French Crepes

50 to 60 6-inch crepes

Crepes are pancakes all dressed up -- lacy, feather light, and elegant. The lightness doesn't come from the same chemical leavening or yeast that makes pancakes rise; on the contrary, crepe batter is too thin to hold the gas bubbles that result in the pancake's thickness. The secret lies in rotating the hot pan as soon as the batter hits it, creating a perfectly even, very thin layer that browns in less than a minute.Best of all, these delicate pancakes are versatile and adapt well to fillings both savory and sweet. Try using some of Martha's favorite fillings -- delicious blood oranges mixed with orange liqueur or creme fraiche and caviar. Crepes can be made ahead of time and frozen between layers of parchment paper for up to one month.


  • 1 ⅔ cups pastry flour, not self- rising

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 3 cups milk

  • 8 large eggs

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 2 tablespoons clarified butter, melted, plus more for brushing pan


  1. In a medium bowl, sift together flour and salt. Make a well in the center. Whisk together milk, eggs, and egg yolk in a medium bowl. Pour milk mixture into the center of the well, slowly whisking in flour mixture from the sides of the well. Add 2 tablespoons clarified butter, and whisk to combine.

  2. Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

  3. Remove the batter from the refrigerator. Heat a 6-inch crepe pan or nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Brush with clarified butter, and heat until very hot. Add a couple of tablespoons of batter, turning and swirling the batter in the pan to completely coat. Cook until brown on the bottom, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip crepe with a spatula, and cook until golden brown on the other side, about 1 minute. Repeat with remaining batter. As you continue, you will need to use less butter in the crepe pan.

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