The first time my boyfriend told me he was going to make me pancakes, I expected a tall stack topped with Aunt Jemima; these are what he made me. I was both surprised and excited, because I know this dish as a "crepe", and I love them! It turns out that Norwegians (including my boyfriend) call this a pancake, and call our buttermilk goodies "American Pancakes."
I can almost guarantee that all the things you need to make these crepes are in your fridge or pantry right now. You only need three ingredients to make the crepes themselves, and your local farmers market is the perfect place to pick up some ripe strawberries for the jam.
We LOVE to eat these crepes, most often for breakfast, but almost as often for lunch or dinner as well. Although I suppose it is technically like "breakfast for dinner," I have never really thought of it that way. For me, crepes are a special treat, and I usually end up eating them until I feel like my stomach will burst. And then I still want more.
We use a Lodge 10 1/2 inch cast iron griddle pan to make our crepes, which is perfect because it is a nice size, it has low sides, and was a good price. Just make sure you get a mitt for the handle, since it is also cast iron. Crepes won't be so much fun if you burn your hands! If you don't have/don't want to buy one of these pans, it is also possibly to make these crepes in a heavy-bottomed non-stick skillet, such as an omelette pan. (My boyfriend disagrees. He claims this type of cast iron pan is essential, and that other pans give subpar crepes. He may be right. However, we have made crepes at my parent's home before and used such a pan, and I say that I would rather have a subpar crepe than no crepe at all. If you use a non-stick pan, just be sure to adjust the heat accordingly. If you have a real crepe pan with one of those wooden dowels to smooth out the batter... well, then you are a crepe-pro already and I am just jealous.)
To see the technique that we use for making the crepes, check out this video:
So the quality isn't great, but you get the idea.
Since the batter for these crepes doesn't have any sugar, they can be a foil for any sort of topping or filling, sweet or savory. My boyfriend always eats them just with sugar; he is a purist. Growing up, his family ate them with blueberry jam made with wild berries that his father had gathered. Me? If you make me choose I am definitely a strawberry kind of gal, and although I know I can eat them with savory filling, I never really do. It must be the kid in me that just wants sweets.
Crepes (European Pancakes) with Fresh Strawberry Jam
These crepes are a great base for any toppings or fillings, either sweet or savory, but my favorite way is to eat them with fresh jam. My boyfriend prefers to sprinkle lots of sugar over the entire crepe before eating it (which I also love on occasion!). If you want, you can adjust the recipe to include less eggs, with little detriment to the texture of the final product; however, it will taste the most rich with 4 eggs, and this is the way I prefer it.
4 eggs (or 2-3 depending on your preference)
1 1/2 cup milk, you can use non-fat milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
Olive oil for coating pan
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and flour. Everything should be well-incorporated, but not too foamy. Set aside for at least one hour.
Meanwhile, make the strawberry jam. (There are no measurements for this, just use as many strawberries as you would like.) Hull and quarter strawberries, and place them all in a medium bowl. Using your hands, squeeze and mash strawberries to extract some juice and pulp, but leave some large pieces intact. Taste and add sugar depending on your taste.
To make crepes, use a cast iron crepe pan or a heavy-bottomed skillet or omelette pan. Add a splash of olive oil to the pan, and heat over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, turn pan to coat all surfaces. Then, using a soup ladle, quickly add batter, and immediately turn/swirl pan again in a circular manner to distribute a thin layer of batter over pan. Batter will bubble around edges at first, and look liquid in the center. After just a minute or two (this timing depends on your pan, and heat), the center will set. Use a spatula to flip the crepe and cook on the second side for another minute or two. When done, use spatula again to transfer to a plate. The process is pretty quick.
Eat the crepe however you like (any sweet or savory filling should do), but I would recommend putting the strawberry jam in a thin layer over the middle of the crepe, and rolling it up so the filling is in the center. You can put more strawberry jam over the top, or sprinkle with sugar or whipped cream.