Are French crêpes meant to be eaten sweet or savoury? Which one is their best nature? To my dad, it’s sweet for sure. He would often ask me to prepare them for dinner, and whenever he asks for crêpes it means that he wants to have a sweet dinner. My boyfriend is more of a savoury person instead, and really appreciates crêpes with a savoury filling. I can’t decide what is my favourite version, I’d probably say sweet, but I also like them savoury. Especially when I have good stuff to put in them.
Last week in Falun we had the international street food market, with stands from all over the world. The French guys had this whole stand selling all types of cheese and my boyfriend and I just couldn’t resist, so we bought something from their fine selection. Fine French cheese sounded like the perfect filling for some nice savoury crêpes, so this is what we had for dinner.
Savoury crêpe recipe (yields 10-12 crêpes):
- 500 ml milk
- 200 g flour
- 1 egg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
The procedure is very simple: mix all ingredients together and whisk until the batter is smooth. No need to beat the egg first or add the flour in batches: just combine them all and mix – I usually like to use a hand whisk, but if I don’t want to have too much trouble dissolving the lumps I may as well use a hand mixer, then it’s even faster.
Pour a minimum amount of oil on the bottom of a pan and spread it using a sheet of paper towel. Even though I use a non-stick pan, I have the habit of greasing it lightly when I begin the crêpe-making action. Warm up the pan on maximum heat and only when it’s really hot, pour some batter onto it and move the pan around so that the batter will evenly distribute all over the bottom of the pan. For pouring the batter I use a ladle, so that I’m using the same amount of it for all of my crêpes and I can make them all fairly similar in size. The perfect quantity of batter is enough to cover the bottom of the pan with a thin even layer of it. I rarely manage to get the first one well, so I usually eat it straight after I take it out of the pan. My excuse is that it’s the “test” crêpe and I need to taste it to decide if I put enough salt.
The pan must be warmed up on high heat, but after the “test” crêpe is made, the heat needs to be lowered and kept on medium throughout the whole preparation. This way all the crêpes will be cooked evenly. Cooking time is about 3-4 minutes per face – when the crêpe is detaching from the pan all around the outer edges that means it can be flipped. I usually help myself with any flat kitchen utensil to ease the flipping procedure.
Now the filling. I usually prepare the stack of crêpes in advance, because I will anyway end up warming them up again once filled. A classic option would be to fill them with ham and mozzarella, but this time we had fancier cheese to choose from: comté, saint agur and brie. Put a couple of slices of cheese over half crêpe, add some prosciutto, then fold the crêpe. Transfer it to a pan, close the lid and heat the filled crêpe for a few minutes, flipping it once. You just need the time it takes for the cheese to get soft or melt. Don’t put too much cheese, or it might pour out of your crêpe once melted. Also, these crêpes come out very thin, and if using a strong cheese like the saint agur, its taste might be excessively overwhelming if there is too much of it inside.
I could feed on that stuff every day, I’m such a cheese lover. The only thing missing from our dinner table was a bottle of red wine. Add that, and you make me one happy girl!