Sweet Crespelle (Italian Crêpes)

A stack of crespelle

David Marsden / Getty Images

  • Total: 40 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 35 mins
  • Resting Time: 60 mins
  • Yield: Serves 10 to 12
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
69 Calories
2g Fat
9g Carbs
2g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: Serves 10 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 69
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 2%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 20mg 7%
Sodium 28mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 30mg 2%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 48mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Crespelle are paper-thin pancakes, the Italian equivalent of France's crêpes, and just like the French version, they can be either sweet or savory. This recipe is for simple, sweet crespelle that can be served with the topping or filling of your choice: Nutella, dark melted chocolate, fresh fruit such as strawberries or bananas, chestnut cream, mascarpone or ricotta cream, zabaglione, jam, etc. 

To make this into a savory version, omit the sugar and alcohol and slightly increase the amount of salt. In that case, you can use any number of savory fillings; for example, spinach and ricotta, the same filling that might be used for cannelloni.

Though the dish now has a certain aura of elegance to it, in the past these thin pancakes were considered poor people's food. The change came in 1895, when famed restauranteur Henri Carpentier, then a teenage assistant waiter at Montecarlo's Café de Paris, accidentally ruined pancakes meant for the Prince of Wales, Edward VIII. Edward suggested this delicious new preparation be named after his young friend, thereby creating Crêpes Suzette.

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg plus 2 egg yolks (reserve 1 of the whites for later)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (omit if making savory crespelle)
  • 1 pinch

    salt (1/2 teaspoon for savory crespelle)

  • 3/4 cup

    flour

  • 1 cup

    cold milk

  • 1 shot

    brandy or rum (omit if making savory crespelle)

  • 1 tablespoon

    unsalted butter

Steps to Make It

  1. Beat the egg and yolks together with the sugar and the salt, then incorporate the flour and slowly add the milk, so as to obtain a creamy batter.

  2. Whip the reserved egg white to moderately firm peaks and carefully fold in the liquor, then fold the mixture into the batter. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and fold it into the batter, too. Let the batter sit in a cool place for at least 1 hour.

  3. When you are ready to proceed, heat your crêpe pan over medium heat. Melt the remaining butter and lightly brush the crêpe pan.

  4. Pour 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter into the center of the pan and distribute it evenly by tilting the pan. Cook for a couple of minutes, then flip the crespella over and cook for a couple of minutes more. Don't let it get too brown.

  5. Continue until you have finished the batter, stacking the finished crespelle on a plate and covering them with a cloth to keep them warm.