The great thing about my basic crepe recipe is that they taste great with sweet or savory ingredients. I have been making crepes for years, but the basic crepe recipe I use now is the one and only I will ever use again. The secret is in the butter. I have seen a lot of crepe recipes that use oil instead of or in addition to butter, but the truth is you really want to use just butter and shouldn’t have to add any additional oil if you are using a non-stick pan.
For even more flavor, I always brown the butter for my crepe batter. It adds a wonderful nutty layer to the flavor and the fragrance is similar to hazelnuts. In France, they call it “beurre noisette,” which literally translates to hazelnut butter.
Whether I am making sweet or savory crepes, the addition of either lemon or orange zest really gives the batter a little extra push to greatness. You can tell when the brown butter and the zest take the batter to the next level when you start salivating in the kitchen before you have even had a single bite.
- 2 cups milk
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- 6 tablespoons brown butter
- 1 teaspoon lemon or orange zest
- For the basic crepes, blend milk, eggs, flour, salt, cooled brown butter, and zest. Refrigerate for one hour.
- After the batter has had a chance to rest, heat a crepe pan or shallow non-stick pan on medium-high heat. Swirl in butter, and begin making crepes. To get uniform, thin crepes, pour the batter into the middle of the pan and you tilt the pan around in a circle, using gravity to swirl it evenly across the entire bottom of the pan. After about one minute, the crepe should be ready to flip. Gently shake the pan to loosen the crepe from the pan, then use your crepe spatula or other non-metal spatula to flip in one, smooth motion. The underside should be golden brown from the butter, but not burned. If this is the case, either turn down the heat a bit or flip the crepe sooner. The second side only needs about 20-30 seconds to brown, then you should be able to slide the crepe easily onto to a plate.
- Repeating to use up all the batter, you should be able to make upwards of 15 dinner-plate sized crepes.
- The crepes can be kept easily in the fridge for up to one week, and in the freezer for upwards of a month. Fold into fourths and separate with parchment paper for easy use.
- Basic Crepe Recipe Adapted from Crepes: 50 Savory and Sweet Recipes by Martha Holmberg.