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Not every recipe I make in the Vintage Kitchen turns out to be a shining success on the first try. This recipe is the perfect example. But in my normal line of work-TV news-part of the fun is salvaging the train wreck of lost scripts, broken live trucks, and miscued video. I often find I approach my entire life in this manner and so it was when I realized this recipe was going horribly wrong.

I came across this recipe for French Pancakes, also known as Crepes, in “Miss Beeton’s Book of Household Management” by Isabella Beeton, published in 1861. I fear Miss Beeton had her measurements wrong because, on first try, the batter was way too runny and my crepes were a crusty mess. Here is Miss Beeton’s recipe:

• 2 eggs
• 2 ounces of butter
• 2 ounces of sifted sugar
• 2 ounces of flour
• 1/2 pint of new milk

Beat the eggs thoroughly, and put them into a basin with the butter, which should be beaten to a cream; stir in the sugar and flour, and when these ingredients are well mixed, add the milk; keep stirring and beating the mixture for a few minutes; put it on buttered plates, and bake in a quick oven for 20 minutes. Serve with a cut lemon and sifted sugar, or pile the pancakes high on a dish, with a layer of preserve or marmalade between each.

Here’s what happened after I mixed up Miss Beeton’s recipe-a mess on the griddle:

I had converted the butter and sugar from ounces to tablespoons correctly (see amounts below). But two ounces of flour is only 1/3 cup and that, I fear, is way too little with a half a pint of milk (which comes to one cup milk). So I added a bit of flour and came up with this version:

• 2 eggs
• 4 tablespoons of butter
• ¼ cup of sugar
• ¾ cup of flour
• 1 cup of milk

Beat the eggs and butter separately, then mix them together in a medium bowl. Stir in the sugar and flour, and when they are thoroughly mixed, add the milk.

Using a soup ladle, put one or two ladles onto a hot, greased griddle. Cook about 4 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned.
More flour-now that's more like it!

Success! Crepes are a quick alternative to pancakes on a rushed morning because they are thinner and cook up faster. I like to put a spoon of yogurt or jam in the middle of each, roll them up and top them with a few berries. Enjoy!

Next blog post: My eldest daughter’s favorite entrée!