I am starting to “psych” myself for travel in preparation for our long stay in Europe this winter. I love to travel and finally the time has come and we can go on extended stays in destinations that interest us. This time it’s a month in Paris and two months in Spain, how is that for a for a trip to Europe? Can you believe it? Going to the Garnier opera in Paris, Christmas on the Champs Elysee, Boqueria Market in Barcelona, Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid. And think of the foods we will experience. My head is spinning. I can see myself checking out all the kitchen and cookware shops in Paris , Barcelona and Madrid and wonder what treasures I will find to ship back to my kitchen here at home. After losing a lifetime collection of treasured cookware and kitchen “stuff” to the fire last year, I am in need of “everything” kitchen and wonder what finds are waiting for me in shops like the Dehillerin shop in Paris, Vincon in Barcelona and Alambique in Madrid. Not to mention all the smaller, local and out of the way specialty shops and local craft shops that I know are there. My friend Barb brought me a hand made copper ladle from just one of this kind of small atelier type shops where the copper maker makes the tools and sell them at his store. This is just the kind of things I treasure and will look for on our travels. I will report back with all my stories, finds, tips and suggestions.
So in anticipation of French things to come I thought I’d make simple French Crepes with sugar and lemon. What can be simpler and what can be more French. I love to go to the market in Calgary or Kelowna where a vendor serves these giant, parchment thin crepes with a drizzle of fresh lemon juice and a sprinkling of powdered sugar. If I wasn’t embarrassed I would order 2-3 orders of the same and devour each with pleasure. They are so thin, you barely feel them as they melt away leaving a sweet lemony flavour lingering in your mouth.
Mine are not as thin as those they serve at the market. Keep in mind that they have a special tool with which they thin out the batter in a concentric design. I, in fact, have one of those tools myself but do not have a large enough pan to use it with. The commercial crepe pan is a huge flat surface, the size of an entire stove top if not larger, like a canvas for a painter. The ones I make at home however are delicious and thin and really don’t need much more than lemon and sugar.
Tips for making crepes:
- Thin batter is easier to work with than thicker batter because it spreads more readily.
- Smaller pan is easier to work with than a larger pan because it’s easier to spread the batter around a smaller diameter.
- Work with medium heat rather than high heat.
- I prefer to pour the batter into the middle of the pan and swirl it from there. Some prefer to pour it at the outer end and then swirl.
- “Correct” crepes will have a thin, lace-like edging all around.
- Don’t overcook them and make them too dark. nice and light golden is all you need.
So here is my crepe recipe, simply served with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a dusting of powdered sugar, an advanced tribute Paris.
1 1/3 cups milk
1/2 stick butter, melted
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup water
A pinch salt
Juice of 2 lemons
1/2 cup powdered sugar
In a blender combine milk, eggs, and melted butter and mix to blend well.
Add flour, sugar and salt and mix until well blended.
Add water and blend to combine.
Heat a 8 inch crepe pan or a non-stick skillet to medium high.
Scoop just under 1/4 cup of the batter and pour into the hot pan, swirling it to distribute the batter all around the pan in a circle. If there are holes you can fill them after.
Place the pan over the burner and cook until just beginning to turn golden around the edges, about 1 minute.
Flip the crepes over and cook about 30 second.
Loosen the crepe in the pan with your wrist motion and slide onto a plate or parchment paper to cool.
Continue with remaining crepes.
Brush or drizzle the crepes with lemon juice.
Fold into quarters or roll into rolls.
Arrange on a serving plate.
Dust liberally with powdered sugar.
Optional: sprinkle a little raw sugar over as well.