Recipe: Crepe madame

Like so many aspects of French cuisine, the crepe is a work of subtle complexity. Minimal ingredients, thoughtfully combined, create something simple but perfect.

But, of course, for all of its lightly-browned, malleable magnificence, a crepe is only as delicious as what you choose to fill it with.

While we’re fans of slathering our crepes with a few generous spoonfuls of our incredible The Essential Ingredient Raspberry Jam, or that classic combination of lemon and vanilla-infused sugar, sometimes we’re in the mood for something a little more savoury and substantial.

Taking inspiration from the croque madame – another flawlessly simple Parisienne classic – this crepe madame is filled with ham carved off the bone, a fried egg, and a cheesy gruyere white sauce spiked with our classic Australian made The Essential Ingredient Dijon-Style Mustard, made to a traditional French recipe.

Prefer to keep things vegetarian? Sautéed mushrooms and spinach are just as delicious.

Our specialised The Essential Ingredient Non-Stick Crepe Pan features a durable non-stick surface that is resistant to any warping, blistering or peeling. The sunken lip on one edge makes it easy to flip and lift crepes, and the removable handle makes storage easy.

Ingredients

Serves 4 (two crepes per person)
FOR THE CREPES:
125g plain white flour
200mL milk
2 eggs
20g butter, melted, plus extra for the pan
FOR THE FILLING:
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp plain white flour
2 cups milk
2 loosely-filled cups grated gruyere cheese
2 tsp Dijon mustard View
Salt
Freshly ground white pepper View
4 eggs
8 slices ham off the bone
Chives
Freshly ground black pepper View

To make the crepes, combine the milk, eggs and melted butter in a bowl or jug and whisk until well incorporated. Pour the flour into a large bowl and, while whisking the flour, slowly pour in the liquid mix. Whisk until batter forms, adding more milk or flour as needed (consistency should be that of cream).

Warm crepe pan over a medium heat and coat with a little butter (while the non-stick pan doesn’t require this, it will add an appealing golden colour to the crepe).

Pour in a ladle full of the crepe batter and swirl it around the pan until base is coated. Cook for approximately 1 minute, or until the top of the crepe is mostly dry and beginning to bubble. Flip the crepe and cook for another 30 seconds, then remove onto a plate. Repeat with the remaining batter, or until you have 8 crepes.

To make the cheese sauce, warm the milk in a small saucepan. In a seperate saucepan, melt the butter over a medium heat, then add the flour and stir until slightly browned. Slowly pour the warmed milk over the flour mix while whisking, and keep stirring until it thickens into a sauce. Add the cheese and mustard, stir to combine, then season with salt and white pepper to taste. Leave off the heat to cool and thicken slightly.

Lay a crepe on a board or plate and spread one half with cheese sauce. Cover sauce with a layer of ham, then fold crepe in half and half again. Repeat with 7 more crepes.

Place filled crepes on a paper-lined baking tray, and toast under griller for 2 minutes or until crepe and cheese begin to brown.

Fry 4 eggs sunny-side-up.

Transfer 2 stuffed crepes to each plate, and top with a fried egg. Season egg with salt and freshly ground black pepper and some chives, and serve.

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