Easy Crêpes For Mother's Day

If Mom is expecting flowers for Mother's Day, or maybe just a card, she'll be delighted when you serve her a bubbly brunch with crêpes made from scratch.

Crêpes can be delicate or decadent, frivolous or copious. It all depends on what you put inside. Crêpes are also the perfect party food. You can make something different for each of your guests (while they watch in amazement as you turn them expertly) using simple ingredients like smoked salmon, crème fraîche, ham, cheese, eggs, fresh fruit, powdered sugar and jam. And the best part: you can prepare almost everything ahead of time.

This basic crêpe recipe can be used to produce both savory and sweet crêpes with one simple substitution, providing your guests with a satisfying entrée and dessert. Just add a glass of bubbly and you'll have a complete Mother's Day brunch.

Ingredients for crêpe batter

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 cup warm water
8 large eggs
½ cup sweet (unsalted) butter for the crêpe batter
1 stick of sweet butter for cooking (we prefer butter rather than oil or nonstick sprays because it browns the crêpes better and improves the taste)
Makes 24 crêpes

Instructions for crêpe batter

Melt butter gently in a saucepan or in a microwave oven. Mix with other ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Divide equally into two bowls. One batter will be used for savory crêpes; the other will be used for sweet crêpes.

For the savory batter: whisk in ½ tsp salt.

For the sweet batter: whisk in ⅛ tsp salt and 3 tablespoons sugar.

Cover both bowls and let stand at least 30 minutes before cooking. Crêpe batter will keep for a day or two in the refrigerator, so it's perfect for making the night before your brunch. Before using, remove from refrigerator 30 minutes prior to cooking and stir the ingredients so they mix completely again.

Cooking instructions

Equipment you will need:

• A nonstick crêpe pan or a large skillet. Use two pans if you have them.
Tip: The lower the sides on your pans, the easier it will be to turn your crêpes over.
• A large ovenproof plate for keeping the crêpes warm.
• A plastic spatula and a small ladle.

Place pan(s) over medium heat and add ½ tsp of sweet butter. If the butter starts to smoke, turn down the heat a bit. Holding the pan in one hand, ladle just enough batter into the pan to cover the bottom, tilting it from side to side to spread the mixture evenly. Put the pan back on the heat and cook until the underside of the crêpe is light brown (1 to 2 minutes). Turn the crêpe over by lifting the edge with the spatula and pulling it up gently with your fingers. Cook the other side briefly and place the crêpe on a plate in the oven to keep it warm.

As with pancakes, the first crêpe out of the pan is never perfect. Exercise your cook's privilege and eat it yourself.

Be sure to add a ½ tsp of butter to the pan before cooking each additional crêpe. This will not only allow them to brown nicely, but keep them from sticking together as you stack them. You can cook them all in advance and keep them warm in the oven, or cook and serve them "to order" one at a time.

Filling and folding crêpes

To avoid tearing your crêpes when you fold or roll them, go easy on the filling. Spoon in just enough ingredients to provide consistency and then use one of the folds below to close the crêpe.

Fold-over: Spoon filling into a line down the center of one crêpe, leaving a little space at the two ends. Fold the right side just past the middle and then do the same with the left.

Crêpe Suzette fold: Spoon filling into the center of one crêpe. Fold in half. Fold in half again forming triangle four layers thick.

Pocket fold: Spoon filling into the center area of one crêpe. Fold both sides over filling, then fold over bottom and top to form a square.

Roll fold: Spread filling thinly over the surface of one crêpe, leaving space around the edges. Roll up crêpe and serve whole or cut in half depending on the size.

Layered: Spread filling over one crêpe leaving a space around the edges. Top with another crêpe and serve. Layered crêpes are excellent with sweet filling when topped with powdered sugar.

Savory crêpe fillings and wine pairings:

Smoked salmon, crème fraîche and scallions
Suggested pairing: Chandon Reserve Pinot Noir Brut

Thinly sliced ham, Emmenthal cheese, thinly sliced tomatoes and fresh basil
Suggested pairing: Chandon Brut Classic

Italian sausage and grilled sweet peppers or ratatouille
Suggested pairing: Chandon Rosé

Sweet crêpe fillings and wine pairings:

Fresh sliced strawberries and sugar with crème fraîche
Suggested pairing: Chandon Rosé

Baked apples, chopped pecans, raisins and cinnamon
Suggested pairing: etoile Brut

Lemon curd and powdered sugar
Suggested pairing: Chandon Extra-Dry Riche

Nutella® (chocolate hazelnut spread)
Suggested pairing: Chandon Reserve Chardonnay Brut