How to Make Crepes at Home, According to a Professional Chef
Crepes, which originated in Brittany, France, are thin pancakes made with basic household ingredients. Flour, eggs, salt, sugar, and milk are all you need to make both sweet and savory crepes, primed for whatever filling you're craving.
We consulted Keith Lada, executive chef of The Skinny Pancake—an assortment of creperies founded in Burlington, Vt.—for his expert advice on how to make crepes at home. Keep reading for his pointers, a crepe recipe, and many sweet and savory ideas for different crepe filings. You'll be making crepes at home in no time!
What Equipment You'll Need
Chef Lada assured us that you don't need to buy a fancy crepe pan to make crepes at home; all you need is a nonstick skillet, along with a rubber spatula for flipping. Crepes are delicate and have a tendency to stick, so you want to make sure your skillet is in good shape.
We like using a blender to combine the ingredients because it ensures a silky smooth batter, but it's definitely not necessary. If you don't have a blender, just make sure to whisk the batter thoroughly to eliminate lumps. Otherwise, you just need some measuring cups and spoons, and something to melt butter in.
How to Make Crepes Ahead
Crepes are easy to make ahead of time, which means they're a great option for entertaining guests. You can cook them in advance, wrap them up, and keep them in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours. If you plan on storing them for longer than that, freezing is the way to go!
Whether you're refrigerating crepes or freezing them, chef Lada recommends placing a piece of parchment paper between each crepe to keep them from sticking together. For frozen crepes, make sure to wrap them well in plastic wrap to remove as much air as possible. About 24 hours before you want to serve them, take them out of the freezer and let them defrost in the refrigerator.
As for reheating crepes, we like to place them on a sheet tray, separated by pieces of parchment paper and covered with a piece of foil, and heat them in a 350-degree oven for 5-10 minutes.
Basic Crepe Recipe
This recipe, which we've adapted from an earlier Real Simple crepe recipe, yields approximately six servings. It's also great to use if you plan to make crepes ahead of time. Note: For savory crepes, add a big pinch of salt. For sweet crepes, add a tablespoon of granulated sugar.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- 1 ½ cups milk
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
- Neutral oil or oil spray, for the pan
- In a blender, combine the milk, eggs, flour, butter, and salt or sugar until smooth and foamy. If you don't have a blender, use a bowl and a whisk. Move the mixture to the refrigerator and let rest for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day.
- Lightly grease a medium nonstick skillet and heat over medium heat.
- Once heated, add ¼ cup of crepe batter, swirling the skillet so it spreads evenly across the bottom of the pan.
- Cook until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes, then use a spatula and your fingers to flip the crepe, allowing the other side to cook for about 1 to 2 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Transfer to a plate, and repeat with the remaining batter.
Crepe Filling Ideas
Arguably the best and most fun part about making crepes is the final step: filling them with all sorts of delicious things! Chef Lada suggests setting up a bunch of fillings and letting your guests build their own crepes. It's a great way to get people involved in a creative activity, and it means that everyone gets their perfect crepe. Whether you prefer sweet or savory, here are some ideas for crepe fillings—some classic, some experimental, all delicious.