I remember watching my mom make them when I was a child. I would help prepare the batter using my mom's favorite cookbook, a guide for newlyweds given to every couple by the city of Paris when my parents were married. My mom would set my child's chair on the large kitchen counter at a safe distance from the stove and I could see an amazing view of all of Paris through the window and I could also see my mom preparing these crepes.
She would show me the texture of the batter, and of the crepes at various stages of cooking. She would show me the little holes that form and the air pockets that would gently lift the crepe up. I could tell her when they had reached the exact color and spotting for crepe perfection and should be flipped. My mom can flip a crepe just like you see here in the picture, but I unfortunately never acquired that dexterity. I would get to eat the first couple crepes which always taste great, but even for chefs, never look quite presentable. I still have that excellent recipe, but I no longer use it.
Today, when my mom asks me to make crepes, I use Julia Child's recipe. When we tried her recipe, we realized that as excellent as my mom's French recipe was, Julia's was BETTER! And to this day, despite a few attempted infidelities, Julia's crepe recipe remains the best and most reliable crepe recipe we have used.
The traditional beverage to go with crepes is apple cider, whether it is non-alcoholic, sparkling or hard cider. Dessert crepes can be filled with jam of your choice, chocolate, ice cream, sugar, butter, or fruit. Almost anything sweet your little heart desires can be folded into a dessert crepe, and it is oh so good! A crepe should be as thin as you can possibly make it. Practice will help you make them thinner.
Here is Julia Child's dessert crepe recipe which has become my very own for all these years. I like to double the recipe, or make one batch sweet and one batch savory. I also add the juice of 1 orange, plus the juice of one lemon just like my maternal grandma used to for added flavor.
Julia Child's Crepes Fine Sucrees
Batter for about 18 dessert crepes, 5-6 inches in diameter
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup cold water
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 tablespoon orange liqueur, rum or cognac
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (measure by sifting directly into dry-measure cups and leveling off)
5 Tb melted butter
Either whirl all ingredients at top speed in an electric blender for about 1 minute; or gradual work the liquids into the flour with an electric mixer or wooden spoon, beat in the dry ingredients, and strain through a fine sieve. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, allowing flour particles to swell and soften. (Note: Since doing this show ["The French Chef"] I have found that the granular "instant blending" flour is a much easier alternative. Place 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons in a mixing bowl, gradually blend in the liquids and then the rest of the ingredients with a wire whip, and you can make the crepes immediately.) Cook the crepes in a 5- to 6-inch no-stick or cast-iron skillet. If batter seems too thick after you've tried your first crepe, beat in a tablespoon or so of water. If made in advance, stack crepes between layers of waxed paper or foil so they will not stick together.