I grew up in a family where my sister clearly was (and still is) a master in making homemade crepes and every now and then our Friday evening was crepes day. She used to fill them with mozzarella, ham, and tomato, a classic Italian filling. For instance, you can easily imagine the same filling in Italian piadine.
Even though crepes are relatively simple to make, it took me a while to make them well enough not to have any complaints to myself.
The origin of crepes
Where were crepes born? Do you know? The answer is Brittany, a region in the northwest of France. Their origin dates back to the 13th century. The legend has it that a housewife accidentally spilled some porridge from a kettle in the fireplace onto a flat cooking stone.
Whatever the origin, the dish and, similar variants, are now widespread across the globe.
The term crepes derives from the Latin crispa, which means curled.
Ingredients and fillings for homemade crepes
The ingredients for homemade crepes are extremely basic: flour, milk, and eggs. Additionally, you will find recipes that contain butter, sugar, and salt. These last three ingredients are optional. Usually, a bit of sugar is added when making sweet crepes but you can skip it completely, as the sweet filling will do.
When it comes to salt, it is really up to you. If you prefer, you can add just a pinch in your batter, but do not exaggerate: avoid your crepes being too salty.
Talking of ingredients instead, you can have as much fun as you want. As said in the introduction, as a child I used to eat them with mozzarella, ham, and tomatoes. You can fill them with different types of cheeses (does Emmental sound like a good option for you? It does for us!), or with different cured meat types. For vegetarian/vegan options, you can easily replace the cured meat with vegan substitutes or use vegetables and vegan cheeses (there’s plenty of them in the supermarkets, you will be spoiled for choice).
When it comes to sweet fillings, it is very common in Italy to have flambé crepes as dessert at weddings. On less fancy occasions, you can fill your homemade crepes with Nutella, which is a very common filling to use. Alternatively, you can use marmalade, for instance, strawberry or apricot, or use fresh strawberries with whipped cream. I mean, you have so many choices that you will never run out of them. Homemade crepes can be filled with so many ingredients!
Our homemade crepes recipes
This recipe can be used for making any kind of crepes. Here you find the ones that we made so that you can find inspiration for your own recipes:
- Mozzarella and tomato crepes: these are basic, suitable for vegetarians, and enough to have a proper meal. Also, they are extremely fast to make and great for many occasions.
- Ricotta and spinach crepes: this second option is clearly more complicated, as they are baked in the oven, so they require more time. Although times are longer, the result will be worth all the time you spend on them. These are also vegetarian and our recipe contains instructions on how to make your own homemade ricotta in only 10 minutes, so you can’t miss it out!
Do I need a crepe maker?
As we are crepe lovers, we cannot but suggest you buy a crepe maker in order to make your homemade crepes. They are extremely cheap, so you won’t need to spend a crazy amount of money on them. Also, they usually come with a batter spreader, which is definitely going to help you.
They will make your job easier and as a plus, you will feel like a pro when making them. I mean, that’s a plus, isn’t it?
If you do not want to buy a crepe maker, you can also use a flat pan that would work for crepes, but also for piadine and tortillas. We highly recommend you buy this or this (these are affiliate links. If you place a purchase, we will get a small commission, without any extra cost for you).
In a bowl, break the egg and add some flour, passing it through a colander.In this way, lumps won't form.
Add some milk and keep adding milk and flour, while whisking energetically.
Once ready, place it in the fridge for 30 minutes so it has time to rest.
Heat up your crepe maker or your pan (over medium-high heat) and pour some batter on it.Use a batter spreader to spread the batter evenly on the pan. Alternatively, tilt the pan.
When one side is golden brown, flip it and cook evenly on both sides.