Crepes

Crêpes are light, thin frames that taste good all by themselves, or that can be made suitable for serving in them just about any type of food.

Most cultures have a type of crêpe in their food staple, such as pancakes, crespelle, tortillas and galettes, baked on some sort of griddle. Originally a poor man's food, purportedly in 1895 it was glorified by the French as the crêpe Suzette.

The traditional crêpe pan is a shallow fry pan, or a flat griddle, and made of steel. It heats rapidly, and bakes the crêpe quickly with some watching.

The 'upside down crêpe pan' is a wonderful innovation in keeping the crêpe as thin as possible. The underside is actually the top flat surface, with rounded sides, on which the crêpe cooks. After heating this pan, rounded surface up on your stovetop, you dip the surface in a pie pan of batter. It only picks up a very small amount of batter. Turn it over with the surface up to even out the batter and bake. In less than a minute you're ready to remove it and bake another crêpe.

The electric crêpe maker is a further innovation. It does everything that the 'upside-down' stovetop crêpe maker does, with the added convenience of thermostatically controlled heat. Your results can also be more consistent because it lets you know when the surface is hot enough to cook on, as well as when the crêpe is done.

There is a wealth of recipes on the net; try an Internet Search for your favorite flavors and ingredients. Most recipes can be refrigerated for 30 minutes or even overnight before using, and will result in less sticking while baking.

How to care for steel pans: Scrub your new carbon steel pan in hot, soapy water, to remove packing oils, then rinse well and towel dry. Season the pan right after the first washing (Seasoning Instructions). Always hand wash with hot (not soapy water) and dry thoroughly; do not place in dishwasher. Lightly oil after drying, using a vegetable or mineral oil. Follow these instructions and the pan will last for generations.

Happy breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert!