How to cook crepes

Crepe is the French word for a thin pancake that is usually rolled or folded around a filling; it can be served for a main course, snack, or dessert.

Prepare crepe batter at least 1 hour before cooking to allow the flour time to swell-the secret of a soft crepe. (If you haven’t time for this, substitute a quick-mixing or an instant-blending flour for regular flour.) The batter should be the consistency of heavy cream and should thinly coat a spoon.

Use a heavy skillet with a 6-inch bottom. Brush it lightly with a few drops of oil or a little butter and heat almost to smoking, or until a bit of test batter sizzles and bubbles. Use a ladle or measuring cup to pour in about 1/4 cup of batter. Quickly tilt the pan in all directions so that the batter coats the bottom.

Cook the crepe until the edges are lightly browned – about 1 minute. To turn, loosen the edges with a spatula, slip it under, and flip quickly. Cook the second side for no more than 30 seconds: overcooked crepes are tough or crisp and difficult to roll.

As the crepes are done, stack them. They can be refrigerated for 2 to 3 days or kept frozen for a month; separate them first with sheets of wax paper and wrap them with aluminum foil. Basic crepe batter

Put 1/2 cup cold water, 1/2 cup milk, 2 eggs, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 cup sifted flour, and 2 tablespoons melted butter into a blender jar in the order given. Blend at top speed for about 1 minute or until mixture is smooth. Or put all the ingredients in a bowl (flour first, then the liquids) and blend with a whisk or an electric beater until smooth. For dessert crepes, add 1 tablespoon sugar to the batter. If batter is too thick, add a few drops of milk. Makes about a dozen 6-inch crepes. Crepe fillings

For breakfast, sprinkle crepes with cinnamon and sugar, or spread them with jam, maple syrup, apple sauce, or sliced fresh fruit; roll them up. Add a dollop of whipped butter or sour cream, if you like.

For lunch, brunch, or dinner fill each crepe with a blend of 2 tablespoons white sauce, 2 tablespoons sauteed, chopped mushrooms, and a dash of nutmeg. Or use Welsh rabbit or creamed chicken, seafood, or vegetables. Or fill crepes with chili con came with sprinklings of minced onion and grated cheese.

For dessert fill each crepe with 2 to 3 tablespoons crushed or sauteed fresh fruit, lightly sugared. Top with ice cream or whipped cream.