I know we're supposed to be ratcheting down the carb intake now that the holidays are over, but I say phooey. I also say why not have crêpes for breakfast this weekend. Come on, they are so delicate and lacy and so complimented by a choice banana, cut up, tossed with a little brown sugar and lemon juice and browned in the buttered skillet. Or how about with fresh farmer's market pears? Don't be intimidated; my dear friend Maggie (a talented writer) made them for the first time for New Year's Breakfast and they were a raging success. I used the leftover batter to make them again the next morning with the single goal of achieving the pièce de résistance, the pan-flip. (I triumphed on crêpe no. 3). Give em a try; you will be victorious and popular, I promise. Serve with tangy Greek yogurt and grade B maple syrup. Heaven, I tell you.
Crêpes Fines Sucrees
Makes 10 to 12 crêpes 6 inches in diameter, if you're the type of person who measures crêpes
From Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 1, with a few amendments in ().
3/4 cup cold milk
3/4 cup cold water
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 tablespoon orange liqueur, rum, brandy (or freshly squeezed orange juice)
1 cup flour, scooped and leveled
5 tablespoon melted butter
(a pinch of salt)
(a bit of lemon or orange zest)
(Filling ideas: sliced firm banana amplified with brown sugar and lemon juice and tossed in the buttered skillet until browned; strawberries done the same; Nutella if you're immodest; sauteed mushrooms and a bit of melted Gruyere if you're wanton.)
Mix all ingredients in the order in which they are listed until smooth. (You can do this by hand or in a blender.) Julia wants you to refrigerate the batter for at least 2 hours or overnight, but 20 minutes or so in the freezer will do just fine. This helps thicken the batter.
Coat a round-edged skillet with butter. Set over moderately high heat until the pan is just beginning to smoke.
Immediately remove from heat and, holding handle of pan in your right hand, pour with your left hand a scant 1/4 cup of batter into the middle of the pan. Quickly tilt the pan in all directions to run the batter all over the bottom of the pan in a thin film. This whole operation takes but 2 or 3 seconds.
Return the pan to heat for just over a minute. Then jerk and toss the pan sharply back and forth and up and down to loosen the crêpe. Lift its edges with a spatula and if the under side is a nice light brown, the crêpe is ready for turning. Here comes the fun part. Ready?
Turn the crêpe by using 2 spatulas -or- toss it over with a flip of the pan. (C'mon, you're a cowgirl in the kitchen; flip the pan! With bravura!) Brown lightly for about 1/2 minute on the other side.* As they are done, slide the crêpes onto a rack and let cool several minutes before stacking on a plate in a warm oven. Grease the skillet again, heat to just smoking, and proceed with the rest of the crêpes.
*In her recipe Julia writes, "This second side is rarely more than a spotty brown, and is always kept as the underneath or nonpublic aspect of the crêpe." Ah, the nonpublic aspect of the crêpe. Good manners, that Julia Child.