I have a long standing love for crêpes that predates my time living in France. As a kid, the lacy, crisp-edged, wafer thin griddle cakes fascinated me and felt special even though we topped them the same way did pancakes; with syrup and butter. When I lived in France, I was introduced to the idea of savory crêpes. The not-at-all-sweet Buckwheat Crepes were a revelation; earthy, dark as night, and filled with cheese and ham or garlicky spinach and a fried egg. It took my love of crêpes to another level entirely.
- Add the milk, eggs, butter, buckwheat flour, and salt to a blender and blend on low for about 30 seconds, or until smooth. Make sure the lid is tightly in place and stash the carafe in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight.
- Just before cooking, add 1/3 cup of water to the blender and pulse to combine until smooth.
- Place a non-stick skillet or crêpe pan over medium high heat, brush with melted butter or neutral oil, and pour just enough batter into the pan to cover the surface of the pan thinly while swirling the pan. You can also use an electric crêpe griddle/maker using the same instructions. Most electric crêpe pans come with handles on the side for swirling to cover the surface with the crêpe batter.
- Cook for about 1 to 2 minutes, or until the surface has dried, the edges of the crêpe begin to curl up slightly, and the crêpe lifts easily from the pan. Use a thin, flexible spatula or crêpe turner to slide under the crêpe and flip. Cook the second side for about 1 minute, then transfer to a plate in a warm oven, covering with a towel.
- Repeat until all of the crêpe batter is used, stacking the finished crêpes on top of each other and keeping under the towel.
- You can use the crêpes immediately, filling them with fried egg and garlicky spinach, ham and cheese, or any other number of savory fillings. You can also store these, tightly covered with plastic, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to a month, reheating before serving.
- The buckwheat flour is the star of the show here and I find that using an excellent quality buckwheat flour like Bob’s Red Mill helps makes all the difference in flavor and helps eliminate any fussiness or tendency to fall apart.
- I make and rest my crêpe batter in my KitchenAid. I find it far easier to pour the batter onto my hot crêpe pan directly from my blender than to use a ladle for the job. This is a matter of preference though, so if you feel more in control using a ladle, do so by all means.
- As far as crêpe making vessels go, you have some flexibility. I prefer to use this cast-iron crêpe pan (it comes with spreader & pastula - win-win!) because it maintains temperature flawlessly and has handles to lift it by to swirl the batter evenly over the cooking surface. My second choice is this excellent crepe pan that doubles as a wonderful pan for cooking eggs. Third choice is any good slippery non-stick pan.
- When it comes to tools for flipping crepes, thin is the name of the game. I love this traditional crepe turner because it has beveled edges that allow you to get under the crêpes easily and is the perfect width and length to help flip them without damaging them. As an added bonus, it is non-stick pan safe and won’t scratch any pan surfaces. If this isn’t available or you can’t justify owning one, two of these little flexible turners slipped in parallel under the crepe from opposite sides will work well, too. Another good choice is a fish turner because it is thin and flexible.
- One of the things my family loves best about pure buckwheat crêpes is that you can make a pile of them and wrap them tightly to store them in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to a month. That means that for a truly extraordinary, nutritional powerhouse of a breakfast, all you need to do is reheat it and fill it.