While many of us are staying at home and cooking more, Jacques Pépin’s unpretentious approach is just the comfort we need. And what is more comforting than pancakes? From our new digital video series American Masters: At Home with Jacques Pépin, the master chef shows us how to make both buttermilk pancakes and French crèpes. Happy Cooking.
Photos: Tom Hopkins
“Very often, especially during the holidays, I buy cream—and very often I have cream left over. After a week or so I put that cream in the food processor and make butter—we can always use butter. And of course, with the butter you also get buttermilk. Occasionally I will use the buttermilk to make pancakes, which is easy to do. I serve them with whatever fruit I happen to have around.”
Makes 6 pancakes
1/2 cup flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup buttermilk
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup maple syrup
8-10 grapes, halved
powdered sugar, for dusting
Combine the flour, baking powder, buttermilk, vanilla and sugar and whisk until a smooth batter.
Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Pour batter, about 3-4 tablespoons per pancake, into the skillet and cook, about 1½ minutes on each side.
While the pancakes are cooking, cut the grapes in half and drizzle with maple syrup.
To serve: arrange pancakes on a plate, spoon over the grapes and drizzle with maple syrup.
Makes 6 crêpes
“I always had crêpes as a child, and made them countless times for my daughter and granddaughter. There is nothing easier than making crêpes. I put a piece of butter to melt in a skillet, and by the time that butter is melted I have mixed enough milk, flour, and an egg to make half a dozen crêpes. You can serve them with jam inside or something savory, like ham or cheese. Easy and delicious.”
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons water, if needed
1 tablespoon butter
Apricot or other jam
Sugar, for sprinkling
Melt butter in 7-inch non-stick pan over medium-high heat.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, half of the milk, egg, salt, and sugar in a bowl and mix until smooth. Add the rest of the milk, two tablespoons of water, if needed, and the melted butter from the pan to make a thin batter.
Pour about 3-4 tablespoons of batter into one side of the pan and immediately tilt the pan, shaking it at the same time to make it run all over the bottom. Cook for 1 to 1 ½ minutes on the first side, then flip and cook the second side for 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining batter.
Spread 1 tablespoon of jam (apricot, raspberry, or peach) inside each crêpe, fold or roll and enjoy!