I can hardly imagine anyone not loving classic French crepes. I had my first crepe in Paris from a street vendor. Way to set the bar high!
I watched while he poured the batter and swirled it onto the rimless crepe pan skillfully without spilling a drop. Then he peeled a paper-thin pastry off the pan and flipped it to cook the other side. As it cooked he added a pat of (French) butter and a sprinkle of fine sugar. On that, he sliced fresh bananas then drizzled the whole thing with Nutella. He carefully folded it in half, then in half again, slipped it into a paper sleeve and handed me what was one of the best sweets I’ve ever eaten. Since then, I’ve been to many creperies and enjoyed both sweet and savory crepes. Some good, some not as good, but none as good as in Paris.
I finally attempted to make them myself. They are not at all as difficult as you might think. Quite easy, actually. If you’re serving a crowd though, be prepared to stand at the stove for a while, but, there is an easier way! A friend suggested I try Melissa’s ready-made crepes. I was, of course, a skeptic but I’m happy to say they were really good. A bonus is that they are all-natural with no preservatives. They are not only tasty but easy to work with. If you are looking for them at Heinen’s you’ll find them in the Produce Department right next to the strawberries.
Today I made Crepes Suzette, a classic orange butter crepe with a finish of flaming Grand Marnier and Cognac. Yes, Please! I also made a savory crepe with arugula, sun-dried tomatoes and creamy, delicious goat cheese.
To lighten my load I made both with Melissa’s ready-made crepes. When I set out the platter of Crepes Suzette I stood back and watched as it was emptied in less than 60 seconds. You would think I starve my people, OR they were simply THAT good. Trust me. No one starves in this house.
My favorite were the savory goat cheese crepes. They were light and tangy while the crepe was slightly sweet and warm with delicate crispy edges. Wonderful!
I’ve including my favorite recipe for Homemade French Crepes if you want to give it a go. However, if you are experimenting with fillings and want a really easy, quick and delicious treat, go ahead and try Melissa’s. They are delicious!
- One pack of Melissa’s ready-made crepes
- 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened, plus more for buttering
- 1/4 C. plus 2 tablespoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- 1 Tbsp. finely grated orange zest
- 1/3 C. fresh orange juice
- 1/4 C. Grand Marnier
- 2 Tbsp. Cognac
- In a food processor, blend the 6 tablespoons of softened butter with 1/4 cup of sugar and the orange zest.
- With the machine on, gradually add the orange juice until incorporated.
- If making the butter in advance, place the butter on a piece of wax paper and roll into a log. Refrigerate until ready to use. When ready to use, let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes to soften.
- Preheat the broiler. Butter a large rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with sugar.
- Place 2 rounded teaspoons of the orange butter in the center of each crêpe.
- Fold the crêpes in half and in half again to form triangles. So that the butter does not remain only in the center of the crepe, once you have folded it, use your hands to work the butter throughout the folded crepe evenly before placing on the baking sheet.
- Arrange each crepe on the prepared baking sheet, pointing them in the same direction and overlapping slightly.
- Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and broil on the middle shelf of the oven until they begin to caramelize, about 2 minutes.
- Using a long spatula, transfer the crêpes to a heatproof platter.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the Grand Marnier and cognac. Ignite carefully with a long-handled match and pour the flaming mixture over the crêpes. Tilt the platter and, with a spoon, carefully baste the crêpes until the flames subside. Serve right away.
More Sweet Crepe Options
Sweet crepes are made with regular wheat flour (all purpose flour), and are usually slightly sweetened with sugar. These are perfect for breakfast or dessert. These sweet crepes are typically served with sugar, syrup, fruits, chocolate (or Nutella), whipped cream, or even ice cream, here are a few of my favorite combinations:
- Strawberries (or any type of berry) and cream
- Banana and caramel/butterscotch or both
- Chocolate and strawberries
- Lemon curd and whipped cream
- Ice cream, toasted nuts and chocolate sauce
- One pack of Melissa’s ready-made crepes
- 1 bag of baby arugula
- 8 oz. crumbled soft goat cheese
- 1 jar of sun-dried tomatoes in Italian seasoning
- 1 lemon
- Olive oil to drizzle
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- Sea salt
- Carefully unpack your Melissa’s crepes.
- Dress the baby arugula in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of fresh lemon and a pinch of sea salt. Set aside.
- Chop the sun-dried tomatoes into 1/4 inch strips.
- Use a non-stick frying pan on medium heat. Add just enough butter to give the pan a slight glisten. About 1 tsp.
- Working with one crepe at a time, place the crepe in the buttered pan. On one side of the crepe cover 1/4th of it with goat cheese crumbles, then a few sun-dried tomatoes, then a handful of the dressed baby arugula.
- Gently fold the crepe in half then in half again.
- Remove from pan to a plate then repeat the process until all your crepes are made.
More Savory Crepe Options
Savory crepes are traditionally made with buckwheat flour. These are naturally gluten free, and have a nutty flavor because of the buckwheat flour. They are typically served for lunch or dinner, but they also work just as well for breakfast/brunch too. Savory crepes can be filled with savory fillings like ham, cheese, bacon, eggs, vegetables (like mushrooms), herbs and other types of meat fillings including:
- Chicken and mushroom filling
- Shrimp with scallion cream cheese
- Ham and cheese
- Bacon and eggs
- Ham and eggs
- Omelette with herbs
- Sautéed mushrooms