Crespelle (krehs-PEHL-lay), the Italian version of crepes, are very thin pancakes that are made from a batter of flour, eggs, and milk or water. Crespelle can be rolled, folded, or stacked with a savory or sweet filling. For savory dishes, Italians use them as pasta wraps, stuffing them with meat, cheese or vegetable fillings. Crespelle can be layered with cheeses and sauce like a lasagna or rolled and stuffed and baked like manicotti. In Italy there are many local and regional names for crespelle. In Abruzzese cuisine, these thin pancakes are called scrippelle.
You don’t need a special crepe pan to make crespelle; any nonstick skillet will do. The advantage of a crepe pan is that without the sides of a skillet the crepes are easier to flip. The number of crepes you get depends on the size of the crepe pan or skillet. Crespelle can be filled with almost anything you might have in your refrigerator; so they are a great way to use up leftovers. Crespelle are also nice for breakfast or brunch; fill them with scrambled eggs, some chopped ham or bacon, and a little cheese. The crepes can be made up to a few days ahead of serving and stored in the refrigerator. You can double the recipe and freeze the extra crepes. To refrigerate or freeze, stack cooled crepes between layers of parchment or waxed paper and place in a zip-top plastic bag. Thaw them in the refrigerator overnight or microwave them for about 30 seconds before filling.
Crespelle (Crepes)(Makes about twelve 7-inch crepes)
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
To make the crespelle:
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, eggs, salt, and water until smooth.
The batter should be the consistency of heavy cream. Use an electric hand mixer or strain the batter through a sieve to smooth out any lumps. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Heat an 7-inch omelet or crepe pan over medium heat.
Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and swirl it around the bottom of the pan.
Holding the pan in one hand, spoon in about 1/4 cup of the batter.
Rotate the pan to completely cover the bottom with the batter.
Cook for 35 to 45 seconds.
The edges of the crepe will lift away from the pan.
Shake the pan to check if the crepe is loose to turn over.
With a spatula, flip the crepe over and cook for another 20 to 30 seconds.
The crepe should be very lightly browned on both sides.
Transfer the cooked crepes to a plate.
Continue making the crepes, adding a teaspoon of oil before starting each crepe. If you are using a non-stick pan you won’t need to add more oil for each crepe. Stack the crepes on a plate separated with waxed paper.
The crepes are ready to be stuffed or may be refrigerated for later use.
Whole Wheat Crespelle (Crepes)
(Makes about 12 (7-inch) crepes)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup low-fat or whole milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, eggs, salt, and milk. Stir in the melted butter. The batter should be the consistency of heavy cream. Use an electric hand mixer or strain the batter through a sieve to smooth out any lumps. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
To form the crepes, follow the procedure as described above.
Scrippelle in Broth
In Abruzzo, cooks use scrippelle in their soups. Roll the crepes and slice them into thin strips like pasta; add them to soup like noodles. You can also fry the scrippelle in skillet until crisp, and use them as a garnish. Add some shredded cooked chicken or diced vegetables to the soup, if desired.
8 cups chicken broth
8 crepes, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Bring broth to a simmer in a saucepan. Add the sliced crepes, cheese, and parsley. Cook a minute or 2 just to heat the crepes. Serve.
CRESPELLE OR CREPE PAN
If you make a alot of crepes, you should purchase a good crepe pan. They have a larger flat surface than a skillet and without the sloping sides, it's much easier to flip the crepes without tearing them. This Paderno World Cuisine 10.25 inch blue carbon steel crepe’s thickness allows for longer pre-heating which results in a hotter surface for quickly singeing the crêpe.
Some useful food words or terms that you may find in
Italian recipes, while dining at an Italian restaurant, or traveling in Italy.
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