Crepes vs. Pancakes

seven layer strawberry crepes

Crepes vs. Pancakes

Crepes are considered a very popular staple food in France and in many restaurants across the world today. My all time favorite breakfast spot, IHOP has created so many variations of crepes, making them even more special than they already are. So, what’s the big deal about Crepes? What is the difference between Crepes and Pancakes? What types of filling can be used in Crepes? How can I make Crepes using Strawberries? So, let’s read on and find out about those crepes!

What Is The Big Deal About Crepes?

Some might not think that crepes are special at all, but you have those who eat crepes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The reason crepes are special is due to the filling, it can be savory or sweet or a combination of both. Crepes are the ideal treat when looking for morning breakfast, lunch, and/or a late night snack. Crepes take minutes to prepare and cook due to its thin batter, once it is flipped over, get that plate ready!

Crepes vs. Pancakes

Crepes are in the family of pancakes. They are very thin pancakes. When making crepes, the leavening agent of baking powder is left out. The leavening agent causes products to rise and by this elimination, crepes are very thin as opposed to pancakes that incorporate baking powder and will be a thicker version. It is by preference of what a person likes or wants, at the time, to decide on the one to choose. Personally, I love both, but I would say that I eat crepes more than pancakes because they take less time to make and they can be filled with just about anything.

Types of Crepe Fillings

There are many types of crepe fillings, some include cheese, fruits, vegetables, meat and fish are all very good fillings for your crepes. Blintz are similar to crepes except they are cooked twice, before and after being filled. Crepes can be made and eaten without a filling whereas Blintzes should always have a cheese filling. Also, with Blintzes being cooked twice, they seem to brown more on the outer layer than crepes. The main types of cheese used for crepes usually are cream cheese, cheddar, mozzarella and gruyere.

Kitchen tools and equipment
These are the kitchen tools and equipment used in making crepes.

Large mixing bowl – place ingredients to mix batter.
Wooden spoons – to stir/mix and combine ingredients together.
Small leveling spatula – spread filling (cream cheese) onto crepes.
Griddle pan – to pan fry foods. This piece of equipment will be used to pan fry the crepes.
Small cutting board – to place small foods (strawberries) for cutting.
Chef’s knife – to cut strawberries or crepes.
Cake/Pie Cutter – to cut cake, pie or pastry in triangular shape. This tool will be used once your crepes are cooked and layered.
Food Processor – to chop/puree strawberries.
Small sauce pot – used for caramelizing the strawberries.

Ingredient list:
Strawberries, water, sugar, flour, salt, butter, eggs, milk, cream cheese and vanilla extract. Don’t forget your cooking spray. Most of these items should be in your pantry and refrigerator, if not, don’t forget to take this list to the supermarket. Please don’t forget the strawberries or the crepes will be very plain.

Making Seven Layer Crepes with Caramelized Strawberries

Of course, you want to start off with a bunch of fresh, firm, plump and red strawberries. The strawberries should not be too soft or the stem leaves wilted. Remove the green stem from the strawberry by popping it out with a straw, then they are ready to be sliced in half, quartered or whatever way you want to serve them.

Step One – I like to prepare all of the ingredients according to the recipe prior to cooking, to make my life easier and the cooking process to move more quickly. Nothing is worse than adding some ingredients, going down your steps of directions and realizing “I don’t have the darn ingredient”, the worst thing ever!. Please tell me that I am not the only one who has done this! Please, have all the ingredients needed to caramelize the strawberries, water, sugar and of course, strawberries. If you have a sweet tooth, add a little brown sugar to this process.

Step Two: Add sugar and water to a small sauce pot until sugar has dissolved, then add your strawberries and let it caramelize. This is a very quick process. The strawberries should look very shiny and the glaze should coat the back of a spoon. Let it cool down.

Step Three: Start preparing the crepe batter while strawberries are cooling down. In a large bowl, add flour, water, butter, milk, eggs, vanilla and sugar. Mix until combined. Your batter should be very thin.

Step Four: Using a large griddle, spray evenly with cooking spray. Once the griddle is hot, add ¼ cup batter for a few seconds and flip over, watch carefully. The crepe should not look dark brown, it should be light in color. Continue with this step until all the batter is finished.

Step Five: Using a small leveling spatula, spread a thin layer of cream cheese over each crepe. This process does not need to be perfect, just a thin layer of cream cheese is needed, unless you love cream cheese, then pile it on.

Step Six: Place one crepe on top of the other with cream cheese facing up. Using the pie cutter, cut the crepes and place on a plate until all of the crepes are cut in layers of triangles. If your pie cutter is not long enough when cutting, slide it down to the edge of the crepe. It will bend a little bit in the front, no worries, it can be easily straightened out with your hand.

Step Seven: In a food processor, add ¾ of cooled caramelized strawberries with liquid. Pulse two to three times until pureed or you have reached your desired consistency. After pulsing, if the caramelized strawberry sauce is too thin, add more strawberries to thicken liquid.

Step Eight: Place remaining caramelized strawberries on top of crepes. Pour pureed strawberry mixture on top of crepes or place it in a small custard cup and serve on the side. This is my go-to quick breakfast for the unexpected guests that you want to please. Super easy and not bad looking!!!! Check out my video on making these crepes on Instagram and TikTok. Send pictures, please!!!!

Bye now,
Aunt Carmen

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