Food From Fiction 9: Amazing Amy’s Brown Butter Crepes

Amy peered at the crepe sizzling in the pan and licked something off her wrist. if I took her in my arms, she would smell like berries and powdered sugar.” – Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

The ideas that we get for Food From Fiction come from many places, but one of the most interesting has been the book Voracious by Cara Nicoletti. She’s gathered together a number or recipes based on the food mentioned in literature, in many cases getting an idea from a book that one of us read and enjoyed and completely missed any food mention within its pages. That’s the case with Gillian Flynn’s big hit novel Gone Girl, later a successful and creepy film.

Not to spoil the book for you, but Amy is a schemer. These crepes are very simple on their surface, but require just a little preplanning to turn out perfect, so do read all the directions before starting…just as Amy would.

I enjoy making crepes and very much enjoy eating them, but only rarely break out the gear and actually accomplish this task (despite having a really nice crepe pan – seriously, if you like crepes, you should get one like mine. It’s a Scanpan.)

My family likes pancakes and crepes, but we rarely do breakfast together so it really isn’t worthwhile to go to the effort very often. However, this recipe makes only about 6 crepes, so it’s easily consumed by two people, even if one of them is a 5-year-old with a hollow leg. I doubled it when making it for all four of us and it turned out nicely with a couple left over at the end as insurance in case there had been any spoilage.

The first step is making the brown butter, which I hadn’t done before. It went really quickly and easily; it’s just a matter of gently cooking butter on a gentle simmer, stirring constantly until the solids turn a nice golden toasty brown and infuse the butter with flavor. I made far more than needed and set aside some for later. Make sure to use a light-colored pan with high sides, as there will be a good bit of spattering and you want a sharp eye on the color change as when it starts to happen it goes very quickly. This is not something to do with distractions in the kitchen.

Here’s a good link to a step-by-step process for making brown butter.

Once the butter is cooled to room temperature, put together the crepe batter. The recipe claims it’s 9-10 crepes but they must have been smaller than mine, because I only got 6 out of the recipe.

2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons browned butter, plus more for the pan if needed (and more for the batter if desired)

Mix the eggs, milk and honey together. I recommend allowing the milk to come near room temperature before mixing so it doesn’t cause the butter to resolidify while you’re trying to mix it. Beat in the flour, salt, and butter. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour, or overnight (honestly it’s still fine even the next day). Heat your skillet or crepe pan to just past medium heat, pour in just enough batter to coat the bottom and rotate the pan to coat evenly. Cook until the surface is set and the edges just begin to brown, then flip. If you haven’t done this before, you will need to allow for some wastage in your recipe. I recommend, since they’re so tender, to slide them out onto cookie racks to cool a little before putting toppings and fruit on them, especially if you want to eat with your family and not be a short order cook.

You don’t want to stack them immediately onto each other to keep warm because they’ll just get soggy, and besides they are so thin you wouldn’t be able to eat them hot anyway unless all you’re doing is sprinkling on some vanilla sugar and rolling them up to eat over the counter. Not that I’ve done that, of course. Once the crepes have cooled a bit you can stack them. I generally cool three, start the stack with the oldest, and keep on switching the coolest one out for the newest one until the batch is done.

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2 thoughts on “Food From Fiction 9: Amazing Amy’s Brown Butter Crepes

  1. A very easy way to make the batter and have it handy for pouring is to use a blender. You can just leave it in the pitcher and then you have a handy spout when you decide to make them. Any unused crepes can be stored with cling film in between the layers. I had a stepsister who would beg for them and I’d make a double batch for her stored this way. She’d heat them a bit in the microwave and fill them with the homemade chocolate ganache I’d leave for her. I have no idea how long they keep since she usually had them finished in a few days 😋

    1. I have both a blender and a mixer and still wind up stirring batter by hand in a mixing bowl. However, not being entirely masochistic, the mixing bowl set I use has pour spots and handles built in! So far I’ve only kept leftover batter over for the next day-it’s good to know the finished crepes keep well too.

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