Pancakes are universally loved, but unless you’re particularly obsessed, you probably don’t get to make them every weekend. You may have spotted our fantastic Seamless Iron Crepe Pan by Solidteknics and thought, “if only I made pancakes more often!” (we feel your pain). But whilst this brilliant bit of cookware certainly makes a perfect pancake, don’t be misled by its name. With its flat shape and solid iron construction, a crepe pan lends itself to all sorts of uses.
From crispy fried eggs to pizzas, your durable crepe pan is actually a multi-talented kitchen workhorse. We find the versatility it possesses is often undersold - there’s so much you can do with a flat, low-walled, oven-ready griddling surface! Here are five pancakeless dishes the Buy Me Once team cook with their crepe pans:
1. Seared steak
Made from one seamless piece of solid wrought iron, this crepe pan makes the perfect searing surface. It can climb to screaming hot temperatures, holding its heat without warping or creating hot spots. This makes it ideal for creating a smokey seared crust on a steak, a piece of fish or even firm tofu.
Top tip: to ensure even cooking, always take your steaks out of the fridge in advance so they can get to room temperature prior to searing.
2. The ultimate toastie
If you’d rather not buy a huge electric toastie maker (it certainly won’t have a multi-century warranty), the crepe pan makes beautiful toasted sandwiches in a doddle. Simply craft your sandwich, butter the external sides of the bread and fry gently until melty and delicious. The crepe pan can also be happily placed inside the oven - so why not top with extra cheese and grill, for an indulgent croque monsieur?
Top tip: keep the temperature at a medium-low heat so that the contents of your toastie can heat through before the bread burns.
Due to its ability to hold heat, the crepe pan works brilliantly as a pizza stone inside any oven. The slight ridge around the edge of the pan ensures your crust will sit up slightly to contain all your toppings, without spillover. At 24cm, it makes a perfect pizza for one person - and once it’s hot, you can churn one out every few minutes! Due to its flat shape, pizzas can gracefully slide off the crepe pan with ease.
Top tip: Pre-heating your crepe pan in the oven will ensure your pizza’s crust cooks at the same rate as the toppings. It’s the difference between getting a nice crisp bottom, and soggy raw dough in the middle.
4. The ultimate fried eggs
You may have assumed that a non-stick pan is the best tool for the job when it comes to frying eggs. But have you heard of the crispy egg method? It’s a game-changing technique that involves getting your pan really hot over a medium heat, then adding olive oil (which should smoke immediately), before cracking in your eggs with generous seasoning. The eggs splutter, bubble and crispen, and become something really magical. Try it!
Non-stick pans won’t do the job here, firstly because they can’t withstand very high temperatures, but also because their water-repellant properties make it hard for them to create a proper crisp crust on foods. The Solidteknics crepe pan’s solid iron construction is ideal, as well as its flat shape, which makes sliding your eggs onto your plate a doddle.
Top tip: as well as a generous grind of salt and pepper, have you ever tried sprinkling dried mixed herbs and pepper flakes onto your fried eggs?
From Indian chapatis to Mexican tortillas, freshly-made flatbreads are a fantastic accompaniment to many meals, and perfect to make with children. Because flatbreads don’t need to rise, most recipes tend to be incredibly simple - basic flatbreads just require flour, water, salt and oil. Then simply knead your dough, divide into balls, roll out and dry-fry. The crepe pan makes an ideal surface to get them puffy and lightly blackened in minutes.
Top tip: combine butter with crushed garlic, chopped herbs or chilli flakes and brush onto your freshly-made flatbreads. Yum!
Bonus round: making perfect pancakes
Seeing as we’ve made it this far down the list whilst avoiding pancakes, we might as well give you the rundown on how to make the perfect crepe. Everyone’s got their own method, but here’s a basic recipe you can rely on time and time again. This recipe should make 10-12 pancakes in total.
- Sift 100g plain flour into a mixing bowl and poke a well into the middle of it.
- In another bowl, whisk together 2 eggs, 1 tablespoon of caster sugar and 250ml milk.
- Pour this mixture into the well, and then use a balloon whisk or electric mixer to beat into a smooth batter.
- Add a little oil to your crepe pan and wipe all over the cooking surface with a paper towel. Preheat the pan over a medium heat until the oil is smoking.
- Add about a teaspoon of butter to the pan and spread around the base as it foams. Ladle about 3 tablespoons of the pancake batter into the pan, swirling it around to spread.
- Cook each pancake for 3-4 minutes, then flip over for a final minute on the other side. Keep the stack warm by covering with foil and placing in a low oven.
- Serve with your favourite savoury or sweet toppings. We love classic lemon and sugar… or fried mushrooms with taleggio cheese!
Not sure whether you’re ready to make the change to iron pans? Check out our article on how to season and maintain your iron cookware.