Monte Cristo Crêpes
A Monte Cristo sandwich is a ham and cheese sandwich with a layer of strawberry jam, that is then egg-dipped and pan-fried in butter. The sweet and savory flavors, along with the melty cheese and crispy bread are heavenly.
I’ve only had a Monte Cristo once, but I remember it well. My stepfather had come to Santa Barbara, California, where I was attending college, and he took me to lunch at a well known Mexican restaurant downtown called El Paseo, which was housed in a popular fiesta venue known for its retractable ceiling. I found this photo on Pinterest!
How I came to choose the Monte Cristo sandwich that day is beyond me, but I loved the flavor combinations.
The traditional Monte Cristo sandwich recipe is generally the following:
Firm sandwich bread slices
Sliced Swiss cheese
Jambon de Bayonne or other good thinly-sliced ham
Strawberry jam (not preserves) or red currant jelly
Mayo mixed with some whole-grain mustard
Eggs whisked for dipping
Butter for pan frying
The Monte Cristo is always sliced in half before serving, so the beautiful layers show, and sprinkled with powdered sugar. This photo is from Bon Appetit, although it doesn’t show the layers.
Thanks to general pandemic googling, I came across Monte Cristo Crêpes from Serious Eats, by Morgan Eisenberg, WOW! I was so excited to make these. From the recipe’s creator, whose blog is Host the Toast: “It’s a masterpiece of the sweet-and-savory genre, and it turns out it’s just as good in crepe form.”
Monte Cristo Crêpes
adapted by Morgan Eisenberg
1/2 cup strawberry jam (not preserves)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
6 basic crêpes, unsweetened
6 slices Havarti cheese
Grated Gruyere, about 6 ounces
12 thin slices deli ham*
2 large eggs
1 egg yolk
Pinch of salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
Confectioners’ sugar, to dust
Assorted berries, for garnish (optional)
In a small bowl, thoroughly whisk together jelly and mustard. Spread a thin, even layer of the jelly mixture over each of 6 crêpes. Warm first if necessary.
Top each crêpe with 1 slice of each cheese and then layer the ham on top of the cheese.
Sprinkle some grated Gruyere around the outside of each crêpe to help everything to hold together – about 1 ounce each. I used my microwave on a very low setting to just get the cheese warm and slightly melted in order to hold the crêpes together before continuing with the recipe.
Roll the crepe up tightly and and set seam-side down. Press gently. Repeat for remaining crepes.
In a large bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, egg yolk and salt. Have a non-stick skillet over medium heat, starting with about 2 tablespoons of butter melting. Using your fingers, briefly dip a crêpe into the egg mixture. Allow excess to drip off and transfer to the skillet, seam-side down.
Fry crepes until golden all over, turning once. Everything is already cooked, so you’re just looking for some nice browning.
Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining crepes, frying one or two at a time and adding butter as needed.
Serve any remaining jam-Dijon mixture.
Dust crepes with powdered sugar, if desired.
Serve warm with berries. See the beautiful layers?
I might have made these extra cheesy, because the cheese “juice” as my husband calls it, just poured out of these!
But so did the cheese, which was lovely.
I have a lot of experience with crêpes, but with all of the ooziness, I didn’t think they looked very pretty free-form. I might make these again more in casserole form, even though I detest that word! I also think larger diameter crepes would have been easier to manage.
*Since I used Serrano ham, which is similar to prosciutto, I only used 6 slices total.
mmmm…serrano ham!! These savoury sandwiched crepes are right up my alley. They remind me of savoury French toast :-))
They were so good! I just wished they looked prettier, which was my lacking in patience.
So may possibilities here!
I just wish they hadn’t drooped so much!
But they tasted delicious, so that trumps the droop!
What an unusual combination but they look and sound yummy!
It’s a fabulous combination! Yes, a surprising one, but it works!
Love one of my favorite filling is in a crepe instead of bread. It looks fantastic!
Thanks, Denise! Crepes are fantastic little packages!
I love your description of the Monte Cristo as much as your recipe for the crepes. I can’t believe that I’ve never had a Monte Cristo!
I can’t either! Nah, just kidding, since I’ve only had one in my whole life. I have no idea if they’re popular on the west coast or what. But they’re fabulous!
I love Monte Cristos – as well as Croque Monsieurs and Madames – and I think the crêpe version is brilliant! I bet it would work for all three sandwiches. Thanks for recipe and idea!
Mine just drooped a bit and I don’t like that look. If I do this again, I’ll make bigger crepes so they hold up better. But yes, all 3 are fabulous!
Your crepes look fantastic, I like the sweet and savory combination.
Just a touch of sweet, and of course the ham and cheese are fabulous together!
Interesting variation, though I think I’d still stick to the one with bread and red currant jelly! :)
Exactly the same, but with thinner bread!
Croque Monsieurs and Madames are favorites at bistros in Paris, along with a cup of strong coffee or glass of wine. These look delicious Mimi, impossible to just eat one.
Oh yes – also outside of Paris. When I was young I had my first one in Nice! I remember it well, along with a baguette with butter and Jambon. These crepes were fabulous. Great flavors!
What a tasty morsel these are. They may have drooped and dripped but they sound delicious and I will have to give them a try. The combination of flavours is inviting also. AND I can pretend I’m back in Paris!!
Thanks Mimi. :))
You’re so welcome Madame! I think next time I’ll use larger crepes so they’ll be firmer or stronger for the filling. But, oh so good!
Monte Cristo was my brother’s favorite sandwich! You almost never see them on menus anymore!
I think the only one I saw was the one I ordered a million years ago! They’re so good.
I can understand using red currant jelly but not strawberry jam. I buy the same brand of jams here as they are sugar free and good quality. The ham and cheese in crêpe form sounds delicious.
I didn’t use strawberry preserves, if that’s what you’re thinking.
We love crepes! And your looks delicious Mimi! Great combinations too!
Aren’t they fabulous! They make such wonderful packages.
Very interesting way to make a crepe sandwich. It sure looked delicious. Maybe just closing it once instead of rolling it would give you the look you are trying for.
I was just following the recipe. A bigger crepe would hold everything in better, which is what I’ll do next time!
Yum! These look fabulous! Not having much of a sweet tooth, I much prefer savory crepes to the dessert ones (although I wouldn’t turn my nose up at either). I know they’s disappear real quick around here.. !
Me, too. I’m team savory. There’s very little jam, and honestly I could do without the powdered sugar, but I was following the recipe!
That seems unusual to have ham and cheese mixed with strawberry jam. But I’ve got a real sweet tooth so I would probably like it! I attended UC Santa Barbara for one year back in the 1060s. Is that where you also went to college?
Well, I wasn’t there in the 1060’s, but I was in the 1970’s! It’s unique but I wouldn’t call it unusual, just because it is a “thing!” Very very good.
My nephew loves to make crepes. I will share this recipe with him. I remember a crepe restaurant in OKC that, at the time, we thought was quite fancy. I think it was at 50 Penn Place. Can’t think of the name of it but I remember that my aunt hosted her sons christening brunch there in 1976ish.
Oh interesting. The Magic Pan? I googled, and I think I remember. How old is your nephew? That’s very cool he makes them. I used to get up early and make them for my sister and I!
Yes! That is it! The Nephew is 20. He’s gotten very culinary during the pandemic.
So have a lot of people, which I think is wonderful!
I’ve had Monte Cristo sandwiches before, but what a great idea to make a Monte Cristo crepe! It looks delicious!
I know! That’s why I had to make it!
Una vera bontà, adoro i sapori dolci e salati, grazie della ricetta!!!!
Fascinated by that Mexican restaurant that had the retractable ceiling Mimi! I can’t ever imagine something like that in Scotland though. However I can see me making these Monte Cristo Crepes. Lovely!
No, it would only be used a few days a year! I miss Scotland so much. I’ve been watching Men in Kilts, which you’d know about only if you’re a fan of Outlander. It’s really fun!
That restaurant with a retractable roof certainly is unique! And these crepes – they sound amazing! Like you, I’ve only had a Monte Cristo sandwich a couple of times at most. (There was a great brunch place in Atlanta that comes to mind…) Turning those flavors into crepes sounds like a lot of fun! I do agree with you that a casserole version would be easier to make – casseroles do get a bad rap, but they can be quite delicious if the right ingredients are used!
Of course. And in this case it would just be a way to tuck in all of the crêpes, similar to enchiladas. But also I’ll use larger crêpes next time so they’ll hold up better.
Now that is a brilliant adaptation! Sandwiches tend to get very heavy with all that dense bread, but crepes are so much more delicate, better to let the filling shine.
Exactly. They drooped, but were still delicious!
i love crepes, and these look beautiful. I’m just a bit uncertain about the jam and the icing sugar… I did see a recipe that mentioned raspberry jam with these; i think for me that would go down better as it’s a bit tangy rather than oversweet like strawberry jam. but anyway these look fab! Anything cooked up in butter has to be wonderful.
I should have been more clean in the comments, although I did show a photo. This wasn’t strawberry jam or preserves, but a smooth purée, with no sugar added. But seriously it’s a fabulous combination with the salty ham and creamy cheese!
How decadent do these look!? I could eat these every weekend. So good!
I know. So good.
My son, crepes lover, will definitely love this version. Must do !
They’re very good. Savory, but with a slightly sweet twist!
These look CRAZY good! I had my first Monte Cristo sandwich over 30 years ago at TGIF in Tulsa, Ok. It had such an impression on me that I can still taste that very first one. But this recipe for Monte Cristo crepes is such a brilliant idea. Now my mouth is watering for it. Thanks for a great recipe and your post taking me back to that first taste years ago.
TGIF had Monte Cristos ?! Wow! I’m guessing you were ten? If you do make these, make larger crepes to minimize the collapse of the fillings.
You surely know how to make people drool! I want one badly
Awww. Thanks! These are really great sandwiches, and even better crepes!
Sweet and savory! I love the idea of these. Would never have thought to make a Monte Cristo into crepes, but of course it makes total sense now. And, I’m all for more cheese juice! :)
Yes, that lovely cheese juice! These really were wonderful, as you can imagine,and I’m not a big sandwich person, so I loved them!
Monte Cristo sandwich is my husband’s favorite. I don’t think he has tried with crepes yet. Love the idea and looks so elegant.
It is elegant, and unique. I loved them!
I’m not going to lie, I’m excessively skeptical about the strawberry jam, but maybe it gives some interesting taste to the whole dish… Anyway I should try to have the final answer. The rest of the ingredients seem to match a bit more. I’m drooling actually! :)
Firstly, it’s not a thick layer of preserves. Secondly, it really goes well with the salty ham and the creaminess of the cheese. Think of the combinations of sweet stuff on a baked brie. (Although that’s now how I prefer a baked brie!)
I love how you mixed together the mustard and jam, Mimi. Nice twist on the traditional mustard and mayo. Did you serve them with warmed maple syrup? I’ve only had a Monte Cristo or two in my life (up “North”) and that’s how they served them. I meant it when i said I’m making these for my birthday dinner! (Possibly with your chocolate mousse?) But, my order of handmade truffles just arrived, so I’m still on the fence about dessert. ;) Blessings to you, my friend, for sharing your inspirational food ideas!
That’s actually the recipe that I used. No maple syrup, which I wouldn’t like as much. I like the jam mixed with mustard combo. Happy happy birthday!
Thanks much, Mimi! I was feeling “lazy” today (being 63 ‘n’ all, LOL) so I made Monte Cristo sandwiches instead of your crepes (next time…) for breakfast. Your Dijon/jam combo was spot on — so, so tasty! I also loved the egg yolk in your batter for color and taste. Wonderful! I did however make your Chocolate Mousse for dessert tonight… just dishing up. :) Thanks again!
What a fun birthday meal! 63? You’re just a baby!!!