When I visited Paris for the first time in 2011 I lived off of French crepes. They were cheap, they were easy, plus they were French so I felt like I was eating ‘authentically’. At least that’s what I told myself as I ordered yet another Nutella crepe from the vendor.
For some reason, it wasn’t until after that visit to Paris that I started making my own crepes at home. I guess I thought they were ‘hard’ but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Crepes are super simple to make. Plus, you only need a few basic ingredients which you likely already have at home. As for the fillings, well that’s where you can get creative.
So, the next time you find yourself rummaging through your cupboards looking for something to make for breakfast/lunch/dinner then consider making French crepes.
Easy Recipe for French Crepes
- 1 cup of flour
- ½ cup of milk
- ½ cup of water
- 2 eggs
- pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons of melted butter
- if you are making sweet crepes, you can also add in ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
*This will make about 4 large crepes
Mix all your ingredients together in a mixing bowl until it’s smooth and there are no lumps. Add the melted butter last.
Grease a pan lightly with oil and heat to a medium temperature. Pour a ladleful of batter onto the pan. If you are using a frying pan you can lift the pan and roll it a bit to spread the batter in a thin layer. If you are using an electric frying pan (which is what I use), use the back of the ladle to smooth it out. Remember crepes are supposed to be thin!
Keep an eye on your crepes as they cook. They take about 2-3 minutes to cook on the one side, you’ll know it’s time to flip them when the edges look firm and lift and little and the middle looks more solid. They won’t take quite as long on the second side.
If you are making a batch of these French crepes them, throw them on an oven-safe dish and put the oven temperature to keep them warm until you are ready to serve.
How you serve the crepe will depend on your filling. You can roll them like a burrito or fold them in half, then in half again to make a triangle. Or, just leave them flat and pile your toppings on. Who am I to judge?
As for what to fill them with? Well, you could also eat them plain but that’s pretty boring. Instead, consider some of the following combinations.
Sweet French Crepe Filling Ideas
Sweet crepes are favourites at breakfast, for snacks, or dessert. You can pretty much put anything sweet in your crepes but here are a few ideas to get you started
One of the easiest crepes to make and one of the most popular. Especially from street vendors in France and beyond. Once your crepe is cooked, spread a layer of Nutella around it (not too close the edges, and fold it into a triangle. Viola!
Lemon Sugar Crepes
Another ‘classic’ crepe flavour is the lemon and sugar crepe. When the crepe is cooked, sprinkle it with sugar (you can even make cinnamon sugar) and drizzle lemon juice over top before folding it up and serving.
Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, bananas, cherries… you can add any of your favourite fruit to crepes or even create a mixed fruit ‘salsa’ to stuff them with. You can also add a dollop of whipped cream, yogurt, cream cheese, or drizzle maple syrup over top. Fruit crepes leave lots of room to get creative!
Chocolate and Ice Cream Crepes
Did someone say ice cream? Oh, wait. That was me! If you are looking for easy and delicious dessert crepes, then look no further than ice cream and chocolate sauce. Fold your crepe into a triangle, add a scoop of your favourite ice cream, and drizzle with a generous amount of chocolate sauce.
Apple Cinnamon Crepes
Another yummy idea is to create an apple-pie type filling for your crepes. To do this, chop about 3 apples into small pieces and toss into a frying pan with about 1 tbs butter and about 1/3 cup brown sugar. Sprinkle with a heaping teaspoon of cinnamon and cook on medium heat until the apples soften. When apples are softer, crank the heat to high so the brown sugar/butter mix caramelizes a little.
Savoury French Crepe Filling Ideas
Some people prefer savoury crepes over sweet ones, which is totally ok because this French crepe recipe works perfectly for both. Here are a few ideas for some yummy savoury crepes.
Ham and Cheese
Can’t go wrong with this one! It’s a personal favourite of mine. You can use your favourite cheese and thin slices of ham. You want the cheese to melt so when the crepe is just about done, lay the cheese and ham on top so it warms and melts a bit before you take it out the pan, fold, and serve.
Change up your favourite breakfast wraps by using a crepe instead. Fill the crepe with scrambled eggs, cheese, and bacon. You can add a bit of heat with hot sauce or salsa, or go for a healthier version and add some tomatoes, spinach, and/or bell peppers. If you want to get fancy, you can even top it with hollandaise sauce.
If you are looking for something a little more upscale for a brunch option, try adding smoked salmon. When your crepe is cooked spread some crème fraiche on the crepe, top with smoked salmon, fold, and sprinkle with chives.
Tomato, Basil, and Goat Cheese
This combo is a favourite on toast, so why not try it on a crepe? Spread the goat’s cheese on the crepe, top with a few thin slices of fresh tomato, and sprinkle some basil on top. Delicious.
Chicken and Pesto
A great combo for dinner or lunch crepes is chicken and pesto. Spread pesto on the crepe and sprinkle with shredded grilled chicken and your favourite veggies (tomatoes and roasted red peppers area good combo!) you can also add cheese if you like.
So, when it comes to French crepes; are you more of a sweet or savoury person?