What a fine time I had here in Omaha yesterday. The Alliance Francaise hosted me for a chat, and they are a great group of bon vivants, who totally tap into the easygoing, approachable, convivial side of all things French. It was just great hanging out in a library basement full of people with so much in common.
Next, I went on to do a demo/book-signing at Williams-Sonoma. I was all set to show everyone how easy it is to make crêpes, but—zut alors—my crêpe batter had frozen (maudit hotel refrigerator!). I thought I was doooooooomed, but I did what everyone does in a pinch: Rolled with it. I simply thawed the batter in the microwave, whirred it in the blender to resmooth it out, and went on with the show. I was shocked to find that it all cooked up just fine, and the crêpes tasted as good as if they’d been made with a fresh-made batter.
Of course, the batter had only frozen one night, but I’d imagine that it would keep in the freezer a week or two. In fact, once I’m home from “the ‘ha,” (my newly coined hipster term for Omaha), I’m going to test out this plan.
As you know, I’ve been a huge fan of freezing crêpes once they’ve been cooked, but have never tried freezing the batter. Somewhere in my food-science research I did all those years for the past three editions of the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, I learned that raw egg mixtures generally don’t freeze well….well, crêpe batter seems to be an exception (and why writers like myself often use weasel words like “generally”).
So, here are my preliminary directions in case you want to try it out:
1. Make my crêpe batter.
2. Make as many crêpes as you want to eat that day.
3. Pour remaining crêpe batter into an appropriately sized freezer container—you need a little headspace, but you don’t want a lot of excess room in the container (excess air is an enemy of all things frozen).
4. Freeze. As I mentioned, I only froze 24 hours, but I bet up to 2 weeks would b fine. (Remember, freezing inhibits bacteria growth, so issues with freezing aren’t about food safety but about quality.)
5. Thaw the batter in the microwave*. Whir the mixture in the blender to smooth out any lumps. Allow the mixture to stand until some of those bubbles have subsided.
6. Cook as directed.
* You can also thaw overnight in the refrigerator, but never thaw at room temperature, okay?