Monday, May 10, 2010

Crepes with Fresh Strawberry Jam


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:         



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 


Strawberries
Sugar


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.           

27 comments:

  1. Yummy crepes! We love them and make them a lot here, with all kinds of toppings! I like mine best with cherry jam :)

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  2. My Norwegian step-father in law would make these everytime we visit him in Anchorage. Hubby would put maple syrup on his. I'm very unorthodox with my peanut butter smeared crepes! Yum!

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  3. That is such an enticing pic! I just draws one in and says "eat me!" (in perfectly lady-like manner of course)

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  4. Mmm those look so good! My husband is a crepe fanatic and would love these! I'll also try out other jams depending on what I find in the farmers market. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. I love love love crepes. In face I had a huge one with fruit, topped w/ yogurt over the weekend! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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  6. crepes are a wonderful thing...and yours look soooo good!! Did I mention I love strawberries on mine?

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  7. gwen@bunkycooks.comMay 10, 2010 at 5:53 PM

    These look really yummy with the strawberries! I need to get back into the crepe making business after seeing these.

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  8. wait, your lodge cast iron skillet isn't a grooved one right? Yours is smooth on the bottom? And probably round? I clicked on the link and it went to a square grill pan. Not what I'd imagine perfect crepes would form on.

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  9. Oh wow these look so yum! I love your quick and easy way of making strawberry jam!

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  10. So many suggestions for other fillings... *sigh* I suppose I will have to make these again soon an try them all!

    Jenn-You are quite right about the wrong link, thanks for the heads up! I have fixed it now so it will take you to the right griddle. No one said The Cilantropist was perfect, right? :)

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  11. This is too funny, my husband is British and I have almost the same post on my blog!

    http://www.womanvfood.com/2010/02/pancake-day-low-fat-milled-flax-crepes.html

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  12. My husband and I made crepes for the first time about a month ago...and we can't stop. What beautiful pictures! Your blog is stunning, and I'm so glad that you found me. I can't wait to read more of your thoughtful posts. Thank you for sharing!

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  13. I love crepes but never make them at home. Yours look deliciously inspiring!

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  14. Gorgeous photo, and a simple but delicious looking breakfast!

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  15. Lovely pancakes! Yes, these are closer to the Pfannkuchen that my German father has made than what we think of as traditional American pancakes. Thanks for visiting my blog Apricosa! I, too, am a PhD candidate in the sciences...and I love having a food blog as a creative outlet!

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  16. Thats sounds seriously delicious-o!!

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  17. That's lovely, your sweetheart is a keeper, a man that can cook pretty pancakes like that is priceless. We Brazilians also call crepes pancakes. :-D

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  18. Oh! I haven't made crepes like almost "forever" it is time to make them again...looks delicious with the fresh strawberry jam :-)

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  19. I love crepes,they are simply delicious and versatile.

    Your photos make my mouth water..... :)Thanks for sharing.

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  20. I can say from experience that these are delicious, light, and relatively easy to make - although you will probably impress your friends and family with the flavor and presentation! (I know I was!!)

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  21. There's a crepe place I found here in Manitou Springs (Right outside of Colorado Springs) that has this awesome pumpkin jam - I will have to send you some so you can incorporate that into your recipe.

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  22. Mouthwatering! Crepes are sooooo delicious!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  23. I'm into it! :) My husband loves strawberry jam -he'd be all over your version. I always stuff my crepes with yogurt and fresh fruit - pears, bananas, strawberries, peaches, blueberries, etc. Then a drizzle of maple syrup. :)

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  24. Mmmmmm yummy!!
    With my husband we used to order crepes in the hotel in Buenos Aires during our visit to Argentina last summer.... Thanks for the recipe, hope I can make them like in the hotel in BA

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