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crepe maker (and / or recipes)


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Do you have one? I have such fond memories of crepes - from street fairs in Germany with friends as a teen to a crepe restaurant in Berlin with a colleague from Brittany to best friends who would cook Dutch-style crepes whenever the hubby invited a lot of people over on a whim without warning his wife. I'm thinking of  a crepe maker (and set of recipes - blog or cookbook) as a pandemic purchase for myself or a teen.

Do you like yours? I'm was thinking of this 13" one but then learned there are 16" ones, too. With 7 people, we need to be able to cook a lot fast.

Suggestions? Recipes?

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2 minutes ago, Laura Corin said:

I just use a heavy pan.

We currently don't have any pans that aren't deep, so I don't have any pan that I could flip crepes or even pancakes in. My stove has a griddle I use for pancakes, and I have a deep and large saute pan. I have a frying pan, but the sides are quite deep. So, a heavy pan would be a purchase, too.

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Have you tried cooking crepes on your griddle you use for pancakes?  They may not be super elegant, but I think that should work.  I use a small frying pan.  Something like this:  small frying pan  Unless you are planning on making crepes a lot, I think you would get more mileage out of a small frying pan.   Sorry I can't be more helpful!

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I'm also sorely tempted by crepe maker, but I need to be able to get a good result with a gluten free batter, and I'm also concerned that making crepes for 6 will just look like me standing in the kitchen while everyone dances around me, whining.  😄  But we do love crepes and they are great for using up odds n ends!  

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1 hour ago, Monica_in_Switzerland said:

I'm also sorely tempted by crepe maker, but I need to be able to get a good result with a gluten free batter, and I'm also concerned that making crepes for 6 will just look like me standing in the kitchen while everyone dances around me, whining.  😄  But we do love crepes and they are great for using up odds n ends!  

Crepes actually survive well in the oven for a few minutes.  I tend to put the oven on, then make a stack of crepes (one for each person).  We eat those together, then I get up and make another stack for us to eat together.

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A decent crepe maker that isn’t Teflon coated is $$$. I recommend a simple de Buyer blue steel crepe pan. They are light with low slanted sides. They do need a bit of care to prevent them from rusting, but are excellent pans that will last for years.

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1 hour ago, Monica_in_Switzerland said:

I'm also sorely tempted by crepe maker, but I need to be able to get a good result with a gluten free batter, and I'm also concerned that making crepes for 6 will just look like me standing in the kitchen while everyone dances around me, whining.  😄  But we do love crepes and they are great for using up odds n ends!  

Why not make galettes instead of crêpes? They’re a favorite here. Doesn’t take care of the whiny dancers, but at least it checks off the gluten free thing. 😉

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1 minute ago, Farrar said:

I just think you need a proper heavy multi-purpose pan anyway. That it will be good for crepes is just a bonus. Crepes are so easy.

Yes. I just use a spatula to flip them in a regular pan. Every year on Shrove Tuesday. 

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59 minutes ago, Laura Corin said:

Yes. I just use a spatula to flip them in a regular pan. Every year on Shrove Tuesday. 

But how are you going to have good fortune for the year if you can’t flip the crepes while holding a coin in your hand on Candlemas? 😜

I love Shrove Tuesday. My dad always made us doughnuts. 🍩 

Edited by bibiche
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1 hour ago, Farrar said:

I just think you need a proper heavy multi-purpose pan anyway. That it will be good for crepes is just a bonus. Crepes are so easy.

Okay - guess I am doing something wrong.  Give me some hints/recipes/suggestions that don't make my crepes ending up being torn semi-thickish pancakes that aren't even close to the real thing.

 

Help!

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2 minutes ago, Myra said:

Okay - guess I am doing something wrong.  Give me some hints/recipes/suggestions that don't make my crepes ending up being torn semi-thickish pancakes that aren't even close to the real thing.

 

Help!

Hopefully someone way more expert than me will chime in, but I remember the first time I made them I was shocked at how simple they were. I don't even have a recipe, I just google one before I make them. I'd say it's important to sift your flour a bit beforehand (or at least whisk it) so that it doesn't clump. The batter should be incredibly thin. Practically watery in appearance. It should spread super quickly on the pan. I agree that you can use a griddle, but the nice thing about a curve pan is that you can just pick it up and slide the liquidy batter around to evenly coat the bottom. They cook incredibly fast. A minute or two tops on each side.

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1 hour ago, Farrar said:

I just think you need a proper heavy multi-purpose pan anyway. That it will be good for crepes is just a bonus. Crepes are so easy.

This. What even is a 'crepe maker' and what magic does it puport to perform? I've been making crepes since I was 8 or 9yo.  Just dump a few spoonfuls of the batter in the bottom of a heavy skillet or omelette pan, pick up pan and swirl it around till bottom is evenly coated, cook for a bit, flip with spatula, remove to plate. All done. 

My mom used to have a pot with simmering water on another burner with a plate on top, and a large pot lid over that and waiting crepes to keep them warm. I still use this method.

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8 minutes ago, Farrar said:

Hopefully someone way more expert than me will chime in, but I remember the first time I made them I was shocked at how simple they were. I don't even have a recipe, I just google one before I make them. I'd say it's important to sift your flour a bit beforehand (or at least whisk it) so that it doesn't clump. The batter should be incredibly thin. Practically watery in appearance. It should spread super quickly on the pan. I agree that you can use a griddle, but the nice thing about a curve pan is that you can just pick it up and slide the liquidy batter around to evenly coat the bottom. They cook incredibly fast. A minute or two tops on each side.

Yes, the batter should be very thin, not quite watery, but about like cream or 1/2 and 1/2. 

I just use the recipe my mom passed down to me - heaping med. serving spoon size of flour to one egg, mix till smooth then add enough milk to thin to right consistency (much thinner than pancake batter).

I use three of those same-sized spoonfuls per crepe. It should cover the whole bottom of the pan super-thinly. Pick up the already hot and buttered/oiled pan and swivel to achieve this.

Edited by Matryoshka
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7 minutes ago, bibiche said:

@Laura Corin
https://www.cntraveler.com/story/how-to-celebrate-la-chandeleur-frances-crepe-holiday
 

Sorry, I should not have assumed you knew. I was under the impression that you used to live in France. 🙂

Okay, so I had no idea there were crepe holidays, either this one or Shrove Tuesday.  My family crepes were passed down from my German grandmother - crepes are made in the parts of Germany close to France and called - pancakes (Pfannekuchen).  My mom called them Pfannekuchen when I was growing up, but that just confuses people, lol.  There are also other non-crepe pancakes made in Germany (which are usually served for dinner. never breakfast, and are often savory), but the language makes no distinction between the types.

And apparently I need to start making crepes on some day in February!

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3 hours ago, Myra said:

Okay - guess I am doing something wrong.  Give me some hints/recipes/suggestions that don't make my crepes ending up being torn semi-thickish pancakes that aren't even close to the real thing.

 

Help!

If they’re tearing, you might not be letting the batter rest enough before using it. A trick when you don’t have time to let the batter rest but also don’t want your crêpes to tear is to add a small amount of cooking oil to the batter. 
 

If you’re crêpes are too thick, either your batter is too thick (it should be the consistency of cream) or you are not swirling to coat your pan quickly enough. I usually hold my pan in one hand and use a ladle to pour in the batter. If your pan has low edges you can also just swirl it and pour the excess back into the batter - another trick for keeping your crêpes thin.

 

For good flavor, try using beurre noisette instead of just melted butter. Also you can put a little butter in before each crêpe. Decadent, but tasty. 

Edited by bibiche
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To avoid thickness, you have to use much thinner batter than for normal pancakes, so that it’s easy to spread out in the (very flat) bottom of the pan.  I pour in it in a bit of a spiral, and then spread it immediately by swirling with the back of a big metal spoon and/or tilting the pan so that the batter spreads.  This has to be done right at the beginning before the batter firms up at all.

For avoiding the tearing, you have to wait until the bottom is thoroughly cooked and releases easily from the pan.  You can check this by very gently lifting an edge with a spatula.  It should be lightly browned, not raw looking.  When I’m making a batch, I stack them on a plate or platter with parchment in between them, and keep them in the warming oven until they are all ready.

If you have a big, heavy pan that allows access to the sides of the crepe without the sides of the pan interfering, that is best.  I have an iron griddle from Pampered Chef that straddles two burners on my stove, and that works reasonably well.  It’s a pain to clean afterwards, though, so I prefer my Essential Pan from All Clad, the big one, but I can only make one or two at a time using that one, whereas with the griddle I can have 3-4 cooking at once, each at a slightly different stage, and that is really helpful if I’m making a dish that gets stuffed and baked as a group afterwards.

Edited by Carol in Cal.
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So what does everyone put in their crepes?  

We like nutella or sugar for sweet, and all sorts of things for savory.  When we used to go to a crepe restaurant pre-kids, I'd get one JEF (jambon épinard fromage- ham, spinach cheese), one Hawaiian (ham, pineapple), then I rotated through all the various dessert crepes!

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6 minutes ago, Monica_in_Switzerland said:

So what does everyone put in their crepes?  

We like nutella or sugar for sweet, and all sorts of things for savory.  When we used to go to a crepe restaurant pre-kids, I'd get one JEF (jambon épinard fromage- ham, spinach cheese), one Hawaiian (ham, pineapple), then I rotated through all the various dessert crepes!

For some reason I never make dessert crepes.  I guess it’s because if I’m going to go to that much trouble I usually make a pie. 

For our crepes, I especially like a wild mushroom medley filling, with a very tart but scant lemon sauce on top.  I have been wanted to try to make a filling from baby shrimp and bay scallops that I have had at a local bistro, but it’s a bit of an undertaking and I haven’t done it yet.  I don’t like heavy sauces on top making the crepes soggy, so having a scant, light sauce is great, and I think my lemon sauce would work with the seafood filling as well.  I hate eggy food, but I think that any omelet filling works well in crepes if made a bit on the dry side.

Edited by Carol in Cal.
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5 minutes ago, Monica_in_Switzerland said:

So what does everyone put in their crepes?  

We like nutella or sugar for sweet, and all sorts of things for savory.  When we used to go to a crepe restaurant pre-kids, I'd get one JEF (jambon épinard fromage- ham, spinach cheese), one Hawaiian (ham, pineapple), then I rotated through all the various dessert crepes!

Germans like to put jam on them and roll them up - that's how my mother always made them.  Since we discovered nutella, yes, that's also a favorite.  

I actually haven't made crepes myself in years - they are so easy - I should get creative!  I'd like to try more savory options, as I've gone low-carb.  The crepes themselves are obviously lower-carb than pancakes, but spreading jam or nutella on them kind of kills that...  There's a crepe place in the mall food court that makes all kinds of combos; hadn't really considered those kinds of options before!

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23 minutes ago, Monica_in_Switzerland said:

So what does everyone put in their crepes?  

We like nutella or sugar for sweet, and all sorts of things for savory.  When we used to go to a crepe restaurant pre-kids, I'd get one JEF (jambon épinard fromage- ham, spinach cheese), one Hawaiian (ham, pineapple), then I rotated through all the various dessert crepes!

Usually sugar and lemon or just sugar. For savory crêpes (and often sweet) we prefer buckwheat crêpes and I almost always make a a complete with egg, cheese, ham and a vegetarian version substituting tomato for ham.

I do occasionally use crêpes for savory when I make a stuffed pasta dish with the crepes substituting for the pasta. 

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39 minutes ago, Monica_in_Switzerland said:

So what does everyone put in their crepes?  

We like nutella or sugar for sweet, and all sorts of things for savory.  When we used to go to a crepe restaurant pre-kids, I'd get one JEF (jambon épinard fromage- ham, spinach cheese), one Hawaiian (ham, pineapple), then I rotated through all the various dessert crepes!

Strawberries and whipped cream.  Yum! 

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22 minutes ago, bibiche said:

Usually sugar and lemon or just sugar. For savory crêpes (and often sweet) we prefer buckwheat crêpes and I almost always make a a complete with egg, cheese, ham and a vegetarian version substituting tomato for ham.

I do occasionally use crêpes for savory when I make a stuffed pasta dish with the crepes substituting for the pasta. 

Hmmm, I love buckwheat, but I've never made a buckwheat crepe!  Must try this!

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I have never made crepes, and I don't really remember my mom making them. She did make lefse, Norwegian pancakes, a few times. Anyway, I have this pan of hers and I always thought maybe it's a crepe pan. I want to believe it's rolled steel, but I don't know. I think it needs a little love and conditioning, but not sure how to do it. Does anyone know what this pan is really for? Maybe it's what my mom used for lefse--I was too young to really pay attention or notice. Dd's favorite restaurant at her college is a crepe place. We should really learn how to do crepes.

 

pan.JPG

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We made hundreds of crepes for one of our daughters’ weddings. We used two different crepe pans. I have made crepes on a skillet on the stove top and it works fine, but these two pans were fun to use. 
 

A friend runs a little crepe stand at farmers markets and she uses three or four electric crepe pans like this: Crepe pan   they use the pusher tool to spread the batter evenly on the pan, then turn the crepe over with the long wooden spatula. This worked well and could be used for other things like any electric griddle. (I can’t recommend these particular pans, they are the first ones that came up on amazon)
 

Our new son in law recommended one like this: crepe maker. You put the batter in a tray, then dip the crepe maker into the batter. I had never used anything like this before and doubted it would work, but it was actually great. It made very even, thin crepes, and it was very easy to use. We liked the smaller size of these and tried to match the size on the larger griddle. 
 

We made hundreds of crepes the day before the wedding, using both types of pans. They both made a similar crepe, though the “dip in” crepe maker was faster.  We kept the crepes in the fridge over night. We served them cold with dessert toppings. We made three kinds of whipped cream: Nutella cream, lemon cream, and normal whipped cream with vanilla. Then we also had all kinds of cut up berries and fruit, chopped up chocolate bars, and chocolate sauce to drizzle. They were so yummy and everyone seemed to love them. 
 

At home, we have made a sausage gravy to serve in crepes, the same as we would use for biscuits and gravy. We also like sliced strawberries and spray cream from a can! 

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4 hours ago, Monica_in_Switzerland said:

So what does everyone put in their crepes?  

We like nutella or sugar for sweet, and all sorts of things for savory.  When we used to go to a crepe restaurant pre-kids, I'd get one JEF (jambon épinard fromage- ham, spinach cheese), one Hawaiian (ham, pineapple), then I rotated through all the various dessert crepes!

Lemon juice and icing sugar.

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