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Julia Child gave Americans 'French pancakes'

Julia Child didn't hesitate to blend modern convenience and traditional technique. In "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," she introduced Americans to "French pancakes," or crepes, as well as the traditional iron pans used to cook them in France.

But she also urged people to make the batter in a blender, which saves time and effort. She later recommended cooking the crepes in a nonstick skillet, rather than the hard-to-find and care for crepe pans.

Child extolled the virtues of crepes in both sweet and savory recipes, suggesting them as dessert as well as a fitting wrap for leftovers. In one of the most iconic episodes of her public television series, "The French Chef," Child made crepes suzette, in which crepes are bathed in an orange-butter sauce and liqueur, then ignited.


Start to finish: 45 minutes (15 minutes active)

Makes twenty 5-inch or ten 8-inch crepes

1 cup all-purpose flour

2?3 cup cold milk

2?3 cup cold water

3 large eggs

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons melted butter, plus more for brushing on the pan

In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Heat a 5- to 8-inch crepe pan or nonstick skillet over medium-high until drops of water dropped onto it dance. Brush the pan lightly with melted butter. Pour in 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter and tilt the pan in all directions to cover the bottom evenly.

Cook for about 1 minute, or until browned on the bottom. Turn and cook briefly on the other side.

Cool the finished crepe on a rack while repeating the process with remaining batter. When cooled, crepes can be stacked and refrigerated for 2 days or frozen for several weeks.

(Recipe adapted from Julia Child's "Julia's Kitchen Wisdom," Knopf, 2009)