When I was a child, my mother used to make all sorts of fantastic food. She still makes fantastic foods (hope you’re reading Anyuka!). Thankfully, although there was a multiyear blip when I first left home where everyone thought I didn’t know how to cook, I have been trying to learn how to make some of the wonderful things she made for our family.
One of my favourites was palacsinta (aka crepes). She would make what seemed like 100 at a time – light, thin, waiting for whatever filling struck our fancy at the time. With Emma’s love of pancakes, I hoped this would be a hit – what I didn’t realize was that it could take on #1 in Emma’s top favourite foods!
It has been years since I made these for the first time, and there was a bit of a palacsinta glut at our house as G is not as big a fan as I am. As a result, the first one I made a few weeks back was a total stuck on (actually, glued on), inedible mess. My mother made this look so easy! How could this be happening?!
After scrubbing the pan clean, heating it up and spraying it very lightly with a bit of oil, my second attempt was a success. No crepe pan needed and just a twist of the wrist as the batter went in. Or at least looked a success. I let Emma be the taste tester and her taste buds did the talking – she had finished four that morning, and was heading on to her fifth!
I sprinkled Emma’s with a little brown sugar, but I really enjoy them with cottage cheese and a little vanilla sugar. My mom used to mix a little rum in with apricot jam (for the grownups, of course!) and I loved Nutella filled ones when we were in France. Try them with your favourite filling. You won’t be disappointed.
(Makes 8-10 salad plate-sized crepes)
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp + 1 tsp vanilla sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 3 eggs
- 1-1 1/2 cups of milk (skim is fine)
- spritz of oil (canola, vegetable, something without flavour)
- 1 cup cottage cheese
In a medium-sized bowl, sift together the flour, 2 teaspoons of the vanilla sugar, baking soda and salt. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Slowly add the milk, mixing well until smooth. Let mixture sit for 10-15 min while you pre-heat your pan on medium-high heat.
When the pan is ready, spray a very small amount of oil and spread it on the bottom of your pan. (No need for a crepe pan here; a non-stick pan will do just fine.) Tilt the pan and pour a half ladle of batter and turn the pan to make a thin round crepe. Flip the crepe when the edges are just starting to pull away from the bottom of the pan (1-2 min). Remove from pan when the crepe begins to lift away from the bottom of the pan.
For cottage cheese crepes:
Spoon 1 cup of cottage cheese on to a small flat-bottomed bowl and sprinkle it with 1 tsp vanilla sugar (or more to your own taste). With a fork, break up the cottage cheese curds and mix in the sugar. Put a few spoonfuls onto an open crepe. Roll it up and serve immediately.