A banana crepe is a very thin pancake filled with whole or sliced bananas. These crepes may also contain other fruits and fillings that complement the banana taste. While they are typically eaten with a knife and fork at breakfast, some small crêperie snack stands serve banana crepes rolled up in the form of a portable cone eaten barehanded.
The crepe has its origins in Brittany, France. Fillings for crepes range from savory to sweet. Savory fillings are more popular choices for brunch, lunch, or dinner, while sweet crepes are usually served for breakfast or dessert. Most crepes with fruit fillings, including banana crepes, are considered sweet crepes.
A cook starts making a banana crepe by mixing the crepe batter. Recipes for crepe batter vary, but the vast majority of cooks use eggs, milk, flour, salt, and butter in their recipes. Sugar and vanilla extract are also common, but not necessary. There are more liquid ingredients than dry ingredients, which produces a very thin, fluid batter that pours easily. After mixing the batter, the cook pours a portion of it into a circle on a greased skillet and cooks until the crepe is solid and lightly browned on both sides.
Once the crepes themselves are made, the cook creates a banana filling. The simplest option is to line sliced bananas down the center of the crepe, but most banana crepes also include some other filling. One of the most common accompanying fillings is a sweet cream made by mixing heavy whipping cream and sugar. The cook spreads a portion of this cream down the center of the crepe and lines sliced bananas on top.
The banana crepe is a very versatile dish, and along with the standard cream filling, cooks often pair the banana with other fruits, chocolate, and more. Strawberries are one of the most common fruits matched with bananas, but additional fruit options include other berries and creams with a hint of orange flavor. Many cooks also use chocolate and caramel for spreads and drizzles to create a banana crepe suitable for dessert. Peanut butter and nuts make very simple, easy additions, as well. An individual cook's variation of banana crepes is limited only by his or her taste preferences and creativity.
After the banana filling is inside the crepe, the cook rolls up the pastry and serves it. The most traditional way to serve a banana crepe is to roll the pastry around the filling and place the rolled up crepe on a plate. If appropriate, the cook may also opt to dust it with powdered sugar and serve it with whipped cream. An individual eating this type of crepe must eat it with a knife and fork.
While not as common, some cooks roll the crepe into a cone shape and serve it as a hand-held snack or dessert. Served in this manner, the banana crepe resembles an ice cream cone, and some even include ice cream as an accompaniment to the bananas. This version of the crepe is especially common at crêperie stands in countries like France and Japan, but these stands are not often found in the United States.