Last year, I brought my dear friend Lindsey to a Georgia Tech game. Well, okay, she didn’t actually go to the game with me, she just hung out at our tailgate for several hours. And on a trip back to the tailgate spot from the student center bathrooms, I spotted from – no joke – 200 yards away, a ginormous, huge, beautiful jar of Nutella. It was the biggest jar of Nutella I had ever seen. And I was hungry, in desperate need of a snack. I stopped in my tracks. I got tunnel vision and was only able to focus on the jar of Nutella. I grabbed Lindsey’s arm. And basically ran to get a Nutella crepe supplied – for free! – by a new crepe restaurant in Smyrna.
Not gonna lie: I may or may not have done a little happy dance while I was inhaling my crepe, right in front of everyone. It was the best thing to ever happen to me at a Georgia Tech tailgate. And, to this day, when I’m tailgating for Tech games, I’m on the lookout for my random crepe cart with a large jar of Nutella.
Sadly, my mysterious, magical free crepe cart hasn’t shown back up near the student center parking garage tailgate spot. But, I did recently attempt crepes for the first time all by myself. And lemme tell you: they’re super easy. You should try them. I followed Julia Child’s dessert crepe recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking. She has two crepe recipes: one that’s just a general crepe (which I’m sure would be just fine here, but possibly better for savory crepes) and one that’s for desserts, which uses only egg yolks instead of whole eggs, and calls for the addition of orange liqueur. I have to tell you: I was afraid. Crepes seem so delicate and difficult. And I generally have no patience for finicky in the kitchen. But, that crepe batter came together in a matter of minutes, and I’ve been eating on it/practicing my crepe-flipping technique ever since. That means, I’ve been eating lots of Nutella. And I’ve been a happier, better person for it.
Adopted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Dessert Crepes
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup water
3 egg yolks
1 Tablespoon orange liqueur (Julia calls for 3 Tablespoons; I only wanted a splash. No orange liqueur? Use brandy, or good ol’ vanilla extract probably works)
5 tablespoons melted butter
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 cup flour
Place ingredients in a blender in the order in which they are listed here. Blend at the highest possible speed for 1 minute. Place batter in fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.
To make the crepes, assuming you’re like me and don’t have/don’t want to buy a crepe pan: get the smallest nonstick pan you have. I used my trusty 7″ el cheapo nonstick skillet that I use to make omelettes. Heat the pan over medium high-ish with 1/2 tablespoon butter. Make sure the butter coats the entire pan – you may want to use a silicone brush to accomplish this task.
Pour into the pan a scant 1/4 cup batter, and twirl the pan around so that the batter covers the bottom of the pan. This is important, both the amount of batter, the twirling, and the covering of the bottom of the pan. If you use too much batter, you will not have happy crepes. Anything more than JUST ENOUGH to cover the bottom of the pan results in a thick crepe, and we’re not trying to get pancakes here – we want paper thin, light, airy wrappers for our Nutella & strawberries. I messed that up several times. It’s hard to just use barely enough batter to cover the bottom of the pan. But you just have to let it go & do what Julia says every once in a while.
Back to the recipe: once the base of the pan is covered with batter, let it cook for about 45 seconds. Then, flip it over to cook on the other side. I found that the more batter I used, the harder it was to flip them. Not that I’ve got the hang of flipping them, mind you, but the less batter I use, the easier it is. How do you flip them? Julia says something about using two spatulas or your hands. Since I have burned myself so much that I have very little sensitivity to heat in my fingertips, and I like to live on the edge, I used a spatula to help me grasp the edges, then used my hands to pull the crepe out of the pan and flip it. And I usually screwed that up somehow. But, look! One turned out really nicely. This is before I rolled it up and tore into it.
What else can you put in crepes? Anything. Cream cheese & fruit. Cream cheese fruit dip & fruit. Bananas & Nutella. Peanut butter & jelly. Goat cheese. Spinach. Mushrooms. Anything your little heart can dream up. Best of all? This batter has lasted a couple of days and still gives good results. And they take just a minute or two to make. Have I convinced you to make them yet? You should.