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Plain Sugared CrÍpes

For this recipe you will need a small saucepan; a food processor or stand mixer; a fine conical sieve; a glass measuring cup or pitcher; a rubber spatula; a metal spatula; and a well-seasoned 10-inch skillet, crêpe pan or griddle.

Ingredients
for the crêpes
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted European-style butter
3 large eggs
1 cup (8 ounces) whole milk
4.7 ounces (about 1 sifted cup) Fine Pastry Flour
5 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 ½ tablespoons dark rum
1 ½ tablespoons Cointreau or Grand Marnier

for cooking the crêpes:
3 tablespoons (1 ½ ounces) European-style unsalted butter

for dressing the crêpes
soft butter or Lemon Butter
granulated sugar

Directions
1. Brown the butter: Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape the browning milk solids back into the butter, until the butter is the color of a filbert in the shell and the kitchen smells miraculous, about 3 minutes. Pull the pan off the heat and set it aside to cool just slightly..

2. To make the crêpe batter in a food processor: Place the eggs in the work bowl and process to liquefy. Add the flour, sugar and salt and run the processor until the mixture is smooth, shiny and drips heavily from a spoon, pausing the machine once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the processor running, pour the warm butter through the tube, pausing once to scrape down the sides of the bowl. As the machine continues to run, add the milk and liqueurs. Remove the lid, detach the bowl and pour the crêpe batter through a fine conical sieve set over a 4-quart glass measuring cup or a similarly-sized vessel with a pour spout. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 24.

3. To make the crêpe batter with a stand mixer: beat the eggs with the paddle attachment on medium speed until combined, about 20 seconds. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the flour, sugar and salt. Increase the heat to medium-high and continue to beat, scraping down the bowl from time to time, until the mixture is smooth, shiny and drips heavily from a spoon. Reduce the heat to low and add the warm butter in a slow steady stream, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary. With the mixer running, add the milk in 3 additions, scraping the sides of the bowl. Stir in the liqueurs. Pour the crêpe batter through a fine conical sieve set over a 4-quart glass measuring cup or a or a similarly-sized vessel with a pour spout. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 24.

4. Clarify the butter: Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove the pan from the heat, tilt it, and skim off the surface foam with a spoon. Discard the foam. Spoon the clear yellow butterfat into a bowl, leaving the watery milk solids in the pan behind. Discard the milk solids. Set the butter aside.

5. Cook the crêpes: Heat a well-seasoned 10-inch skillet, griddle or crêpe pan over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Add half a teaspoon of clarified butter to the skillet—it should smoke—and polish the bottom with folded paper towels to glaze it with butter. Drop a teaspoon or so of batter onto the skillet to test the heat. If the heat is correct, the skillet will sizzle appreciatively and the bottom surface of crêpe will show lacy brown blisters when lifted with the edge of a spatula; if it is not, the bottom surface will be smooth, like a pancake. When the temperature is correct, pour about a third cup of batter across the upper half of the skillet, and begin tipping the pan back and forth to cover the bottom with a thin, even layer. The skillet should be hot enough to grip the batter as it travels across the pan and issue the sound of distant, but enthusiastic, applause. Turn the crêpe with a spatula. Make the crêpes one by one and serve them hot, lacy side up.

Makes 14 10-inch crêpes