While February 2nd finds most Americans watching for the shadow of their favorite Groundhog, the French are busy celebrating La Chandeleur.
A holiday marking the return of spring during the midway point of winter, with the promise of warmer days ahead, it's said the round-shaped crêpes represent the sun. The celebration of Candlemas is also woven into the history of La Chandeleur. Most notably though, it is the day of crêpes!
A French classic, centuries old, the crêpe is essentially a “delicate” pancake. Lacking a rising agent (like baking powder), crêpes come out flatter than the traditional pancake many Americans are familiar with. While traditionally, pancakes are a sweeter food, crêpes can be both sweet and savory depending on the toppings.
The region of France you hail from will dictate the flavor of your crêpes! The addition of rum, orange blossom, or even beer lends a subtle flavor to the thin French pancakes. In the South of France, crêpes are likely to use orange blossom for flavoring. Recipes from the North of France use dark rum or beer to infuse flavor.
Our Customer Experience Specialist Rep, Raphaëlle, who is from Provence in the South of France, shares her recipe for crêpes in celebration of La Chandeleur.
1 cup (250 g) all purpose flour
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 pinch salt
3 tbsp (50 g) unsalted butter, melted
1 ¾ cup (450 ml) full fat milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Option 1: 2 tbsp orange blossom essence
Option 2: 2 tbsp dark rum
Option 3: 4 tsp beer (orange infused beers are best!)
Depending on thickness of batter, the recipe will make 10-15 crepes.
To Make the Batter:
Melt the butter and leave the milk at room temperature for a bit (to avoid lumps in your batter)
In a large bowl, sift the flour, then mix in the sugar and salt. Once combined, create a well in the middle.
Add the eggs and melted butter into the well, and whisk.
When the batter is too thick to whisk, slowly stir in the milk. Mix well to avoid lumps. Batter will be a thin, runny consistency.
Add vanilla extract, and flavor option 1, 2, or 3.
Leave the batter to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
To Cook the Crêpes:
Warm up a large, round, non-stick pan on medium-high heat.
Melt 1 tsp of butter, making sure the butter covers the entire surface.
Tip: For more flavor, let the butter become “noisette” for a few seconds so it turns slightly brown. You will know the butter is “noisette” when it stops “singing”.
Using a ladle, pour just enough batter to cover the bottom of the hot pan. Avoid adding too much - crêpes are meant to be thin!
Swirl the batter around the pan to get an even thin layer.
Crêpes will cook quickly - depending on your stovetop, average 90 seconds for each side. When the edges start to brown, flip the crêpe. Seasoned pros can flip a crêpe into the air with the flick of the wrist, and catch it back in the pan!
Once both sides are cooked, pile the crêpes on a plate and serve warm.
Top the Crêpes:
For sweet crêpes, we recommend spreading your favorite jam (we love apricot and cherry!), Nutella and bananas, or even just a squeeze of lemon with a pinch of sugar!
For savory crêpes, anything from eggs with ham and cheese to smoked salmon with creme, dill and lemon make for delicious toppings! The options are endless.
Can’t decide? Try a mix with goat cheese and honey or apples and brie!
As for serving them up, you can fold them into a triangle(the classic - and best way, in our opinion), roll them (a favorite among kids), or fold in half (most often used with savory crêpes)!