If you’re wondering why I’m making crêpes instead of blinis, as my Russian self should, I’m not. These are exactly the same, minus the butter part, which is usually prevalent with blinis. Anyway…
These Vanilla Crêpes with Warm Berry Compote are great as:
- Breakfast, especially if you’re trying to impress your family with something special over the holidays
- A savory version, without the vanilla extract added and fillings of your choice, because the base is very neutral
I love making these every once in a while because I’m more of savory breakfast person, but these are a nice treat to myself and whoever else happens to be around.
These crêpes are very easy to make, but they ARE time-consuming, so make sure you have a good hour to spare before making these, even in small quantities.
If you plan on making a big batch, I recommend getting two pans going to fry them, it will save you a lot of time.
You can absolutely make these ahead of time and reheat as needed. In fact, if you re-heat them in a pan the next day, folded up, they will get even crispier.
Vanilla Crêpes with Warm Berry Compote
Makes approximately 12 crêpes, depending on the size of your pan
For the Crêpes
- 2 cups flour (I use cake flour, it makes them more airy)
- 3 1/2 – 4 cups milk (your preference, I use almond milk)
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract (skip this if you’re making savory crêpes)
- dash of salt
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- crêpe pan, if you have one, if not, a regular non-stick teflon pan
- powdered sugar for finishing
For the Berry Compote
- 3 cups frozen berries, your choice
- 3 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- Take a large bowl and combine flour, 3 1/2 cups of the milk, eggs, vanilla, and olive oil. Start mixing with a whisk or hand mixer, this batter should come together very easily. Unlike pancakes, you DO NOT want clumps – make sure it’s as smooth as possible. Check the consistency of the batter by taking a ladle-full of it and pouring it back into the bowl. If should pour easily, but still have a thick consistency. If your batter is too thick, add the remaining 1/2 cup of milk.
- Heat up your pan over high heat, until it is searing hot. A good way to check is to throw some water drops into it. If they roll up and evaporate right away, your pan is ready.
- Turn down the heat to medium high. Take a ladle-full of batter and pick up the pre-heated pan. Start pouring the batter into the pan, starting in the center and swirl the pan around until the bottom is completed coated with batter. Try to use less batter and spread it around so that it forms one single thin layer. If you end up having some holes, just take a little bit more of the batter and fill them in, smoothing the batter with the back of the ladle.
Don’t get upset if you don’t get this technique down the first time. This method, like everything else, takes practice – the more crêpes you make, the better you’ll get at this.
- Cook the crêpe for about 2 minutes, or until the edges start to turn a light golden brown and start to peel off the surface of the pan. When you see that happening, it’s time to flip. This is why a pristine, non-stick pan is super important here – if you don’t have a nice smooth surface, your crêpes will stick and you’ll tear them while flipping. The best tool for this is a flexible thin silicone spatula, if you don’t have one, please invest, it will make your life ages easier. Flip the crêpe, cook for another 2 minutes and place onto a large plate – the crêpe should slide out of the pan easily.
Tip – If your crêpe is still sticking a bit, grease the pan with some butter or oil before making the next crêpe
Once you’ve cooked all your crêpes, it’s time to make the compote:
- Place your berries into a medium size pan over medium-low heat. Cook them until all the juices come out and the berries become soft. As they are slowly simmering, add the sugar and the vanilla and mix to combine. Simmer for another 5 minutes and turn off the heat. Keep the berries on the stove so that the compote stays warm.
- When you are ready to serve the crêpes, fold them to your preference, top with the berry compote (as generously as you desire) and finish with a dusting of powdered sugar
Let me know in the comments – what is your favorite crêpe filling?