Along the Algarve Coast of Portugal is the small fishing town of Lagos. Hugely popular as a summer destination, this idyllic seaside town is made up of cobbled pedestrian streets and miles of crescent beaches flanked by impressive cliffs. In the heart of Lagos, at the Rising Cock hostel, Mama takes great care of her guest and makes sure to serve hot fresh crêpes every morning.
10 years after our first visit to Lagos we returned, the ocean and friendly Portuguese people beckoning us back. There was Mama happily cooking up crêpes, telling us to pull up a stool and eat as many as we liked. Backpackers came and went, sitting around the small table, having their fill of crêpes before another day of sunbathing on the beach or going on the infamous Booze Cruise.
Lucky for us Mama shared her recipe with us before we left, and although there are many crêpe recipes online, this one is special to us. The addition of a tablespoon of cornstarch gives those crispy lacy edges that makes a crêpe just that much better than a pancake.
There’s no denying crêpes can be fickle things, but I’m quite sure Mama didn’t use a special crêpe pan, in fact she had these going on multiple burners to keep up with the demand. With a little trial and error we managed to whip these up in a cast iron pan and before long were feasting on a stack of crêpes proudly made at home.
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoon oil
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- pinch of salt
- pinch of sugar
- (Optional - Vanilla, lemon zest)
- Whisk your eggs in a large bowl.
- Add in the liquids.
- Pour in the flour, cornstarch, salt and sugar.
- Depending on your desired flavors add in the optional vanilla or lemon zest.
- Whisk to combine everything together. (You can also blend all ingredients in a blender and wait 30 min - 1 hour for the bubbles to subside)
- Heat up a small or medium pan over low to medium heat. (A pan with a flat bottom surface that is relatively non stick, such as a seasoned cast iron pan, or a specialty crêpe pan, works best.)
- Use the handle to hold the pan at an angle, and using a ladle scoop a small amount of the batter into the pan, swirling the mixture to cover the pan. You want the batter to spread quite thin so it cooks quickly and doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
- The first crêpe is often a throw away while the pan heats up and you get your settings right.
- Cook for several minutes until the edges start to rise and the bottom is golden, and use a spatula to flip the crêpe over.
- Cook the second side until golden and transfer to a plate to keep warm until ready to serve.
- Serve with fresh fruit, yogurt or whipped cream, a squeeze of lemon and sugar, Nutella and banana, savory asparagus and cheese, the possibilities are endless!