Ham Cheese & Mushroom Savory Crepes
- French savoury crepes are usually known as standard large crepes or “gallettes” which are topped up with various ingredients, folded and then served to customers. And this is actually what you will find most of the time in Creperies of you travel though France. However there is another type of savoury crepes that are extremely famous amongst French people but you won’t find them anywhere but supermarkets.
These specific types of savory crepes are actually super famous in France and for good reasons. They are in fact delicious byte size crepes that are filled with a creamy and velvety white sauce blended with ham, cheese and or mushrooms. They also differ in the fact that they are sold frozen and actually have to be pan fried when used which give them a crispy coating that goes perfectly with the creamy filling.
But don’t go thinking that is not good because this is exactly what give those crepe a very specific and delicious crispy golden coating. And when you break them open all of that delicious sauce is just pouring out and makes for a perfect combination with that crispiness.
In this recipe I am recreating these unique crepes using Escoffier style cooking technique making everything from scratch. On the crepes are made you can keep them frozen for weeks and take pan fried them anytime you feel like snacking trust me you won’t regret it!
Recipe instructions (will yield about 12 to 15 crepes depending on size)
1\ Start first by making the crepe batter:
Ingredients for the crepe batter:
- 250 grams plain all-purpose flour
- 5 grams of salt
- 3 whole eggs
- 500 ml of full cream milk ( whole milk)
- In a large bowl add all of the flour (sifted), the salt, then using a whisk make a well in the middle. Pour in the middle the beaten eggs then start to incorporate slowly the eggs with the flour ( as shown in the video) Once you get a consistency of a paste start pouring in the milk bit by bit while keeping whisking to incorporate the flour. Keep ongoing until you get a smooth batter. When done leave the batter to rest for 1 hour at room temperature.
2\ Next, prepare the ingredients (mise en place)
While you crepe batter is resting chop finely then reserve the following ingredients:
Note that you will need to chop the mushroom very finely and only just before you start making your Duxelle of mushroom. Also usually the mushrooms are best when chopped using a food processor.
Once that is done, measure your milk, butter, flour, cream and grate the cheese. peel and cut a onion in half and prick 3 cloves on top.
3\ Make the mushroom duxelle:
the duxelle of mushroom is a preparation used to garnish sauce ad make stuffing. it can easily be be used for other purpose
- 200 grams of white button mushrooms
- 20 grams shallot
- 10 grams onions
- 2 teaspoons of parsley
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- A pinch of salt and pepper.
- Add a tablespoon of butter in a pan on low heat. when the butter start to foam add the chopped shallot and onion stir gently and leave to cook for about 2 minutes. Add then all of the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Finally add a tablespoon of lemon juice and mix well.
- Leave the mushrooms to cook on low heat until all the water has evaporate.
- When all the water has evaporate, turn the heat off, add the parsley and mix well to incorporate the parsley with the mushrooms.
- Reserve the duxelle in a container and leave to cool down.
4\ Cook the crepes.
As soon as your batter has rested it is now time to cook the crepes.
They are best made with a crepe pan (I used a 22 cm \8 inches diameter pan) but you can also use any other pan you have. Just remember that crepes have to be thin no thick. (Check the video to see the example). When all the crepes are made let them cool down while you make the Sauce crème (creamy béchamel sauce)
5\ Prepare the roux:
- 40 grams butter ( for the roux)
- 40 grams plain all purpose flour ( for the roux)
In a saucepan on low heat add the 40 grams of butter and leave to melt completely.as soon as the butter is melted, add all of the flour at once over the butter then stir well with a wooden spoon. Leave to cook for 2 minutes. Once done turn the heat off and leave to cool down.
4\ Making the sauce crème:
The sauce crème is the base preparation that will be used for the crepe filling.
- the roux you made earlier
- 400 ml full cream milk ( whole milk)
- 100 ml double cream (liquid cream) also called heavy whipping cream
- 40 grams of gruyere cheese
- 1 bay leave
- A quarter onion with 3 cloves attached to it
- Pour all of the milk In a saucepan on low heat then add in the half onion with the cloves, 1 bay leaf and a pinch of salt (about half a teaspoon) bring to a simmer.
- As soon as the milk reached simmering point turn the heat off.
- use now the pan that you used to make the roux and pour the warm milk over the (cold) roux. stir well using a whisk to incorporate the roux with the milk.
- Next put the pan on the stove over medium heat and keep stirring until the sauce thickens.
- When the sauce reaches boiling point turn the heat down to low, add the cream in and stir gently.
- Keep on cooking the sauce on low heat for 2 minutes while stirring then turn the heat off and add the grated cheese .
5\ Preparing the crepe filling:
Now for the filling you have the choice of either making a batch with ham and or a batch with mushroom duxelle that really depends on your personal preference.
- sauce creme (the one you just made)
- Finely chopped ham
- Duxelle of mushroom
making the filling is really simple just add some of the creme sauce in a bowl and mix it with either chopped ham or some mushroom duxelle. you can even use other ingredients that I have not try like seafood or fish for instance.
6 \ Filling folding and freezing the crepes:
- Once the filling is ready it is just a matter of garnishing each crepe with some of the filling, fold them and place them on a tray or plate ( as shown in the video)
- once all the crepes are garnished and in a tray place them in the freezer and wait until they are totally frozen before using them.
7\ Pan frying and serving the crepes:
Once your crepe are frozen you can basically start using them whenever you like being th next day or in two weeks time and the good thing is quality will not suffer at all.
To warm up the crepes, simply use a frying pan on low heat. add a nudge of butter in the pan, let the butter melt and add the crepes in. leave to crisp up for 5 minutes on each side. after 10 minutes when the crepes are crispy and golden. they are ready to serve.
In France the crepes are just served as is on a plate but you can also serve them with a side of lettuce with french dressing if it sis for a light lunch.