I remember in Italy as a child there was only one way of eating crepes – with nutella. Now, at home people may have made them savory with ricotta and spinach or filled them with fruits and jam, but the crepe stalls outside only offered you the option of nutella. I loved nutella as much as any other child but they were always appallingly generous with their slathering of nutella. It wasn’t crepes with nutella so much as crepes being a vehicle that encased half a jar of nutella in your hands. Especially now that I haven’t really touched nutella in years (I’ve become a snob and now only go for the premium expensive nut spreads), just the idea of the crepes in those days make me gag. Later on in life in other parts of the world I discovered crepes eaten in other ways. This is something I learned in culinary school and it’s much less cloyingly sweet and sickening than my childhood nutella ones. These are lovely. The lemon zest with the peeling and the cutting and the blanching over and over again is cumbersome, I admit, so you can leave that out if you wish. But if you do include lemon zest you should follow the steps I outline below because or else they come out bitter and hard and you don’t want that ruining your delicate crepes.
Recipe from Le Cordon Bleu
Makes about 12 crepes
125g plain flour
pinch of salt
20g butter, melted + more for the frying
For the batter, sieve together the flour, sugar and salt. In a separate bowl beat the egg and milk until well combined and whisk this mixture into the flour bowl. Cling film the bowl and leave to chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
For the lemon syrup, heat the water and sugar in a pan over medium heat until dissolved. Peel the lemon and remove the white pith, and cut them into thin strips. Juice the lemon and add the juice to the syrup and reduce over medium heat by 1/3 until a light syruppy consistency is achieved (think maple syrup).
Put the strips of lemon in a small pot and cover with cold water. Bring to boil on mdium heat, drain and repeat this process twice more. Then add this zest into the syrup.
Add the cooled melted butter into the crepe mixture and mix well.
Melt some butter in a crepe pan (or something to that size) and use a paper towl to wipe it all off so it just coats the pan.
Heat the pan to high then turn it down to medium and add 2-3 tablespoons of batter into the pan and quickly hold it up and swirl so the batter forms a thin pancake covering the base of a pan. This cooks quickly, so flip it after 30-60s and cook the other side for about the same amount of time. Repeat with the rest of the batter to make more crepes, lightly greasing and wiping the pan after each.
Fold them into triangles and serve with the syrup drizzled on top.