French crêpes were accidentally invented in the 13th century in Brittany when a cook unintentionally dribbled some thin porridge onto a hot pan. She tasted her ‘mistake’ and liked it. There are other accounts of the origin of crêpes, but one sure-fire fact is that crêpes originate from France where many consider these thin pancakes to be the best comfort food. Sweet crêpes are commonly served with caster sugar, chocolate sauce, and jams. Fancier versions are served with ice cream, fresh fruit, and some are even flambéed.
Crêpes around the world
A crêpe is the European version of an American pancake. It’s much thinner, larger and more delicate because the batter is more liquid with no leavening agent. This said, every culture has its own special crêpe-like version. For example blinis from Russia, poffertjes from The Netherlands, jianbing from China, hirayachi from Japan, dosa from India, and Malaysian roti to name a few.
How to avoid crêpes sticking together?
If you do not cool crêpes properly after they are cooked, the steam coming from the hot crêpes when layered will make them sticky. Allowing the crêpes to cool down will avoid sticking. Crêpes will keep for up to two days in the fridge wrapped with cling film or covered with a bee wax wrapper.
- Warm the milk with the butter, sugar, salt and the vanilla bean pod.
- Mix the plain flour and the eggs with a whisk.
- Gradually pour the warm milk mixture into the flour and egg mixture, whisk well and add the dark rum.
- Remove the vanilla pod and use a hand held mixer to blend the crêpe batter mix to a silky smooth liquid.Place the crêpe batter aside at room temperature. Keep covered with a kitchen towel for one hour.
Cook the crêpes
- Brush a little oil and butter on the heated frying pan over a medium high heat.Spoon the crêpe batter mix into the pan.
- Tip and rotate the pan to spread the batter as thinly as possible.
- Cook the crêpe until the surface sets (only 20–30 seconds), the edge will become slightly brown.Flip the crêpe and cook the other side for a few seconds only.
- Place the cooked crêpe on a wooden board or on a kitchen towel to cool. Stack the crêpes on top of each other when they are cold.
- Mix the batter and repeat this process until all the batter is used.Serve the crêpes hot with a topping of your choice.
- The quantity of fresh eggs can be increased up to 6 depending on their size.