Breakfast at Home: Crepes
One of the perks my daughter's friends enjoy about a sleepover at my home (other than rearranging the furniture for movie time) are the crepes I serve our guests in the morning.
I can remember sleepover breakfasts from when I was a kid that consisted of potato chips and soda from the night before. If the lack of sleep didn't make us dizzy and irritable enough, the fat, salt and sugar we ingested in the morning would make sure the entire day would be counted for lost. Ugh.
Crepes are easy, delicious and beautiful, and they have nutritive value with just a hint of extra sweetness. The girls have grown to expect them, and I don't have to call anyone to the table twice. In fact, they sit around the kitchen and cheer me on, as the first few crepes never seem to come out right. A few failed "practice crepes" are not uncommon, but once the consistency and rhythm are right, there's no stopping until the batter is gone.
Alicia, skinny kid that she is, has been know to polish off three at a time. "One more, Mama B!" she says twice over, sticky fingered and happy.
Don't worry if you don't have a crepe pan; I used to use a very large flat-bottomed skillet until a dear friend made my job easier with an All-Clad crepe pan last winter, but I wouldn't live without it now.
The following recipe makes about 8 crepes.
1 pint blackberries
1 pint red raspberries
1 quart strawberries
and/or anything seasonal (peaches rock!)
1/4 stick of clarified butter
1 1/2 cups flour
2 egg yolks
2 cups milk
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
Rinse berries, place into large bowl and slice the banana into them. If the berries aren't at peak sweetness, add a little syrup, give the fruit mixture a stir and set aside.
Clarify butter in the microwave at low power at 10-second intervals, until the milky sediment separates from the yellow fat. Spoon and discard the sediment.
Mix flour, milk, eggs, sugar and salt with a whisk. The result should be a little thinner than typical pancake batter.
Brush the bottom of the pan with the clarified butter, and when a few drops of water splashed on the surface of the pan dance and disappear, you're ready to start.
Using a standard-sized soup ladle (just under 1/2 cup), pour batter on the pan, lifting it and tilting it this way and that, so that the batter covers the bottom of the pan.
Brush your wide spatula with the clarified butter as well, and when the crepe gets bubbly and slightly brown around the edges, do your very best to lift it gently and flip it, all at once, to its other side. There's a trick to this, but be persistent to the point of adding a little more flour if you find your crepes break up during the flipping process. Thinner is better, but beginners work best with a slightly thicker batter.
Fill the crepe with the fruit, fold it closed, drizzle raspberry syrup and add whipped cream if desired.
Not only will this make better memories than greasy chip bags and flat soda, but I know what I'll be doling out in the year's to come for house warming and shower gifts: a good crepe pan, and Mama B's crepe recipe.
If I've whetted your appetite and you're not about to try this at home, you can always get in your car and head to Ambrosia, where crepes are available on Sunday's until 1:00.