Crêpes à la Max (with mascarpone cream cheese and strawberry filling)
I cannot remember where I came upon with this particular combination (the strawberry/mascarpone filling) but for many years it has been a staple in our household for Christmas morning and birthday breakfasts. The crepe recipe itself is perfect and never fails.
2 cups milk
1 ½ cups plain flour
1 T of fine sugar
¼ t of salt
1 t of oil
1 T of butter
This recipe probably makes about 14-18 crêpes...
Lemon and sugar
Maple syrup and fresh blueberries or blackberries
Or, the ultimate fill each crêpe with:
Mascarpone cream cheese that has been sweetened with a little powdered sugar and vanilla extract, to taste. It is essential that you combine these three ingredients by hand, otherwise the cream cheese will curdle.
So, to build your crepe -- fill with the cream mixture, add some thinly sliced strawberries, fold and then dress with a stripe of pureed strawberry coulis (no sweetening necessary).
TIP: Make crêpe batter the night before and leave in fridge overnight. Or prepare your batter at least two hours beforehand. The flour needs time to merge with the milk.
Sieve flour, add eggs and beat while adding milk slowly, then beat in sugar and salt. Some people blend the milk with the eggs, sugar and salt then add sieved flour gradually.
Once the batter has rested, strain through fine sieve and beat again, adding a little more milk until you gain the desired consistency. You may need to make a crêpe to see if it is too thick. You can then whisk in some more milk by hand. Too thin is a disaster! Be prepared for trial and error.
The next step is vital before cooking
Melt 1 t of oil and 1 T of butter in your frying pan.
Pour this back into batter and whisk in. Now you will not have to grease the frying pan at all.
Make your crêpes! Best to use a soup ladle to get the quantity right each time. Tilt your pan as you add the batter to make a circle. Use a medium to high heat to cook your crêpes fairly quickly. Dont have the frying pan so hot that the batter splutters when you pour it in. No holes! Only turn them once. Try to make them only one layer thin. You can pour off the excess batter back into the bowl, but that=s tricky. The most tricky part is getting them thin enough while being able to flip them without them falling apart. What you are looking for is a golden colour on the first side. The second side will be spotty brown and is traditionally the interior of the crêpe. Take care not to overcook or burn them.
I like to put the cooked crêpes on a plate in a slow oven until I have finished cooking them all. Some people have two frying pans going at once, but that can get a bit crazy.
Its advisable to cook all your batter and freeze the ones you dont eat, interleaved with plastic wrap.
Serve to thunderous applause!