Crêpes with strawberry compote An exquisite French crêpe recipe served with barely-cooked summer fruit

Crepes with strawberry compote

Making crêpes with grandma… a childhood well spent

When I was a child, my grandmother would always make crêpes for our yearly Mardi Gras celebration. She would rise early in the morning to begin her ritual, and I would rise with her and watch in awe. My job was to sprinkle each crêpe with a little sugar as it came off the pan – a job I did with great dedication, since it also gave me a chance to claim any flawed crêpes for myself!

By the time her cuckoo clock had sung midday, dangerously tall piles of crêpes would be ready to greet the interminable stream of neighborhood children who’d come to claim their sugary treats.

Now, whenever I make crêpes, I’m transported back to those joyful days of watching my grandmother flip her lacy pancakes in a single graceful wave. Back then my favorite way to eat crêpes was with peach jam. I would roll them up and devour them in four large bites.

Serve these deliciously sweet crêpes at your next dinner party!

Today I’m more inclined to make savory crêpes, but when I indulge in making the sweet kind, it’s with fresh fruits that I love to serve them. These crêpes with strawberry compote are an all-time favorite. The sweet strawberries are barely cooked so that they’re still firm but have released their ambrosial juices.

A light and exquisite dessert that’s equally lovely for a casual family dinner as for a more sophisticated dinner party… The only thing is, you might want to make a double batch!

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Crepes

Food & wine pairing: Piedmont, Moscato d’Asti with strawberry compote crêpes

Sparkling wine iconA Moscato d’Asti from Piedmont is superb with this dessert – slightly fizzy, not too sweet and as fragrant as the strawberries in the compote.

Hand-picked strawberries

Crêpes with strawberry compote

serves 4
active time: 50 min

For the crêpes

  1. 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  2. pinch sea salt
  3. 4 extra large eggs
  4. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  5. 1 1/2 cups milk
  6. 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

For the compote

  1. 1 lb (455 g) strawberries – hulled and cut in 1/8″ slices (2 1/4 cups)
  2. 2/3 cup organic sugar
  3. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  4. 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest (use a microplane grater)
  5. 1/4 cup Grand Marnier or Cointreau
  1. powdered sugar as garnish
  2. mint leaves as garnish
  3. 10″ non-stick crêpe pan

  1. Step 1: Place the flour and salt in a large bowl and stir until well blended. Make a well in the center and add the eggs. Whisk the eggs and then gradually whisk in the flour by working from the center of the bowl outward. Make sure that as you incorporate the flour, no lumps form. If lumps form, continue whisking until the batter is smooth. Add the vanilla and gradually whisk in the milk until the batter is the consistency of light cream and perfectly smooth. Melt the butter in the crêpe pan and quickly whisk it in the milk mixture. Keep the pan to cook the crêpes in. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes.
  2. Step 2: Place the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice and orange zest in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir well and heat over medium-high heat. Cook the strawberries until they have released their juices and the sugar has dissolved, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat, add the Grand Marnier, stir well and transfer to a bowl to cool to room temperature.
  3. Cook’s note: The batter and compote can be prepared up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before proceeding with the recipe.
  4. Step 3: To make the crêpes – Heat the crêpe pan to medium-high heat (there is no need to butter the pan again as you already melted the butter in it). When the pan is hot, stir the batter with the ladle, lift the pan off the heat and pour some batter in the pan, just enough to cover the entire surface in a thin layer, rotating the pan at the same time so the batter spreads evenly. Return the pan to the heat. When the surface of the crêpe has dried up and the edge looks golden and starts to curl up (about 1 to 2 minutes) gently flip the crêpe with a spatula. Cook only for 15 to 20 seconds, until golden dots appear. Transfer to a plate, and top with a piece of wax paper (this will prevent the crêpes from sticking together). Continue making the crêpes until no batter is left. The batter should make eight to ten 10″ crêpes.
  5. Step 4: To serve – Fold each crêpe into quarters in the shape of a triangle and place 2 crêpes slightly overlapping in the center of each plate. Top with the strawberry compote. Sprinkle with a little powdered sugar and garnish with a mint leaf. Serve immediately while the crêpes are still warm.
  6. Cook’s note: Although crêpes are best eaten right after they are made, they can be prepared up to 4 hours ahead and kept at room temperature. Loosely cover with plastic wrap once they’ve cooled.

Crepes with strawberry compote

dessert, crepes, strawberry

50 Comments

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  5. Your crepes look and sound so delicious!

  6. Crepes with strawberry compote or peach jam? Oh my, what sweet choices! A lovely tribute to Mother’s Day!

  7. Congrats on making Top 9!! I love to make crepes, and these are perfect for strawberry season. Love your addition of Grand Marnier.

  8. I feel the same way about my great grand aunt…she thought me how to make crêpes and every time I make them she is on my mind. Those look incredible Viviane, and I do enjoy more savory than sweet crêpes even though my kids prefer sweet, I think all kids do:)
    Thank you for sharing your story and recipe as well. Have a lovely weekend!

  9. These crepes look so light and perfectly made along with the strawberries. I do tend to lean more to the savory though and would love to see what ingredients you include in the savory versions. Congrat on the Top 9 and I hope that you have a wonderful weekend.

  10. Looks good! Congratulations on making the foodbuzz Top 9!

  11. Oh, yes, this is what I want for Mother’s Day breakfast…just stunning AND scrumptious!! Your photos are breathtaking…

  12. I just love these crepes!These look so so delicious and perfect..I’m definitely going to be making these very soon 🙂

  13. The crepes look so evenly and beautifully thin…awesome! I had some thick American pancakes with strawberry sauce last week and it was delicious. Must try this version…it looks seriously delicious and intriguing!
    Have a lovely weekend!
    Angie

  14. Crepes look simply stunning with delicious presentation of strawberry compote 😀
    Love it!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  15. Vivianne – these crepes look scrumptious! Love the strawberry topping with the orange and Grand Marnier! I’ve put a cap-full of Grand Marnier in the crepe batter before and it made some yummy crepes. What a wonderful treat for a mother on Mother’s Day or my husband any day of the week!

  16. These look so light and delicious. I haven’t tried to make crepes yet but this does look tempting!

  17. What a great memory 🙂 Crepes have always been there in my life, they’re a popular street snack in Germany for the holiday season. I introduced my wife to them, and since then, we have been making them once a week, each week. We only make enough for the two of us, though, so it doesn’t take us half a day 😉

  18. The strawberry crepes are sumptuous! They are screaming spring which is a delight! Can’t wait to pick up fresh berries at our Farmer’s market for the holiday weekend.

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  20. Demetra Lambros

    Hi Viviane! I remember coming upon your post when I first started making simple homemade cheeses. I came back to it today as I recalled all the beautiful photos and your always-fantastic and clear advice. I wanted to be sure to get it right since this morning, out of the blue, a friend of mine just cheerfully dropped off a half-liter of fresh sheep milk to me!!! I couldn’t restrain myself from gulping down some of it but then I came to my senses and stopped myself so I could do the ricotta. Thought of your story from Italy… Lots of love from Greece

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  25. I had to check out this gorgeous photo on your home page. I adore crepes…but rarely make them. It’s the perfect time of year to try your stunning version with loads of fresh berries. My mouth is watering~

    • Liz, you’re so right… All the summer fruits and berries would be divine with these crêpes! I do not make them nearly enough myself – must rectify!

  26. Julie Fordyce

    Crepes are wonderful in part because the fixings are always at hand. My favorite quick desert is crepes with lemon juice squeezed over them, and then a sprinkle of sugar. Or a little shaved chocolate . . . or jam . . . or . . .!

  27. Donna Ford

    Viviane, beautiful crepes! I loved reading your story about you & your grandmother. I loved making crepes years ago. Thank you for your recipe. I think I’ll start making crepes again. 🙂

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  30. The crepes look great! I really like the combination of strawberry and grand marnier too – very fresh and bright tasting.

  31. Laura, Meg, I am so glad this post is brining back memories of your childhood too – those are so precious!

    Emily, Tina, Madge, torviewtoronto, Samantha, Blog is the New Black… Thank you for stopping by and for your comments – always so grateful for the kind words.

  32. My mother is French-Canadian, and she used to keep three crêpe pans going at once on Sunday mornings! So I, too, have fond childhood memories of crêpes, and the sweet fruit fillings that always accompanied them.

  33. Your story brings back memories of my grandmother, who would always be making crepes and compote.

  34. Absolutely beautiful.

    And the story is absolutely wonderful, too!

  35. The crepes look wonderful-this kind of inspires me to get in the kitchen and try my hand at them. Thanks for sharing such a delicious and elegant dessert recipe.

  36. deliciously done crepe looks wonderful

  37. What a wonderful story from your childhood! Thanks for sharing it and your recipe!

  38. I’ve been wanting to tackle crêpes for awhile now, Maybe I’ll give this a go! Thanks for the recipe!

  39. Looks sensational! (New reader here! Hello! 😉 )

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