Today is La Chandeleur – French Pancake Day

Every year on 2nd February it is pancake/Crêpe day… or rather La Chandeleur in France, the day of the Crêpe (French for pancake).

The ‘Fête de la Chandeleur’, is also known as Fête de la Lumière (nothing to do with the famous Fête de la Lumière in Lyon) and the jour des crèpes. The celebration dates back to Roman times when it was held to commemorate the purification of the Virgin Mary and the presentation of the baby Jesus.

Classic Crêpes:

Ingredients for 6-8 classic Crêpes

3/4 cup (125g) plain flour
pinch of salt
1 medium egg
11 oz (300ml) milk
2 tablespoons (25g) melted butter

Directions

1. Mix flour and salt in a basin, make a hollow in the centre and drop in the egg. Stir with a wooden spoon and add the milk gradually, until all the flour is worked in.

2. Beat well and add remaining milk and the melted butter.

3. The consistency should be like single cream.

4. Cooking: For each Crêpe, heat a small amount of butter in a frying pan. When it begins to smoke, stir the batter and pour approximately 3 tablespoons into the frying pan. When golden brown underneath, turn and cook other side.

5. Serving: Turn out on greaseproof paper, sprinkle with sugar and roll up or fold into quarters. Place on a hot dish and serve immediately with honey, jam, syrup, lemon or orange juice.

Crêpes/Pancakes keep well in the refrigerator and can be frozen.

Buckwheat Crêpes or Galettes (Gluten Free):

A French Crêpe/pancake recipe for a Buckwheat pancake known as a galette in France and a speciality of the region of Brittany (Bretagne).

Savoury Crêpes made with buckwheat flour, water and eggs are associated with Lower Brittany, whilst savoury pancakes made without eggs are from Upper Brittany. The Crêpes/pancakes are light and foamy and the buckwheat flour gives them an earthy, mildly mushroom-like taste.

Ingredients:

For 4 Galettes

1 cup (200g) buckwheat flour
1 egg beaten
1 cup (200ml) water
1 cup (200ml) milk
pinch salt salt
1/4 cup (30g) melted butter or 2 tablespoons olive oil

Method

1. Sieve the flour into a bowl, add the salt.

2. Add the water, milk and melted butter (or oil), beaten egg and whisk until you have a smooth creamy mix.

3. Leave to rest for a couple of hours (overnight in the fridge is best).

4. Put a lightly buttered/oiled non-stick frying pan on a medium heat and pour in some of the Crêpe/pancake mix.  Gently cook for 2-3 minutes then flip the pancake over (or use a spatula although it’s not as much fun).

Fill with filling of your choice – bacon and eggs, cheese and ham, mushrooms, onions, whatever you like.

4 FILLINGS FOR SAVORY CRÊPES:
Gruyère and ham are the most common fillings for savory crêpes, but of course there are other possibilities.

1. Any grated, thinly sliced, or crumbled cheese like Gruyère, Brie, soft goat, mozzarella, cheddar, or fresh cheese

2. Cooked, drained, and chopped vegetables, reheated in butter or oil; don’t bother to chop vegetables whose shape is naturally suited to rolled crêpes, like asparagus spears

3. Any thick stew of vegetables, meat, chicken, or seafood

4. Cooked beans or lentils

My Favorite The Crêpes Suzette :

Credit for inventing crepes Suzette is claimed by French restaurateur Henri Charpentier, who in 1894, at age 14, while an assistant waiter, accidentally set a sauce aflame when serving dessert to the Prince of Wales. Once the fire subsided, the sauce was so delicious that the prince asked that the dish be named for a young girl in his entourage, Suzette. 

First make the most delicious French Crêpe from the recipe above

Then make the sauce:

Juice of 2 oranges
Juice of 2 lemons
1/4 cup (50 g) of icing (confectioners) sugar
5 oz (15 cl) Grand Marnier
1 cup (125 g) butter (cut into 9 pieces)

french-crepe-suzette-recipe

1. Place the sugar in a pan over a medium heat and melt gently until caramelised.

2. Squeeze the oranges and lemons.

3. Add the orange juice to the sugar and stir to blend.

4. Bring to the boil and when it is caramelised add the lemon juice.

5. Reduce the juice for a few minutes and then add the butter and mix until all is blended.

6. Add the Grand Marnier, bring to the boil and then careful flambé the mixture.

7. place a Crêpe/pancake in the pan, turn it over and drench in the juice. Fold it in half then in half again and pop onto a plate.

Repeat for all the Crêpes/pancakes, pouring over some of the juice on the plate.

Bon appetit!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *