On February 2 each year, many French people celebrate Chandeleur by eating crêpes, a wonderful tradition indeed.
Chandeleur (also known as Candlemas) is when the Virgin Mary presented baby Jesus at the temple. Incidentally, it’s also Groundhog Day in the rest of Canada, when Wiarton Willy the groundhog pops out of his hole and predicts how much longer the winter will be.
Crepe Flipping Tradition
There’s a fun tradition attached to Chandeleur: when cooking the crêpes, you hold the crepe pan in one hand and a handful of coins in the other. If you can flip the crepe in midair with one hand, and not drop the coins in the other, then you’ll have good fortune for the year to come. Everyone in the family should give it a try.
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups milk
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 eggs
Crêpe batter is thinner than pancake batters, somewhere between milk and heavy cream. It may seem too thin at first, but you will quickly discover that thin batter spreads quickly and makes a nice, delicate pancake.
The most important thing with crêpes is to use either a nonstick pan or a well-seasoned crêpe pan.
Heat pan on medium or just below. Don’t put it on high, or the pan will heat too fast and your crêpes can burn.
When the pan is nice and hot, butter the pan all over. Your first crepe will come out super buttery, but you won’t have to rebutter the pan for 5-6 crêpes.
Using a soup ladle, pour batter into the pan, then to spread the batter into a large, thin crêpe that covers the bottom of the skillet.
Cook until the crêpe is golden brown on the bottom, then flip the crêpe over to cook the other side. Don’t be alarmed if the first one doesn’t turn out – it usually doesn’t. Either fling it in the garbage or eat it and just carry on.
To serve, spread each crepe with your desired toppings (see below), then roll and eat. You can put anything in a crepe, but here are some suggestions:
- Maple syrup
- Icing sugar and lemon juice
- Fruit jam
- Cottage cheese and canned or fresh fruit
- Ricotta and honey
- Ham, cheese and scrambled eggs
- Mushrooms and Swiss cheese
- Brie, ham and asparagus
- Sauteed spinach, bacon and eggs
- Asparagus and Gruyere
- Ham, mushroom and gruyere
- Smoked salmon and fresh dill