Once I was little, spending an evening at a pal’s home was thrilling for a lot of causes, and attending to strive breakfast cereals that we didn’t have at dwelling was excessive on the listing. However when Claudine, the daughter of Jacques Pépin, invited her associates for sleepovers, her dad—the world-renowned chef who, amongst many different achievements, has cooked for 3 French presidents—would generally make them breakfast the subsequent morning. And no, he didn’t serve the women his perfect, pillowy omelettes. Pépin ready crepes. 

The women would line up on the kitchen counter or across the desk, Pépin recollects, whereas he set out jars of apricot jam, strawberry preserves, and shaved chocolate in entrance of them, whisked collectively eggs, flour, and milk, and melted butter on the range. Because the crepes got here scorching out of the pan, every of Claudine’s associates determined for themselves what toppings so as to add. 

It actually beat the heck out of Froot Loops.

However the French crepe is a lot greater than a confectionery fantasy topped with whipped cream and jam. “The essential crepe is usable in a savory dish or as a dessert,” says Pépin. The versatile recipe can function both a fragile garnish or present a basis for any variety of components. That’s the facility of this ultra-thin pancake that has turn out to be an emblem of homestyle French delicacies. 

Featured in Essential Pépin, the chef’s carrot crepes showcase the candy root vegetable in a savory batter. In response to the chef, the flour content material may have slight adjustment relying on the moisture from the carrots and the scale of your eggs, so goal for a silky batter with a consistency thinner than that of pancakes. This combination ends in a pale orange-colored crepe, in step with the season’s pastel colour palette. The recipe works effectively in candy purposes, too—simply omit the scallions.

Whether or not you determine to go candy or savory, probably the most ingenious components of this dish is Pépin’s choice to include the carrot-cooking liquid into the batter. This trick not solely imparts a deep, sweetly vegetal taste, it is usually waste-conscious. Once I made this dish at dwelling, I cooked the carrots forward of time and cooled them down proper within the pot earlier than mixing.

When made savory because the recipe suggests, these crepes have faint sweetness and a young texture punctuated by bits of evenly browned scallion. They work effectively as a brunch or easy supper with ginger-spiced shrimp or smoked salmon and crème fraîche. When you determine to go in a sweeter course, a sprinkle of powdered sugar is adequate adornment—or gild the lily and high them with a graceful of mascarpone and seasonal berries. Versatility is absolutely the purpose of the standard crepe, so do like Jacques and use it to raise no matter you occur to have in your kitchen—whether or not that’s a couple of selection leftovers or, certainly, whipped cream and strawberries, the stuff of Saturday morning desires.


Carrot Crêpes

Pépin Carrot Crêpes
Get the recipe > Images by Linda Pugliese; Meals Styling by Christine Albano; Prop Styling by Carla Gonzalez-Hart

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