Making homemade crepes is not hard! It does take some unique techniques, but with a little practice you’ll have no problem making your own crepes. Here’s are some directions, photos and tips to help you get started. My long-winded photo directions are first, followed by a much quicker set of directions in list format.
Mix you batter
Before you even mix up your batter, you’ll need a recipe. The crepes in these pictures are a batch of buckwheat crepes (which I plan on posting the recipe to later on). If you are looking for a crepe recipe, try my hazelnut crepes. I know from experience they will work using these techniques.
I’ve mixed crepe batter in a number of ways. For my first years of crepe making I used my parents bajillion year old blender. Er, it was probably more like 20 years old, but it looked super old to me. It was brown and faded white. The blender was not aesthetically pleasing, but it did the job perfectly. In fact, since the blender jar had a lip for pouring, it was great for both the mixing portion and the pouring portion. Yay for recipes with minimal dish washing!
Since I currently don’t have a blender I alternate between using my food processor (for larger batches of crepes) and my immersion blender (for smaller batches of crepes). Both do the mixing perfectly. The downside is the pouring. I use a pyrex glass measuring cup or an empty coffee creamer container.
Preheat the pan
You will want to cook the crepes in a non stick skillet. Spray the pan with olive oil or cooking oil and heat it to medium -high heat. While the pan is heating, get out a spatula to flip your crepes and an empty plate to put them on. You will be ready to start cooking crepes when you can feel the heat on your hand when it is about a foot above the pan.
A note about heat: You may notice from the picture that I cook on an old, electric range. It gets the job done, but it is definitely not in tip-top condition. The burners are uneven and there is variation in the temperature. If your stovetop is in better condition than mine (and I hope it is!) then you may have to adjust the heat level. Getting the heat level right for your equipment is part of the learning process, though, so don’t be afraid to adjust if the first few crepes don’t turn out perfectly!
Pour and Swirl
So you have your batter and your spatula, you pan is heated. This next step is really the crux of making a successful crepe. You are going to hold the skillet in your right hand, and batter in your left hand. Lift the skillet off the burner. Pour enough batter into the pan so it is covering about 2/3 of the pan, and immediately swirl the pan around in a circle, just tilting it enough so that the batter spreads out to the edge of the pan. When you are done swirling set the pan back on the burner.
As you get the hang of this two things will happen. First, you will have a good idea of how much batter you need to pour to fill your pan. Second, you will start tilting the pan before you have poured all of the batter.
As you practice two things may happen: you might pour too much or two little batter. If you’ve added too much, I suggest just letting the crepe cooking. It may be a little thicker than your other crepes but it will still be soft and flexible like a crepe should be. If you’re gone the other direction and your batter doesn’t cover the pan your have two choices. You can add more batter to the empty spots or you can let the crepe cook as is, and end up with a mini-crepe, of sorts.
Here is the batter, just poured into the pan, before swirling:
Here is the batter, just after swirling:
There are two things to point out from this picture. First, the holes up towards the top left of the crepe. This happens when you’ve swirled the batter around the pan too slowly (or let it rest to, say, take a picture, before swirling it). The crepe cooks so quickly that sometimes, by time the batter travels all the way around the pan some of the crepe has cooked. This partially cooked batter won’t slide around the pan with the rest of the batter. The batter is forced to move around it, leaving a small hole. Annoying? Yes. Crepe tragedy? No. Your crepe will still taste great, and your fillings will not come pouring out of these small holes, either.
The second thing to point out is the edges of the crepe. Can you see how they are stick to the pan? Right after I pour and swirl, I set the skillet back on the burner and then use my spatula to poke these edges down. This makes it much easier to flip the crepe.
As you are scraping the edges of the crepe, watch for the crepe to start bubbling up. It’s time to flip the crepe when you see lots of bubbles all over the crepe. The edges may also be a bit brown.
The crepe should be easy to flip over. You have already loosened the edges with the scraping. Just slide your spatula underneath the crepe and life the whole thing up and off the pan. Then, flip it! I have a large faced spatula that is great for holding an entire crepe. If you are having trouble getting the crepe up, try holding onto the lifted edge with your hand to help stabilize while you lift up the rest of the crepe.
Once flipped, your crepe should look like something like this. If it appears undercooked, just flip it back over and let it cook a bit longer, no harm done!
Honestly, I have no special tips for the last cooking step for the crepe. I leave it sit for a minute or two. At this point, there crepe is super easy to flip, so I check for doneness by lifting up and edge and peeking under or just flipping it over. Your crepe will not look the same on both sides. The second side will be browned, but in a “spotty” pattern.
And, you’re done! Sort of. . .
You’ve finished one crepe! Congratulations! But now you have the rest of your batter to cook. Before you move on to your subsequent crepes, make any changes. Did the crepe burn? Turn the heat down a notch or two. Was it undercooked when you tried to flip it? Turn the heat up a bit. Did the crepe stick to the pan? Spray the skillet with more cooking spray. Once you’ve made your adjustments, pour the next crepe! The one thing I do suggest doing between each crepe is stirring the batter.
How to: Make Gluten Free Crepes
- Mix your batter.
- Spray a nonstick skillet with cooking spray or olive oil.
- Heat the skillet over medium-high heat.
- Pour some crepe batter into the skillet, and swirl the entire skillet in a circle, until the batter is spread out evenly across the pan.
- Push down any batter that is stuck along the edge of the pan.
- When the crepe is bubbling, flip it over. This will happen quickly.
- Let sit a minute or so, before removing. Check doneness by lifting up the bottom of the crepe and peeking under it to see if it has browned at all.
- Stir your batter before pouring the next crepe.