Quintessential French, simple yet luxurious, breakfast food made with ingredients nearly everyone has in their pantry, crêpes are a Sunday morning delight perfect for everyday extraordinary and celebratory occasions. Originating in Brittany in northwestern France, this ultra thin pancake is just as beloved eaten while strolling through the Luxembourg Gardens as it is ordered on the menus of cafés and bistros and fine dining establishments. This recipe calls for a splash of Grand Marnier (a blend of fine cognac and bitter orange-flavored liqueur) mixed into a filling of whipped egg whites that rise soufflé style when baked in the oven. Its complex rich vanilla, oak, and citrus notes flavor the fluffy baked egg white filling and deliver a sophisticated, ooh-la-la plate that both children and adults adore.
cuisine French
difficulty Moderate
season Year Round
serves 4 to 6

Ingredients for the Crêpes

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 extra large egg
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon Grand Marnier

Ingredients for the Filling

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Confectioner's sugar, for dusting (optional)

Directions for the Crêpes

  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Use a wooden spoon to mix the egg into the flour mixture.Gradually whisk in the milk to make a smooth batter. Add the melted butter and liqueur. Allow the batter to stand for 30 minutes, or refrigerate overnight.
  2. Batter will thicken to consistency of heavy cream. Add more milk to thin as needed to get a thin easy to pour batter.Place a crêpe pan or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until well heated. Brush melted butter over the surface of the pan and immediately pour a 1/4 cup batter into pan. Use a crêpe spreader or tilt and turn the pan to spread the batter into a uniform circle that lines the bottom of the pan. When pancake begins to bubble on its surface (after about 30 seconds) carefully flip the pancake with a spatula and let it brown again 20 to 30 seconds.
  3. Transfer finished crêpe to a large plate. Repeat until the batter is used up, reoiling pan as needed.
  4. Layer the finished crêpes with baking parchment or waxed paper.

Directions for the Filling

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a small pan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the milk and flour and whisk constantly until it thickens. Remove from heat and add the egg yolks, Grand Marnier, and vanilla and stir until combined. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer,  whisk 4 egg whites until stiff.
  4. Slowly add the sugar and continue to whisk until thick and glossy.
  5. Fold the egg whites into the Grand Marnier mixture. Place 1/3 cup of the filling on one half of each crêpe, fold over the other half to enclose.
  6. Carefully place filled crêpes on a large parchment-lined baking tray and bake for 10 minutes until well risen. Serve immediately.
  7. Dust with icing sugar (optional) and serve immediately.