Editor’s note: Sadie Davis-Suskind, 14, is an eighth grader at Jane Addams Middle School and an aspiring chef. A former “MasterChef Junior” competitor, Davis-Suskind will share a recipe each week that other kids can make as well.
My mother, Rebecca, is a devoted Francophile and has loved French food for as long as she can remember.
She spent her junior year of college in Paris and took evening classes at Le Cordon Bleu to learn the fine art of pastry-making. She also has an uncanny memory for every single meal she has ever eaten and still talks about a cassoulet she ate every Wednesday night in a small brasserie on Île St. Louis.
Most of all, however, she remembers the crepes of Paris — light, airy, buttery wonders sprinkled with sugar and lemon or, for the brave, filled with chocolate, Nutella or strawberries and cream.
This was one of the first dishes she taught me to make. I remember my 3-year-old self not being able to wait for the stack of thin crepes to grow, stealing them as they came out of the pan … so delicate, so delicious.
Now, I make them for my mom — especially on Mother’s Day when she is asked to lounge in bed for a while (she gets up WAY too early) while I prepare one of her favorite gastronomical memories.
I’d like to offer this Mother’s Day recipe of classic French crepes so you can start your OWN delicious crepe memories.
The recipe is simple, but the real fun comes in the garnishes and fillings: chocolate, Nutella, caramelized bananas, berries, compote, whipped cream, toasted nuts, candied citrus, chocolate flakes, lemon and its zest.
The possibilities are endless, so go for it!
1¼ cup milk
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons melted butter
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 to 3 tablespoons sugar for sweet dessert crepes
Pinch of salt
About 10 crepes
Let’s go step by step:
1. Mix your milk, eggs, butter, flour, sugar and a pinch of salt in a blender until you have a smooth batter, about 1 minute. Pour into a bowl, cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 1 day. Don’t skip this step! It helps to develop the gluten structure that will make them soft and tender.
2. Over medium heat, preheat a 10-inch, nonstick pan. If you can, use a heavy pan, which is best for even heating.
3. Brush a layer of butter on the heated pan. You can use a stick of butter and run it around the pan, a melted butter-soaked paper towel or cloth, or a silicone brush to grease the pan. To ensure that the batter is uniformly mixed, always give it a quick mix before starting on a new crepe. The first crepe you cook is often the one you will mess up (and can throw away or pop into your mouth) as you make sure the pan is properly heated and buttered.
4. Take the pan off the heat and pour a quarter-cup of the batter into the hot pan. Swirl the batter around the pan to evenly coat it. Try to make sure the batter is as evenly spread as possible so that it cooks well. Put your pan back on the heat to let the crepe cook.
5. Cook your crepe until the edges start to brown and it becomes a little crisp, about 70 seconds. You will see small air bubbles rising. Gently flip the crepe over and cook for another 50 to 60 seconds.
6. Transfer cooked crepe to a paper-towel-lined plate.
7. Repeat Steps 3 through 6 until all the batter is used up (remember to mix the batter each time).
Add a glass of orange juice, flowers and a card, and watch your mom give you a HUGE smile. Happy Mother’s Day to all the amazing moms out there, and especially to mine. Love you, Mom.