In France , 40 days after Christmas every year on February 2nd , we celebrate ” La Chandeleur ” by making crepes !
The date actually marks when Jesus was presented at the temple in Jerusalem.But Before becoming a religious holiday, Chandeleur stemmed from several pagan traditions celebrating the fertility of the earth and the beginning of the end of winter.
It’s said that in the 5th century, Pope Gelasius I started the Festival des Chandelles on this date, a candlelit procession through the streets of Rome that culminated in placing the blessed candles in the churches. Gelasius linked this custom to crêpes by handing out galettes (a type of salty crêpe) to poor pilgrims who arrived in Rome that day.
Nowadays the crepes themselves are the most important thing about La Chandeleur !
Just like King cakes in January, we eat Crepes all month of February . It’s time to flip some crepes !
For the occasion we have stocked up Francine flour from France , a flour that does not makes lumps or gives you stomach cramps ( $6.60 /bag 1kilo /2.2 Lbs)
Making crepes is as easy as 1-2-3 !
One : ( For 8-10 crepes ) Weigh 200gr of flour . Ad 5 large eggs and mix until smooth . Then ad 2 Tbs of granulated sugar and 500ml of milk little by little ( to make even smoother crepes use a combination of milk and whipping cream 350ml /150ml )
Deux: I added a few extras just because …vanilla beans, orange flower blossom,orange zest , dark rhum …what ever you like best ! Skip this if you want to make savory crepes and just ad a pinch of salt . ( We cannot get those shakers to make crepe batter anymore so just use a ladle to pour the batter onto the pan)
Trois: No lumps , perfect consistency crepe batter going in !
Swirl and cook on high heat until it browns on the side and bubble …just like pancakes. It is all in the “tour de main” to make an even crepe, not too thin or too thick .
Then comes the flip …traditionally you flip the crepe with one hand while holding a coin in the other hand ….if the crepe land in the pan , it is good fortune , good harvest to come . I can do that …or could do that …but nowadays I play it safe : my technique is to get a very flat spatula under the crepe all the way to the center and then flip . 1st Crepe is usually “bad” and either trashed or for the cook …as the cook , I take that 1st bad crepe with just sugar …you can really taste the vanilla , orange zest…
A real good crepe is soft and melt in your mouth…the secret is all the fat you put in the batter: whole milk versus skim milk ; my ancient recipe even says that to make “fine” crepes add an extra egg …most of the crepes we buy at farmer’s markets , trucks…are like cardboard to me and made under low heat witch is not ideal .
I like to melt a little chunk of butter after I flip the crepe, let it melt , ad some Grand Marnier and granulated sugar . It is soaked in juices and the most delicious crepe you can ever serve !