Friday, 1 February 2013

J'adore ....c'est la chandeleur!

Tomorrow, the 2nd February is La Chandeleur...traditionally a religous ceremony to mark the end of winter, and in the past, people would walk to church carrying huge candles.  Nowadays La Chandeleur means crepes, delicious, thin sweet or savoury pancakes, but some families do carry on the old traditions.
A euro is gripped in the hand you hold the pan handle with and then you toss the crepe.  If you don't drop the euro or the crepe you will enjoy a prosperous year.
The first tossed crepe should be placed on top of an armoire (wardrobe or dresser) and left there for the whole year.  This is said to ensure that the family don't go hungry throughout the year.  More like the mice don't go hungry! .
In the Morvan, a poor rural area, children used to collect eggs for a crapiaud, a thicker type of crepe, more like an omelette,  made with lots of eggs and maybe an onion and a little bacon.  It made a hearty lunch.
Here's a great, authentic crepe recipe below courtesy of Chocolate & Zucchini an amazing blog written by fabulous foodie Clotilde Dusoulier, a 33-year-old Parisian woman who lives in Montmartre.

- 250 grams (2 cups) flour
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 50 grams (1/4 cup) sugar
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 240 ml (1 cup) milk
- 240 ml (1 cup) purified water
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons rum (optional)
- vegetable oil for cooking

Pour the flour in a large mixing bowl, and form a well in the center. Add the salt, sugar, vanilla, and eggs into the well. Whisk gently in the center so the eggs will blend with part - not all - of the flour. Pour in the milk and water slowly, whisking as you pour. Keep whisking until all the flour is incorporated; the batter will be thin. Add the oil and the rum, if using, and whisk again. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 hours, preferably overnight.
Remove the batter from the fridge and whisk it again. Set a thick-bottomed, low-rimmed skillet over high heat. Wait until it is very hot, enough to make a drop of water sizzle. Spray the pan with good-quality vegetable oil, or dip a folded paper towel in a ramekin that contains a little vegetable oil, and wipe it over the pan to grease it lightly (watch your fingers).
Ladle a little batter in the pan, just enough to cover the pan thinly, and swish the pan around in a slow circular motion so the batter forms a round disk. Cook for 40 seconds, or until the edges start to turn golden and pull slightly away from the sides. Run the tip of a hard spatula around the crêpe to loosen, peek underneath, and flip the crêpe when you see that it is nice and golden. Cook for 20 more seconds on the other side, or until golden as well, and slip out of the pan onto a plate. (Note that the first crêpe of the batch is usually a dud.) Grease the skillet again every two or three crêpes.
Serve the crêpes from the skillet as you make them, or pile them on a heatproof plate set over a saucepan of simmering water, covering the crêpes with foil until ready to serve. The batter and crêpes will keep for 2 to 3 days in the fridge, tightly covered.

(This recipe can be used for savory crêpes also -- just hold the sugar, vanilla and rum.)


  1. Thanks for the shout-out, and a belated but happy Chandeleur!

  2. Thank you for dropping by...great to hear from you. Is it cold in Paris? Le Morvan is a winter wonderland today.

  3. I can't think you enough for this recipe! I have been looking for a great crepe recipe for years. Living in the US means everyone has a recipe, but its never quite right. This was perfect! So impressed. My husbanf and I traveled a lot before our four kids. We never wanted to be the parents in Italy or France feeding their kids mcdoos. So today I was happy when my kids were sick and requesting crepes with creme fraice. I knew I was doing something right. And this recipe is our new standard!

  4. Glad I could help! Hope your kids are feeling better now. Perhaps I think I should share some more recipes!!