Yield about 12 crepes (depends on pan size)
Preparation Time :0:30
In a large bowl mix milk with egg, salt, oil and flour. Beat well, as you cannot overbeat this preparation. Let it rest in the refrigerator covered for 30 minutes. It should be the consistency of heavy cream at that time. If too thick, thin it slightly, as you want thin crepes.
Wipe a non stick frying pan (about 5-7") with a paper towel that has been moistened with oil. You should leave the thinnest of films. Set heat at medium to medium-high. When there is the first perceptible shimmer of smoke, use a 1 oz ladle or measure and pour into the center of the pan. Pour it all at once, and do not add more. Lift the pan off the fire and turn it this way and that to spread the batter as much as you can. It should cover the entire pan. If not, you need a smaller pan or a larger spoon. Try using a shot glass, if the ladle doesn't work out for you. The point is to deposit the minimum amount of batter to do the job and to deposit JUST that amount every time.
The batter will make a hissing noise when it hits the pan if the heat is high enough, When you see brown on the edges, gently free the crepe with a plastic spatula, or bang the pan bottom on the stove to free the crepe. When the heat is correctly adjusted, the edges will turn brown just as the crepe is ready to turn. That is where you want to set your heat. Make note of the setting for future reference as once you begin, you don't want to change the heat setting.
Then turn or toss it over onto the uncooked side and briefly allow it to take some spots of color and dry out and moist spots. Turn it out onto a cloth towel or lightly greased surface to cool.
Allow crepes to cool. Make stacks of ten, and only wrap when totally cool. (In the professional kitchen we make stacks of ten into stacks of fifty, as we used hundreds! If the chef was mad at me (frequently) I would stand all day doing this.)
This recipe is very plain. You could change the oil, which helps the non stick pan, to butter for flavor. You can use some flavored spirit as part of the milk. You can use egg yolks instead of whole egg. Chopped parsley can be added. Chefs use crepes in many different ways, from stuffing them with a filling and gratinating them with a sauce (Spinach Stuffed Crepes with Feta, Sauce Mornay) to Crepes Suzette.
Notes: It used to be a test for an apprentice to use seven pans at once for making crepes. This is a very basic recipe and there are many variations. It was among the first thing I learned to cook, from a Dione Lucas article on Shrove Tuesday.
©1996, Steve K. Holzinger. All rights reserved.
This Archived Page created between 1994 and 2001. Modified August 2007
Copyright © 1994-2017,