Thursday, July 7, 2011

Best Ever Crepes with Brown Sugar Peaches

Cheap Eat Challenge, Part 2: Watch as our family of 6 eats on $10/day.

I've always liked crepes, but when my friend Maren made them for me and Kip many moons ago, I knew I'd found my one and only. Her crepes were the perfect texture, the perfect ratio of egg to milk to flour, they held up well with a flip, and they were pretty much perfect in every other way.

Besides being wicked good, crepes have many other fine personality traits. They can feed a crowd on the cheap. They can be eaten with sweet or savory fillings. They're super quick to whip up (though you do have to commit to standing off and on at a skillet for 20 minutes or so while they cook). They also make surprisingly good leftovers, holding up much better than pancakes or waffles do.

When I announced I was making crepes for dinner, Kip had to make a special run to the store for some Nutella. This is not, at any level, a tasty cheapskate thing to do, but then Kip is not the tasty cheapskate in this relationship. And so, Nutella became our first post-$6/day splurge. And tasty cheapskate or not, even I thought it was worth it. For the record, I saved my Nutella for a treat after I'd eaten my crepes with some fruit inside. But you don't have to.

And now for a poem:


I love crepes with jam,
I love crepes with fruit,
I love crepes with sauteed zucchini,
I love crepes with buttery browned mushrooms,
I love crepes with caramelized onions,
I love crepes with cheese,
And I really really really love crepes with Nutella and whipped cream.
Yes I do.

And this is why I paid thousands of dollars to go to graduate school for creative writing. Seriously, though, you can eat crepes with just about anything. And if that's not to love, then what is.

Bon appetit.

Best Crepes Ever with Brown Sugar Peaches
Makes: a booty load (sorry I never count--I'm guessing it makes 15-20 crepes; we always have leftovers)
Prep and cook time: 30 minutes
Cost: $1.55
(eggs: .40, milk: .60, flour: .26, other stuff: .04, butter: .25)

Note: These directions are given to you as Maren gave them to me. I always make mine this way with an extra cup of milk added at the end. Would it matter if you added it at the beginning? I don't know. I just do it as she said because hers were the best and I don't mess with that.

Whisk together:
4 eggs
3 C milk

2 Tbsp sugar
3 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Add dry mixture to egg/milk mixture.

To this batter, add:
1 C milk
1 tsp vanilla

Whisk it all together. It might be a little lumpy at first, but whisk for a minute or two and most will go away. If you still have some lumps when you make the crepes, don't worry, the crepes will still come out just fine.

Heat skillet to medium or just below. Plop a pat of butter on the skillet. You want your skillet nice and non-sticky--whether that happens with plenty of butter or with a good non-stick pan is up to you. Pour the batter onto the skillet and tilt the skillet so that the entire face of the skillet is covered with a thin layer of batter. It won't be thick like a pancake, or even close. It'll look like this:

Now you're going to let the crepe cook until there it's kind of cooked all the way through--there won't be any (or much) raw batter-y patches left and it will be just barely golden brown on the bottom (it takes 1-2 minutes usually). If it's not done enough you'll have a really really hard time flipping this baby. At this point you'll flip it over to give the other side a chance to color just a bit. I think that authentic French crepe makers don't always even flip theirs, but I like to.

Continue this process until you're done. If you've got too much batter, you can save it as batter or you can make it all into crepes. They reheat very well.

Note: Your first crepe will probably be a disaster. I don't know why this is a law of the universe, but it is. I suspect that your pan is still warming up and stuff. Anyway, if your first crepe tears and crumples and looks a mess, do not despair. Set it aside for the baby or the dog, re-butter your pan and do it again. I promise that the next will (almost surely) be much much better. If it discourages you too much, dip some in Nutella and eat it. That should make you feel much better about the world.

Another note: If, however, your crepe is burned on the bottom, turn down the heat and wait a couple minutes before continuing.

Brown Sugar Peaches

3-4 medium sized peaches, peeled and diced
1/2-1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp brown sugar

Melt butter in a small skillet. Add peaches and brown sugar. Cook on medium until the peaches have released  their juices and some of the liquid has boiled off (just a few minutes). Take off heat and serve on your crepes (or in your yogurt or over your oatmeal or, like, wherever).


1 comment:

  1. Very nice poem Jeanie! I made my first ever crepe with the help of an electric crepe maker. It does all the job, as it signals when the temperature is just right for cooking crepes, as well as when the crepe is cooked.



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