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French Canadian Breakfast Crepes

french canadian crepes

My mom is French Canadian and one of her special dishes that she would make for me as a kid was her breakfast crepes. So when I went to visit her recently in Florida one of the first things I had her make for me (well, I guess my kids too….) were her crepes. These crepes are a little different from your typical crepes and not exactly like pancakes either. They are thicker than regular crepes, thinner than pancakes, and have a crispy “lacey” edge unlike both crepes and pancakes. A yummy treat for any breakfast!

Unfortunately, my mom didn’t really have a recipe. It’s one of those things that she watched her mom and grandma make, and I’ve watched her make. No one ever writes it down! So I quickly tried to measure things as she was going along. Yes I know I was in the way, sorry Mom. It’s more about the consistency of the batter than the actual amount of ingredients. Add the milk slowly to the batter until a very thin batter forms. It should be much thinner than a regular pancake batter. When I looked at other recipes for French Canadian Crepes on the internet of course hundreds of variations came up. This would just be my family’s version.

My family has always made these crepes with a cast iron pan and Crisco shortening. My mom swears by Crisco shortening and I have to agree although you are welcome to substitute anything you’d like such as your favorite oil or butter. The crepes just don’t get their fancy “lacey” and crispy edges without the shortening but probably just as delicious!   I’ve posted several other breakfast (or even brunch or “brinner”) recipes recently.  So if you’re looking for others, try my Mexican Sausage & Cornbread Strata, Mini Caramel Streusel Cakes, or my decadent Overnight Ice Cream French Toast.

Although “experts” would tell you to mix the dry ingredients in separate bowls, we just mix everything quick all together.

french canadian crepes

Add the milk slowly while whisking until the batter is quite thin (ignore my daughter’s head in the picture…).

french canadian crepes

As I mentioned, my mom swears by Crisco shortening and her cast iron pan but substitute as you’d like.

french canadian crepesPour the batter into pan and swirl the pan around so that the batter spreads.

french canadian crepesCook about 1-2 minutes per side or until the edges start to get crispy.  See those “lacey” crispy edges?  That’s the best part!

french canadian crepes

 My kids trying to get their hands on the crepes (ummm, I mean helping Grandma).

french canadian crepes

 We like to have the crepes with maple syrup, but fruit sauces, powdered sugar, honey, etc. would all be good.

french canadian crepes

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French Canadian Breakfast Crepes
5.0 from 2 reviews
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Serves: 4-6
My family's version of Crepes that we have for breakfast. Thicker than regular crepes, thinner than pancakes, and a crispy lacey edge unlike both. Serve with maple syrup for a yummy breakfast treat!
Ingredients
  • 2 cups flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • Shortening for best results (or use butter or oil if necessary)
  • Maple syrup for serving
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl combine flour and salt. Whisk in eggs and milk just until thin batter forms.
  2. Place about 2 tablespoons of shortening in large skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. When shortening is hot, pour some batter into middle of pan then swirl pan around so that a large crepe forms.
  3. Cook crepes about 1-2 minutes per side or when crepe starts to get crispy around edges and bubbles. Continue until all batter has been used. Serve with maple syrup.
Notes
SNAPPY TIPS: Make sure your pan is hot before pouring in the batter so that the batter can almost “fry” in the shortening.

SNAPPY SUBSTITUTIONS: We typically serve this with warm maple syrup but you could serve with a fruit sauce, powdered sugar, honey, etc.

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Comments

  1. 1

    We love crepes filled with strawberries and whipped cream and dusted with powder sugar. Oh my gosh so good! :)

  2. 3

    Lisa-they sound DELICIOUS!!!! Your mom is adorable–I love the shot of her and the kids :) John and I will be making this THIS weekend. They look awesome. Hope you guys had a great time in florida!

  3. 5

    My Mom was born and raised in Quebec. These are the same crepes we were served growing up.

    I thought she used to use water in the batter instead of milk…

    • 6
      snappygourmet says:

      Betty, I’m sure there are a million version of the crepes so it’s quite possible she used water instead of milk. We always used milk growing up. Hope you enjoy!

  4. 7
    Sharon Mayhack says:

    My Grandmother (also from Quebec) use to make these for us all the time… I can’t wait to make them for my family. ( Nobody wrote the recipe in my family either!) I also think Mamie may have used water instead of milk… she said something about they were cheaper to make that way when she was growing up. I’ll, try it both ways…

    Thanks so much for sharing!
    Sharon

  5. 8
    Dave Willett says:

    Lisa,

    Tell your mom I just printed out our grandmother’s crepes recipe. Many thanks!

    Dave

  6. 9

    OMG such great memories this post brings back. My grandmother was from Paspébiac and she used to make these pancakes for us when we were growing up in Maine. I’ve never made them myself and my grandmother is long passed away as has my mother.

    Thank you so much from bringing a smile to my face today.

  7. 11

    I randomly happened on this recipe, and I’m so glad I did! I’m French Canadian, but my family moved to California when I was 7. I had completely forgotten about these crepes, and this post brought back some amazing memories. I used to put a line of brown sugar down the middle and wrap the pancake around it, like a taquito. I’m so, so happy I came across this recipe – I didn’t remember what I was missing, but I do now, so thank you! Man, this makes me nostalgic…

  8. 13
    Angela Kimble says:

    Oh my – memories of my youth have come flooding back to me!! Thank you! My grandmother was French Canadian who was raised on a arm with a sugar house. We had maple syrup on everything! These crepes were such a treat on a Saturday morning and mom definitely used a big cast iron skillet and Crisco. She also made thin buckwheat pancakes (very thin normal crepes) we rolled up like cigars and dipped in maple syrup. I could go on and on with the yummy Canadian food we were raised on!

  9. 15
    William Malicia says:

    This is the recipe my memere used.
    we have called these rubber pancakes since we were small children, I think it’s because they absorb nothing, but they are awesome, my favorite way to eat them is pour warm butter on them and sprinkle brown shugar over the butter. It absorbs the liquid and unlike maple syrup, it doesn’t run all over the plate.

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