When I was in high school, students taking French had the opportunity to spend about a week and a half in France, spending a few days in Paris and then around a week in Niort, a beautiful town in the West of France with our correspondants, or exchange students. This was one of the coolest experiences of my life; not only was it my first trip to Europe, but I was able to travel with my best friends from school and also meet new ones in France. I still maintain a friendship with my correspondant, Sophie, and in August of 2010 she and her boyfriend actually came to New York and stayed with me in Hoboken for a week- the first time we had seen each other in 6 years!
Anyways, in order to actually get to France, our class had to do some fundraising. I’m sure there were a lot of different ways we tried to do this; to be honest I don’t remember most of them. However, I do know that my best friend Morgan and I signed up to help with the absolute hardest one: making crepes for a French-inspired breakfast bake sale.
I don’t know what it is about crepes- they look easy enough, and only involve a few simple ingredients. But something about the actual execution makes the first few attempts utterly futile in creating a perfect, thin but slightly chewy and magically delicious crepe. Somehow, we managed to make about 50 or so giant, decent crepes, which paled in comparison the 100 or so broken, burnt, and otherwise inedible ones. But who’s counting. We still made it to France even if we gave a few freshmen food poisoning.
Fast forward to 2011 (!!). I managed to graduate high school and college, and here I am in Jersey City. After a crazy New Year’s filled with champagne, Just Dance 2 for Wii, and great friends, I am settling back into my normal Sunday routine of watching Food Network from about when I wake up to 1:00 pm when I switch to watching football.
When I woke up this morning, though, that beautiful toothy b, Giada de Laurentiis, was making none other than my old nemesis: Crepes.
Feeling provoked yet ready to accept this obvious challenge, I turned to my trusty How to Cook Everything bible and flipped to the section on crepes. This recipe is very simple- and I actually managed not to totally screw it up. I halved the recipe because I’m just cooking for two, but ended up with 6 very decent sized crepes which was perfect for the two of us. I also used Nutella and raspberry jam as filling, because, well, I love both of those things.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Pinch salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp melted and cooled butter (plus more for cooking)
- Raspberry jam
- Sugar and cinnamon for dusting over the top
1. Combine flour, salt, sugar and milk and beat until smooth. Beat or blend in the eggs and stir in the melted and cooled butter. If you have an hour (not likely, but if) refrigerate this for an hour and beat again.
2. Place a small non-stick skillet with shallow sides over medium heat. (I kept going back between medium and medium low in order to keep the crepes from burning). When the pan is hot, add 1/2 teaspoon of butter. Ladle about 1 or 2 tbsp of batter into the skillet and swirl it around so that it forms a thin layer on the bottom of the pan. If you have excess batter, pour it back into the bowl.
3. You’ll see that the batter sets pretty much right away. When the top is no longer liquid (which should take around a minute), flip the crepe and cook for another 15 seconds while you place about a tbsp each of Nutella and raspberry jam on top of the crepe. Using a spatula, fold into quarters and transfer to a baking sheet either greased or lined with foil or parchment.
4. Once all the crepes are done, dot each with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and heat in a 350-degree oven for around 10 minutes- then serve!
Side note: We ate these for breakfast. For those who actually, um, value nutrition, I’d recommend saving these for dessert. But hey, what else are lazy Sundays for other than napping in a sugar-induced coma?