Today is Shrove Tuesday (or Pancake Day as most people now know it) so I couldn't resist keeping with tradition and making up a quick batch of classic French Crepes. Growing up this is what we always had as pancakes – not the big fat, fluffy American style pancakes which I now also love. Mum always made them for us on Shrove Tuesday and I think they were one of the first things I ever made by myself. I even have an actual crepe pan and wooden utensil for flipping them – both designed specifically for making crepes - that my best friend gave to me after she had been on holiday in France when we were 12. It was honestly the best present ever (maybe she knew something I didn't about my future and cooking!). Unfortunately my beloved pan is still at my parents house in Scotland, so I couldn't use it for these crepes but I know mum is delighted to still have it there!
These classic French crepes are delicious for both sweet and savoury meals but my absolute favourite way to enjoy them is with a sprinkling of sugar and a good squeeze of lemon juice and occasionally when the mood strikes and you need that extra indulgence, spread with a little Nutella. Fabulous!
Makes approx. 8 crepes
115g plain or all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
1 tsp sugar (optional – leave out for savoury pancakes)
2 large eggs
Unsalted butter for frying
Put the flour, salt and sugar (if using) into a large mixing bowl then crack in the eggs. Whisk the mixture as much as you can before it gets too thick then gradually add the milk, whisking well in between until you have a smooth, thin batter. If it's easier transfer the batter into a good pouring jug.
Heat a frying pan up and add a small knob of butter. Once the butter is completely melted and the pan is hot add enough of the crepe batter to just thinly cover the base of the pan. As you add the batter swirl the pan around so that it's evenly covered. Cook until the top looks like it has almost dried (in other words it's not still wet and uncooked) then flip the pancake over (you can either use a spatula or if you are feeling brave flip it properly!) and cook for a maximum of another 30 seconds until it is just perfectly golden. Remove the crepe from the pan and if not serving at once pop it on a plate and keep warm in the oven on a very low temperature. For each crepe add a little more butter to the frying pan and allow to melt (really just a small amount – you don't need much at all) then repeat as above for each one until you have used up all of the batter.
Serve sprinkled with some sugar and a good squeeze of lemon, or as you prefer (Golden Syrup was another favourite for us as kids!) and enjoy. I doubt you will be able to eat just one! Bon Appetit!