Sunday, April 3, 2011

Bampa's Crepes

Out of all the recipes I have ever made, this one is probably steeped in the most family history, of both my own childhood and my mom's.  I was gifted a set of family recipes from my aunt when I got engaged, and this recipe was among them.  When my mom and aunt were growing up, their father made these "big pancakes" every Saturday for them like he used to have as a boy.  All the crepes were made at once and kept warm in a low oven, tempting them with their sweet smell through the whole process.  The "pancakes" were folded and filled with jam or sugar and devoured by the two young Sittler girls.

I'm not sure I quite understood it at the time, but my father continued this tradition and made me and my brother crepes every weekend through our childhood.  I was partial to strawberry jam filling (and probably would refuse any substitutes) whereas my brother preferred maple syrup.  The batter needs to rest for about an hour after you mix it and before you crepe it, which worked out perfectly in our family because my dad always wakes up before the sun rises.

I'm not sure if Bampa was such an early riser, though.  "Bampa" was what we called my grandpa.  I only have four cousins and the eldest pronounced "Grandpa" closer to "Bampa."  The name stuck for the rest of us kids, and that's the only way I've ever known him.  When I see black licorice I think of him, and when I make these crepes he's right there with me.

I'm not sure what ingredients are usually found in crepes, but this recipe is minimalistic and allows you to dress the crepes up how you prefer, and let those ingredients shine.  I opted for a chocolate peanut butter spread (like Nutella) and raspberry jam (in separate crepes).  John likes to differentiate himself, just like my brother did, by choosing something different and going with plain powdered sugar.  However you dress them, these crepes make for a wonderful weekend treat that would make my Bampa proud.

Bampa's Crepes
A Sittler Family recipe

1 cup flour
Pinch salt
1 1/4 cups milk
2 eggs
1 tablespoon oil

Mix all ingredients in blender, in stand mixer, with a hand mixer, or by hand and let sit to thicken for at least an hour on the counter.

Heat a heavy skillet on medium high until drops of water sizzle.  Heat a bit of oil or butter on the hot skillet and when skillet is coated add just enough batter to coat the pan (either swirl the pan or use a crepe spreader).  "Fry" until cooked through and flip to brown on the other side.  If you want to make all the crepes at once, keep them warm in the oven set to 200 degrees.  Serve rolled up with favorite jam, Nutella, and/or powdered sugar.

Leftovers can be chopped up t o crisp pieces and served with powdered sugar.


  1. My dad's dad was from Strasbourg and he started the tradition in the family about a hundred years ago. Yup, really--one hundred years. Thanks, Kathy, for the wonderful retrospective and reminder.

  2. I found your blog whilst hunting for crepe recipes and absolutely fell in love with your "Sprinkle" powerdered sugar sifter. Coming up empty on my google searches, I have to ask if you recall where you got it?! Thanks in advance! Geneva (msswiss18 at gmail dot com)


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