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Pancakes are simple. They’re diner food. They’re what you make on a Sunday morning with the kids. Crepes are fancy. They’re French-bistro food. They’re what you make once a week after your Parisian vacation because you want to relive some pleasant memories. This dichotomy has always struck me as really, really odd, because the fact is that crepes are way easier to make than pancakes. These French street-food staples can be dressed up with sweet or savory toppings and any number of flavorful fillings.

The word crêpe is French for pancake and is derived from the Latin crispus meaning “curled”. Crêpes originated in Brittany (fr. Breton), in the northwest region of France, which lies between the English Channel to the north and the Bay of Biscay to the south. Crêpes were originally called galettes, meaning flat cakes.

The only intimidating part of making crepes is spreading the batter thin enough in the pan, and, granted, that’s something that takes a bit of practice. The good news is that even if your early crepes have funny lumps and bulges or aren’t paper-thin, they’re still gonna be plenty edible and delicious.

Recipes for crepe batter don’t vary all that much, other than in the exact ratio of ingredients and how they’re mixed together. For bringing the batter together, the blender is your friend: Dump in the ingredients and hit go. Fifteen seconds later, you’re ready to start cooking. It’s the method I’ve been using for decades.

Honestly, crepes are one of the fastest and most versatile breakfasts, dinners, or midnight snacks I can think of. Once you get comfortable with them, you’ll have opened up a whole world of quick, delicious meals.

The combination of berries, cream and crepes is simplicity at its best. The crepes are soft and buttery, the cream is rich and sweet, and the berries add a tart freshness. This dish is perfect for berry season, but the addition of a bit of sugar and booze to off-season berries will help you stand the wait until they’re at their peak.

I love making Crepes with Strawberries and Cream for brunch, especially on that rare occasion that I really want something sweet. But another reason I always go back to the crepe is that they can be served at room temperature as well, a great thing when you’ve invited that friend over who is always just a little bit late.

“If there’s a sexier sound on this planet than the person you’re in love with cooing over the crepes you made him, I don’t know what it is.”
~ Julie Powell

Maple Bundt Cake Photo