Cooking French cuisine can be a bit intimidating. I know. Allow Julia Child to influence you and give you the encouragement you need to start. Forget about all the crepes you have had on the streets of Paris or even at the touristy restaurants. Definitely any image you have of crepes made at your local IHOP needs to be forgotten. Instead, try my recipe for an authentic French crepe: thin, light, crispy on the outer edges, and delicately smooth on the inside dressed with homemade orange syrup! Need I say more?
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For the syrup
- 1/2 Cup sweet, freshly squeezed orange juice
- 8 -10 tablespoons powdered sugar, plus more to taste
- 1/4 Cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 Cup cognac (optional)
For the crepes
- 1 Cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 Cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 Cup milk, at room temperature
- 1/2 Cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- Fresh mint sprigs and berries, for garnish
For the syrup
In a small saucepan, bring the orange juice, sugar, and butter to a boil and reduce to a maple syrup consistency. Add more powdered sugar if the syrup is sour.
Once the desired sweetness and consistency is reached, remove the pan from the stove, add the cognac, if desired, and carefully tip the pan briefly to flambé and allow the alcohol to burn off.
For the crepes
Sift the flour, sugar, and salt until blended in a small bowl. In another medium-sized bowl, mix the eggs and the milk well. Then, add the melted butter to the mix. Whip the flour mix into the egg mix in increments, whipping thoroughly to prevent lumps from forming. Mix well to create a creamy, uniform mix. Set aside.
After about 10-15 minutes, check the crepe mix consistency. It should be runny and smooth, like buttermilk. If not, add enough milk until the desired consistency is reached. Heat a 10-inch, nonstick flat frying pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot enough, spoon about ¼ cup of the crepe mix into the pan and swirl the mix thoroughly and evenly over the entire flat portion of the pan.
Once small bubbles form, the outer edges become golden brown, and the center is cooked, use a flat spatula to separate the edges of the crepe, and with your fingers (be careful to not burn your fingers) separate the crepe from the pan and flip over. Cook the crepe thoroughly enough to be able to move the crepe on the pan without sticking to the pan.
Remove the crepe from the pan and place it flat on a round, flat dish. Spread 1 teaspoon of the syrup on the outer edges of the crepe. Flip over one side of the crepe on itself to create a half. Then flip one end of the crepe over the other end, to create a quarter. Spoon another teaspoon of the syrup on the face of the crepe and coat with powdered sugar. Repeat with the remaining mix. Garnish with berries and mint.