Crepes for Crepe Cake

February 6, 2017
Danielle DeSiato

This recipe is adapted from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking and makes enough crepes for one 12-layer crepe cake with 2 to 3 trial crepes to get the hang of it (which will still be delicious and should be considered snacks for the chef). 

3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup cold water
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons apple brandy (rum also works)
1 cup all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, for brushing pan

Place the ingredients in the blender jar in the order in which they are listed. Cover and blend at top speed for 1 minute. If any flour sticks to the sides of jar, dislodge with a spatula and blend 3 seconds more. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. 

Making the crepes:

When spreading the crepe over the bottom of the pan, your swirling motion should feel as if it's in slow motion. And as you can see, you don't have to worry about any spare drips.

  1. The first crepe (and maybe the second/third) is a trial one to test the consistency of your batter, the exact amount you need for the pan, and the heat. 
  2. Set a 6-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and brush with a thin layer of oil. Heat until the pan is just beginning to smoke. Immediately remove the pan from the heat. Holding handle of pan in your right hand, use your left hand to pour 1/4 cup of batter directly into the middle of the pan.
  3. Gently tilt the pan in all directions in a swirling motion to run the batter all over the bottom of the pan in a thin layer. Note: there is a lot of temptation to rush this process but there's no need. Focus on getting the batter evenly distributed, and try not to let it creep up the sides of the skillet or you'll end up with too-thin edges. 
  4. Return the pan to the heat for 60 – 80 seconds. Then jerk the pan sharply from side to side, as well as up and down to loosen the crepe. If the crepe is ready to be turned, it will loosen from the bottom of the pan. If it's not, give it a few more seconds. Lift the edges with a spatula – if the under side is a nice light brown, the crepe is ready for turning. Turn the crepe by using a wide silicone spatula or 2 spatulas, if that's easier for you. 
  5. Brown lightly for about 30 seconds on the other side. This second side is rarely more than a spotty brown, so you can keep it facing the bottom of your cake. As they are done, slide the crepes onto a baking sheet and let cool several minutes before stacking. 
  6. Grease the skillet again, heat to just smoking, and repeat the process with the remaining batter. Let cool completely before adding filling.
  7. Crepes can be made in advance, refrigerated in a stack until ready to use. If made in advance, let crepes come to room temperature before building your crepe cake.