How to make crepes out of pancake batter

Written by sonia fernandez
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Crepes--delicate thin French pancakes--are tasty and versatile. They can be eaten virtually any time of day and can be filled with a variety of ingredients, including cheeses, meats and fruit, or eaten plain. Hungry yet? The good news is that despite their thin nature, crepes are easy to make. So easy, in fact, that you may already have the ingredients sitting in your cupboard.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Pancake batter
  • Milk
  • Mixing bowl
  • Ladle
  • Blender (or whisk)
  • Pan, preferably non-stick
  • Butter
  • Spatula

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  1. 1

    Mix your pancake batter. You can create it from scratch with flour, eggs, milk, oil and sugar (if you want sweet crepes), or you can use the mix you typically get from the grocery store and follow the directions.

  2. 2

    Add extra milk. Basically the only difference between pancakes and crepes is that the batter for crepes is far thinner than the batter for pancakes. So you need to add enough milk so that the batter is thin but still somewhat creamy--runny, but not watery.

  3. 3

    Blend or whisk your thinned-out batter to make sure your ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Make sure no lumps remain.

  4. 4

    Let the mixture stand for half an hour to about an hour. You may refrigerate if you wish, but the waiting period is so that air whipped into the mixture or bubbles formed by the baking powder in store-bought mixes have a chance to rise and dissipate. Too much air in the batter will result in a puffy crepe.

  5. 5

    Prepare the pan for your crepes. Like you would for normal pancakes, preheat the pan and coat the surface with melted butter. Non-stick pans are best, as crepes can stick to the pan and tear when lifted.

  6. 6

    Cook your crepes. Using a ladle, scoop out batter into the pan; if your batter is in the blender pitcher, carefully pour out the batter. Roll the pan around so the batter thinly coats the bottom of the pan. When the edges start to brown, use the spatula to turn the crepe over. Add desired filling, and when the other side cooks, fold the crepe's edges over the filling.

Tips and warnings

  • Medium heat is best for crepes, as they will cook quickly.
  • Take your time lifting and turning the crepes to avoid tearing them.
  • It may take several attempts before the batter is mixed to the desired consistency. It's easier to add more milk to thin out the batter than to add ingredients to thicken it, so err on the side of less additional milk. Fortunately, you can add more milk to the batter even as you're already cooking. Just be careful not to whisk it too vigorously to prevent air from getting trapped in the mixture.
  • For savoury crepes, you can add herbs to the batter before cooking.
  • As with any cooking, be aware and careful of the risks of dealing with flame or hot elements.

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