I was in Vancouver overnight last week to see “Wicked” with some friends, and the next morning we went out for crepes for breakfast. They reminded me of the crepes my Mum used to make, only she called them “leathery pancakes”, because… well, they are kind of thin and leathery.
Edited to add a comment from my Mum about the origins of “leathery pancakes”: “[They are] actually from my own childhood. My mum/your Nana actually coined the name after our Swedish babysitter Mrs. Solberg made them for us when my parents were away one time and us kids raved about them. I guess “leathery” came about because they don’t rise like Mum’s regular Scotch pancakes did and we used to have them either with butter/brown sugar/lemon juice or butter/sour cream/brown sugar.” Thanks, Mum 🙂
Anyway, there was no real recipe, it was just more a matter of mixing together an egg, some milk, and some flour until the batter was the right consistency, and then cooking them in a hot, non-stick pan (the non-stick part is important!). These “leathery pancakes” were one of the things I made for myself all the time when I was younger – I’d usually eat them with butter and maple syrup, and sometimes I’d roll them around some kind of savoury filling. At the crepe place in Vancouver, the crepes were spread with whatever filling you wanted, sweet or savoury, and served folded in quarters. I had one with ham, cheese, and egg, plus a Nutella one for dessert (I’m totally OK with having dessert at breakfast!). Unfortunately, I don’t have any Nutella in the house, so I had to make do with butter, brown sugar, lemon juice, and strawberries for a sweet filling, and ham and cheese for savoury. Really good, and really easy. This amount of batter makes just enough for two 12-inch crepes – enough for one person if you’re hungry, or two people if you feel like sharing 😉
Crepes (“Leathery Pancakes”)
Inspired by my Mum
Preheat a large (12″), heavy, non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat (about 6 1/2 out of 10).
In a glass liquid measuring cup, whisk together 1 egg and enough milk to come up to 1/2 cup.
Add 4 tbsp all purpose flour and a pinch of salt. Whisk to make a creamy batter, adding a little more milk or flour if needed to get it about the consistency of heavy cream.
Check the temperature of the pan: sprinkle it with a few drops of water – it should sizzle and evaporate almost immediately. Brush the pan with a little bit of butter, then pour in half the batter. Swirl the pan to spread out the batter evenly. It will be ready to flip when the top is dry and the edges start to come away from the pan. Flip over and cook for about 30 seconds, until lightly browned.
For ham and cheese filling: Flip the crepe back over so it’s right side up in the pan. Sprinkle with finely grated cheese and place a slice of ham over half the crepe. The cheese should be melted by now. Fold the other half over the filling, then fold again into quarters.
For butter/brown sugar/strawberry filling: Remove the crepe from the pan and place on a plate. Spread with butter, a spoonful of brown sugar, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Place sliced strawberries over half the crepe. Fold the other half of the crepe over the filling, and then fold into quarters.