Friday, October 08, 2010

WWPD Free-Form Recipes

Best Pancakes That Are More Like Crepes

Heat a small amount of butter - like enough for a piece of toast - in the microwave for 30 seconds or so, until it melts.

Break an egg into a bowl. Check for shell.

Put that egg, half a cup of flour, an almost invisible amount of baking powder, and the butter into the blender. Put the amount of milk you think pancakes would require in as well. Blend away.

Add lots more milk, more than you think the pancakes could support, and liquefy. The batter should be more like milk than dough. Skim milk might even be best, because liquid's what you're looking for, but I've never tried it with whole. I can't see that this would make a huge difference - you might be able to skip the butter step if you have whole milk on hand.

Heat a nonstick pan, but put some butter in it just to be sure. The heat should be high but not too - 4.5 or 5 on a scale of 6.

Here's where technique comes in: Lift the pan off the heat. Using the blender and its helpful spout, pour just enough batter to create a pancake in the pan, but not so much that you need to spill any excess back into the blender. Swirl the pan around so that no holes remain, but not so much so that the pancake's all over the sides of the pan. Once the top looks cooked through,  flip. If you want them browned, wait a minute or so, but they're done at this point, so you can take them out of the pan whenever.

The resulting pancakes are something in the crepe/blini/blintz/Swedish pancake vicinity, but not an authentic replica of any of those.

Oh, and the above recipe serves... I have no idea! I can certainly manage it on my own, but people with qualms about eating six or seven pancakes - even when the reason there are so many is that the batter is so thin - might think this is a serves-two situation. When I make it for two, I double the recipe, but hey. Meanwhile, if you're going to use the pancakes as a vehicle for something else, you could go a pancake a person... How do "servings" work, anyway? Whatever, just make the pancakes, you won't regret it.


PG said...

I had a good sort of crepe/pancake wrapped around ratatouille-esque vegetable mix for dinner at a restaurant a couple nights ago. I'd say if you were doing a true pancake-based meal, figure three per person: two for savory (with a chopped vegetable/meat/cheese filling), one for dessert (Nutella, strawberries, apple cinnamon, whatever).

Phoebe Maltz Bovy said...

This is the next step - once I figure it out with buckwheat flour. I will say, though, that getting one savory and one sweet crepe in the course of the same meal is a way, in Paris, to announce that one is American. (I know this, of course, from experience.)

Britta said...

I spent a summer in Brittany with a family where the mother was raised on a farm (she had something like 9 siblings) and taught at an agricultural college during the year. She was an amazing cook, and we ate sweet and savory crepes during the same meal. We generally had buckwheat crepes with ham and egg or ham and cheese for supper, and then a white flour dessert crepe with nutella and banana or lemon and powder sugar for dessert. They were amazing--the recipe was simple, but you had to prepare the batter the night before and let it sit out. I don't know if you have a good recipe, but I could probably find it somewhere. Being a good French farm wife, she sent me back to America with a bundle of crepes, ham and cheese. It was totally illegal to bring them into the US, but being 17, I didn't realize that, and smuggled a huge amount of meat, cheese into the US.

Phoebe Maltz Bovy said...


If you happen to find it that would be great, but if not no worries - my plan is to make the same as I have been, but with buckwheat, and if that fails, then to look up a real recipe.

As for bringing food back, I think it's only illegal if the cheese is unpasteurized. Meat might always be, but I can't see why crepes wouldn't be allowed.