Crêpes – A Mardi Gras Tradition

March 1st, 2010 by Cecile Arsan Leave a reply »
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Although Crêpes are originally from France, they are very common in Lebanon. Two weeks ago was Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), a celebration with parades, parties and big meals. In France, the tradition is to eat crêpes. When I was young, I loved crêpes so much that I established a new Sunday-night tradition: crêpes and hot chocolate. I have baked crêpes since my childhood and have perfected this long-lasting family recipe.

Crêpes are not hard to make, but there is a clear technique required to perfect the art of crêpe making. It may have taken me 1 hour to cook my first crêpe, but now it takes me 15min to make the batter and 15 more to cook about 20 crêpes (while handling 2-3 pans on the stove). Here is my trick.
 
Preparation phase: 30min
Resting phase: 2hrs or more
Cooking phase: 1hr for 15-20 crêpes

Servings: 20 crêpes

Crêpe Desert

Ingredients: 2 cups of flour (white or whole wheat), 2 cups of milk, 3 eggs, ½ cup of beer (or water), 1 tablespoon of olive oil, a pinch of salt

Preparation Phase – making the batter (~ 30min)

1. Place 2 cups of all-purpose flour (white or whole wheat) in a mixing bowl and create a small well. Then add three eggs in the middle as shown below

Crêpe Recipe 1

2. Slowly pour 2 cups of milk into the center of the mixing bowl. While pouring, whisk the mixture slowly in the same direction (either clockwise or counter-clock wise, do not switch from one direction to the next and back…). This will help blend the flour and the milk.

 
Crêpe Recipe 2

3. When the flour, eggs and milk are well blend, you will still find small lumps of flour. Do not panic, the lumps will go away during the resting phase. Add ½ cup of beer (or water), 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Whisk together

Resting Phase (~ 2hrs)

4. Cover the mixture and place it in the refrigerator for 2 hours or more – the longer, the better

Cooking Phase (~ 1hr)

5. When you are ready to cook the crêpes, take the mixture out of the refrigerator. You will see two layers: the flour and milk will be separated from the beer/water & oil. Blend the mixture into a smooth cream
6. Heat a lightly oiled frying pan over medium heat. Then scoop about ¼ cup of batter onto the pan. Tilt the pan in a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly. As a rule of thumb: the thinner the crêpe, the better it tastes
7. When the borders of the crêpe turn light brown, flip the crêpe over and let it cook on both sides. Make sure to grease your pan after cooking every 5 crêpes, or the batter will stick to the pan

Crêpe Recipe 3

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My Favorite Toppings

Salty Crêpes:
- Ham & Cheese
- Turkey/Chicken & Cheese
- Smoked Salmon with Sour Cream, Capers & Lemon Juice

Sweet Crêpes:
- Fruits (bananas, strawberries etc…)
- Nutella
- Whip Cream
- Ice Cream
- Sugar / Honey / Maple Syrup

** Feel free to contact me or leave a comment if you have any questions about the ingredients and recipes.


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