La Chandeleur and the best crêpe recipe

La Chandeleur (Candlemas) is a Christian religious holiday quite widespread in Europe and celebrated on Feb. 2nd. Its origin goes back to pagan time, when people used to celebrate the arrival of longer days and the new winter planting, lighting fires. When Pope Gelasius I decided to Christianize this holiday between 492 and 496 AD, he kept the lighting candles celebration and this is the reason behind the name La Chandeleur, that actually comes from the word chandelle (“candle”).

Even if its religious meaning faded away in the last decades, the tradition of making crêpes is still alive. If you don’t believe me, all you have to do is to go to a grocery store or a bakery… you will be surrounded by crêpes or the ingredients you need to make them. Why crêpes and no other sweet treats? Because at this time of the year, at the beginning of the new planting, peasants used their excess flour to make them! Inexpensive but delicious! Also, their round shape and golden color reminded people of the sun.

The tradition has it that you can read your fortune during the crêpe making. When using a frying pan, you need to flip the crêpe without letting it fall! If it falls, it brings bad luck, if not, next year will be great. In the past, a coin was added to complicate the task: you had to keep the pan in your right hand and the coin in your left hand while flipping your pancake… so difficult!!! Nowadays no one does this, but you can still try it with your own currency if you want!

If it were a normal year, I would have suggested you to go and enjoy a crêpe at Breizh Cafe but well, lockdown is upon us again and restaurants are closed so I am sharing with you their special recipe! I hope you will enjoy it and have a great Chandeleur with your family and friends!

Crêpe with brown sugar and butter

INGREDIENTS: Serves 32 (I know… 32 crêpes is a lot! I’ve got this recipe directly from the Breizh Cafe Cook book. Just do the math and adapt the ingredients to your needs! Remember that you can keep your homemade crêpes for 2 to 3 days in the fridge)

12 organic eggs

300g cane sugar

1kg organic stone-ground wheat flour from Brittany (or from your own country! Good quality is mandatory)

2 liters organic milk

Slightly salted organic butter (in France we use the “demi-Sel” butter but you can also use the regular one!)

Brown sugar, for serving

RECIPE

  1. Whisk eggs and sugar by hand with some milk until frothy. Lightly stir in flour, add the remaining milk and strain to remove any lumps. Strainer is extremely important: use it!
  2. Lightly grease the pan with some butter (if possible use a heavy bottomed stainless steel pan). When the pan is hot, add a spoonful of batter (approx. 50g) and allow to cook for around 2 minutes. Remember: don’t flip your crêpe too early. If you do, it will tear. Wait until the surface is no longer shiny and the edges are starting to brown before doing it.
  3. When the crêpe is cooked through, fold into a triangle and transfer to a plate. Add butter (or another topping) while still hot, and sprinkle with brown sugar to serve.

If you want you can add seeds from a vanilla pod OR some lemon zest OR a tablespoon of Grand Marnier OR a tablespoon of rum to the batter before cooking it. I like to keep my batter plain so I can experiment with the toppings.

TOPPING: don’t be shy: the limit is your creativity. You can add Nutella, Chocolate, Ice Cream, fresh or caramelized fruits, jam…

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