Test Kitchen tips: Crepes 101
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French for ‘pancake,’ these delicate creations are made using a very thin batter carefully cooked in a shallow pan. The batter is made ahead of time to fully moisten all of the flour and release any air that may be trapped inside.
While a frying pan or even nonstick skillet can be used to make crepes, a specialized crepe pan (pictured at right) tends to work best. Shallow and flat-bottomed, these special frying pans are typically made of steel or cast iron. Heat the pan, then pour in the batter, swirling or scraping the batter until it evenly covers the base (use an offset spatula or special scraper). The shallow sides of the pan make it much easier to lift the crepes as they are cooked. Crepe pans can vary widely in price, but a basic one, like the one pictured, should set you back about $20. They’re generally available at cooking stores and are widely available online.
For a step-by-step on making crepes, continue reading below (no worries, seven recipe ideas are included!).
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-- Noelle Carter
Photo credits: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times (top and step-by-step below); Ricardo DeAratanha (top right).
1. Pour the prepared crepe batter so it just covers a hot, lightly buttered pan.
2. Tilt the pan, swirling the batter, to evenly cover the whole surface.
3. Carefully lift the edge closest to you with a spatula to see if the underside is golden.
4. Use a spatula to flip the crepe, then cook the other side until set.