We are a family that loves crepes and to be honest I can't believe I haven't already shared this recipe with you all in the past! They are super tasty, easy to make (when you have the knack with creating thin crepes which honestly just takes a little practice but anyone can do it) and in my book they are a pretty frugal recipe to make.
The original recipe came from my lovely Mother in Law as Ham Crepes were a firm favourite of MrW's when he was a boy. So he was delighted when I began making Ham Crepes for him, and our youngest has followed suit with these being his favourite meal. Master 8 and I are also quite partial to having ham crepes. I of course have had a 'tinker' with the original recipe as I found I couldn't quite get the mix right, but I have been making crepes from this recipe now for years (although only recently with Spelt Flour).
As I mentioned during my 'wee' break from blogging we have made changes to a few ingredients we use in baking and cooking to gain the health benefits from having them in our diets. I promise a post will come soon explaining what and why we have made these changes, but just quickly one of these has been to reduce the amount of processed bleached plain white flour. I looked into what the process is to make good old plain flour and to tell you the honest truth I was quite put off that I have been putting that into my families tummies. If you have no other choice then it is what it is and in all honesty it has stood us well for all my life of cooking, but we are slowly using up the last and changing over to Spelt Flour which is a cousin to wheat flour but not 'wheat' as we know it, and it is a wholegrain which contains a lower amount of gluten (which is why I love it because it substitutes in bread, pastry etc wonderfully). We find the items I have made with Spelt flour to sit a little lighter in our tummies which is always nice at the end of a meal and I well and truly recommend if you can get your hands on Spelt flour then give it a whirl and see if you can notice the difference :) Otherwise if I have no spelt I have on hand Organic Unbleached White Flour which is plain white flour that has not been subject to half of the processing that commercial plain flour has. I get these two items from our local Binn Inn, but just google whats around you or have a look at some local companies online that will ship to you. In NZ one company is Huckleberry Farms which has a great range of organic and other healthy goodies at reasonable prices.
Oh and I know that shaved Ham is NOT technically Clean Eating as it contains additives etc and so in that view I would use cooked shredded chicken if you are wanting to avoid whats in the sliced ham...or as I plan to do, pop down to the local butcher and see if there is such a thing as preservative free sliced ham. However I have to make a few little allowances along the way as I have stripped the children and MrW of their 'bad' foods that they love like Nacho chips (I'm working on a healthier alternative for nachos) so I make the compromise on a few slices of shaved ham to make this dish, which otherwise ticks all the boxes of being frugal and containing all ingredients that are good for you :)
ANYWAY as for the important part here is the recipe! (I have included the plain flour version at the end)
Ruth's Spelt Flour Crepes
1 1/2 cups Spelt Flour
good Pinch of Salt (I used rock salt)
1 1/4cups of Milk
In a bowl sift the spelt flour and mix in your pinch of salt. In another bowl (or in my case I use my drink shaker) mix together the eggs and milk. Adding a little at a time beat the milk and egg mix into the flour to form a lovely batter. You don't want it to thick like a pancake batter, so if you need to add a splash or two more milk please do.
If you have lumps use a sieve and strain these out, otherwise just cover and pop the batter into the fridge for at least half an hour.
Turn the oven onto 180degC (I use fanbake)
Take the batter out and give it a good stir, if it has thickened up add a touch more milk until it is at a thin but not watery consistency. Have a pan on hand (you do not need a crepe pan) I use my electric frypan (oh I got a new kitchen tool and it is fab! but that's also for another time!). I like to use a little spray oil, but you could use butter or just a bit of oil or coconut oil to grease the pan after each crepe.
I use a soup ladle and pour the mix into the hot pan but you could a 1/3 cup measure. Pour the mix in and NOW pay attention because this is the key to getting the crepe to spread out - pick up the pan and swirl it in the air in a circular motion this will get the batter you have poured into the pan to swirl out into a nice big crepe shape....quite often mine are NOT a perfect circle but I get them close enough. If you have 'holes' feel free to use a tiny bit of batter on the back of a spoon to fill them in.
The Filling Part
A slight variation to our traditional Ham Crepes is to add Silverbeet/Spinach and Mushrooms. You could also substitute the ham for cooked shredded chicken. So in a seperate pan while you are cooking the crepes saute in some butter a good amount of sliced mushrooms (I slice and cut in half so they aren't massive) and a good few leaves of silverbeet/spinach slice reasonably fine. Cook until softened in the butter.
When all of your crepes are made, place your filling into the middle allowing room at the sides for the rolling. So for this one I placed two pieces of shaved ham, and in the middle of this some of the silverbeet and mushroom mix. Roll the two side that the filling is nearly touch in a little to create a sealed end and then roll from bottom up all the way until you have a nice little crepe roll. (this takes a little practice also so don't give up! if you can't get the end tucks to stay in then don't worry about that first part just roll the whole thing up into a roll with the ends untucked - hope that makes sense! should do when you are doing it ;) )
Place all of your rolled crepes into a pan with sides for the oven (I use a roasting dish) and then sprinkle over a layer of grated cheese, and some cracked pepper and salt. Then pour over a small bottle of cream (250mls) go on all of it :) trust me, it won't do you any harm to have cream :)
Bake in the oven (180degC) until its golden brown and delish looking. The cream creates a sauce over the crepes. Serve with a little remaining source from the pan with a side salad or your preference of veges.
N.B if you don't like ham you can use cooked shredded chicken. You also can do what the boys prefer and use just ham and no silverbeet and mushrooms....I am Mama and I like to add veges! There are also a number of fillings you could use like some smoked salmon, or smoked chicken nom nom nom.
To make Plain Flour Crepes:1 1/2 cups Plain Flour
Pinch of Salt
1 1/2 Cups Milk
Proceed as per recipe.
Spelt flour doesn't need as much liquid as other flours hence the difference in the milk quantity :)