Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume One
HERBED CREPES WITH SMOKED SALMON AND RADISHES
This recipe makes enough batter for 2 crêpes, even though you’ll only need 1 for this hors d’oeuvre. If the first crêpe comes out well, freeze the extra, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, to use another evening.
Active time: 30 min Start to finish: 1 hr
1/3 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vegetable oil plus additional for cooking crêpes
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
1 oz cream cheese (1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons), softened
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
Rounded 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 oz thinly sliced smoked salmon
2 medium radishes, cut into 1/8-inch-thick matchsticks (1/4 cup)
Blend milk, flour, egg, and 2 teaspoons oil in a blender until smooth. Add chives and dill and pulse 1 or 2 times to just combine. Chill batter, covered, 30 minutes.
Stir batter to redistribute herbs. Lightly brush a 10-inch nonstick skillet with oil, then heat over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Holding skillet off heat, pour in half of batter (1/4 cup), immediately tilting and rotating skillet to coat bottom. (If batter sets before skillet is coated, reduce heat slightly for next crêpe.) Return skillet to heat and cook until crêpe is just set and pale golden around edges, 10 to 15 seconds. Loosen edge of crêpe with a heatproof plastic spatula, then flip crêpe over carefully with your fingertips. Cook until underside is set, about 20 seconds more. Transfer crêpe to a plate. Make another crêpe in same manner, brushing skillet again with oil.
Prepare filling and assemble hors d’oeuvre:
Stir together cream cheese, lemon juice, zest, and pepper in a small bowl until smooth.
Put 1 crêpe, browned side up, on a work surface, and spread with all of cheese mixture. Arrange salmon in an even layer over bottom half of crêpe (side nearest you), then scatter radishes over salmon. Beginning at bottom, tightly roll up crêpe, then cut roll crosswise into 4 pieces, trimming ends if desired.
• Crêpes can be made (but not filled) 1 day ahead and chilled, layered between sheets of wax paper and then wrapped in plastic wrap.
• Cheese mixture can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature before using.
• Crêpe can be rolled with filling (but not cut) 1 hour ahead and kept, wrapped in plastic wrap, at room temperature. Cut into pieces just before serving.
Makes 2 servings
Gourmet, January 2004
Buckwheat Crepe Batter
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon buckwheat flour
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
3 large eggs
In a small saucepan cook butter over moderately low heat until golden brown with a nutlike fragrance. (Bottom of pan will be covered with brown specks.) Into a bowl sift flours and salt. In another bowl whisk together milk, eggs, and brown butter. Add milk mixture to flour mixture, whisking until smooth. Chill batter, covered, 1-2 hours
Make 8 Crepes
Gourmet, August 1997
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup sugar
½ lb butter
½ to 2/3 cups orange juice
3 TB orange liqueur
18 crepes (use crepes fines sucrees)
In a food processor (steel blade) place ½ cup sugar with orange peel (without pith) and process one minute until blended. Cut the butter into pieces and process until smooth and almost fluffy. Add ½ orange juice in drops, then the liquer. Add more juice, but keep mixture creamy. Cover and refrigerate.
2 TB granulated sugar
1/3 cup orange liqueur
1/3 cup cognac
Place butter in chafing dish until bubbling.
Dip both side of crepe in melted butter. Fold in half, then half again. Finish until dish is full of folded crepes. Spinkle with sugar. Pour with liqueur and cognac. Ignite and shake gently back and forth. Serve warm.