When I lived in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho with my grandparents, we used to have breakfast at this wooooooonderful restaurant at least once a month. It’s called The Old European Breakfast House and they serve the best breakfasts I’ve ever had. Ever. Evvvvvveeeeeerrrrrrr. My favorite thing there was this wonderful combo platter they have. (Now here’s where I list all the things on it and you will forever view me as the biggest piggy ever. And I don’t even care, it was totally worth it.) It came with Swedish crepes, Danish blueberry Aebelskivers, a German potato pancake, and hotcakes – but I always got them to substitute a Dutch baby. Served with their amazing fresh squeezed orange juice and (in the wintertime) a beautiful mug of hot chocolate. Sure, that’s probably all your calories for the day (and then some), but OMGosh, what a gorgeous way to start a leisurely weekend!
So, when we moved away I had to find a similar recipe and make my own crepes, just like I did with my favorite tomato soup. This recipe doesn’t have a splash of orange juice in it, like theirs does, so it doesn’t have quiiiiiite the same flavor, but it comes close enough for me. And I’m pretty darn picky. (By the by, in the past I have tried adding orange juice, orange zest and orange extract to the recipe, but it just didn’t seem worth the effort, these crepes are beautiful just as they are.)
The difference between these and classic French crepes is their eggyness. These crepes have a little more body, but they’re still a far cry from a pancake. What I really love about this recipe is . . . . . you don’t have to have much finesse to make a perfect crepe. French crepes can be pretty finicky. Swedish crepes are a bit thicker but they’re also sturdier and you don’t have to worry a whole lot about them ripping.
And I’m not going to lie to you, it will probably take you about an hour to cook up all this batter. But once you get the hang of it, it’s a nice way to spend your morning. Especially if you have some company in the kitchen! I made these to order once when I had a house full of guests and we just had a wonderful time, enjoying each other’s company and a long leisurely breakfast.
So, here’s the recipe. I’ve offered pretty detailed instructions in lieu of photos 1) because I didn’t have anyone to take pictures for me and I had to move too quickly to do it myself and 2) because, to be honest, I made tomato sauce for dinner last night and now I really need to clean my stovetop. Sorry. But please don’t let the instructions intimidate you, these really aren’t difficult to make!
2 1/4 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups milk
1 stick of butter, for the pan
1 brick of cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
Lingonberry jam (Usually this can be found in the specialty section of your grocery, or sometimes by the specialty cheeses. Although you could have knocked me over with a feather when I found it in the regular jam section of my grocery! There must be a lot of Swedes in Maine!) or the jam of your choice, raspberry is also nice here.
Powdered sugar for dusting
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt.
Pour in the milk and whisk well.
Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking very well with each addition.
Let the batter rest for 30 minutes.
While that’s resting, in a medium bowl beat the cream cheese and sugar together with a hand mixer. Set aside.
To make the crepes:
Warm an 8” non-stick skillet over medium heat. Set out a cube of butter and a butter knife. Have a plate handy for the finished crepes. Set out a small saucer and a 1/3 cup (dry) measuring cup. Take a deep breath.
1) With the knife, cut a pat of butter (about a teaspoon worth) and using the dull side of the knife (you don’t use enough pressure to scratch the pan, just steer the butter around.), run the butter around the sides of the pan, then make sure the bottom is thoroughly coated. You’re not looking for a pool of butter here, just a nice, even, slick surface.
2) Scoop in 1/3 cup of the batter. Pick the pan up from the heat and with a smooth, even motion, roll the batter around the pan, first coating the bottom, then around again and again until the edges of the crepe are nice and smooth. (The crepe should fill the whole bottom of the pan.) There won’t be much liquid batter left by the time you’re done rolling. (This will probably make more sense when you’re actually doing it than just reading it.)
3) Set the pan back on the heat for just a minute or so, the very edges will turn just the slightest bit brown. Now, shake the pan side to side, the crepe should release from the pan. Carefully run a spatula under it, lift and flip. (I like to use my fish spatula for this, it works beautifully.) Let the crepe just set on the other side, about 30 seconds, then slide onto the waiting plate.
Repeat steps 1-3 with the remaining batter. After about the third crepe, you’ll start to feel like a pro!
That’s it! Spread about a tablespoon of the cream cheese down the middle of the crepe, roll up, top with a little jam and dust with powdered sugar! Enjoy!
P.S. Just like classic crepes, you can top these with just about anything. Nutella, or a pat of butter, a squeeze of lemon and a dusting of powdered sugar, or fresh fruit and whipped cream, etc. etc. etc. If you want to serve them with something savory, leave out the sugar in the batter and fill with herby cream cheese and chunks of chicken or any other savory filling of your choice. Sky’s the limit!
P.P.S. You can also make these up ahead of time and fill them with slightly softened ice cream and drizzle with chocolate sauce for a lovely dessert.
P.P.P.S. If you break your last jar of lingonberry jam (like I did today) and you happen to have chunky cranberry sauce and raspberry jam in the fridge, just combine them in equal amounts and use that instead. It’s not a super close resemblance but the combination of sweetness and tartness was close enough to satisfy me. (And, like I said, I’m picky.)