( MAKES 10-12 )
To achieve tender, lacy crepes, the batter must rest for at least 30 minutes, though one-two hours is even better. During standing time, starch grains burst, thickening the batter, as well as giving the gluten time to rest and thus ensuring tender crepes. Do not beat the batter after standing and before cooking as the gluten, which is like elastic, will tighten again preventing the batter from cooking into tender golden crepes.
- Sift the flour into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Sifting is important to lighten the flour and ensure there are no lumps.
- In a jug beat together the eggs and salt until well blended. Beat in the milk.
- Using a wooden spoon, slowly pour the milk mixture into the well, stirring gradually from the centre out to incorporate the two mixtures smoothly. Avoid adding the milk too fast as the flour will form into lumps. If this happens, you will need to get out the whisk and whisk the finished batter until smooth. Strain the batter through a sieve into the jug or clean bowl. Cover the jug or bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 1 hour. Stir in the cooled, browned butter.
- Heat a 20cm non-stick frying pan until hot. Pour 3-4 Tbsp of mixture quickly into the centre of the pan, turning it quickly to evenly coat the base of the pan with the batter. Immediately the crepe should begin to create steam bubbles underneath and the edges begin to brown. Most of the cooking is done here on this first side. After 30 seconds to one minute, run a palette knife or heatproof spatula around the edge and flip the crepe over. Cook a further 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate.
- Continue in this manner until all the batter has been cooked. The pan must be hot so the crepe can cook quickly (I prefer to use a ladle for pouring the batter into the pan).
- Pile the crepes on top of each other. They can be kept, under plastic wrap, for 2-3 days at room temperature. To reheat, either microwave or place individual crepes into a hot frying pan for a few seconds to warm through. In France, lemon and sugar or Nutella are the usual accompaniments, but serve as you wish.
A non-stick frying pan is ideal for cooking crepes, as no extra butter is required to grease the base of the pan between each one. Traditionally a pressed steel crepe pan is used, but this must be lightly greased with a minimum amount of butter between cooking each crepe lest the crepe burns and becomes greasy. Any size of pan can be used, though you will need to adjust the amount of batter required to coat the base of the pan evenly yet lightly.