The famous crepes originate from Brittany and are considered a national dish. They were popular in France and became famous throughout Europe, North America and Australia. Each time I have to prepare ‘crêpes’, I follow this VERY EASY recipe…
Watch a short video presentation of La Chandeleur (Candlemas):
What you need to know about crepes
The word “crêpe” derives from the Latin crispa, meaning curled. Its simple preparation makes it a favourite dish for Candlemas – la Chandeleur – or Mardi-Gras. Chandeleur is known as Crêpes Day. Generations have kept alive a variety of traditions and customs around the making and eating of crêpes.
Crepes and Brittany
Although in Brittany, crêpes are traditionally served with cider, your imagination is the limit: favourite toppings include:
- chocolate spread,
- lemon and sugar,
- chestnut cream, etc.
Crêpes can also be served with savoury fillings: for example, cheese and ham.
Making crêpes, crêpe Suzette and crêperies
Crêpes are made by pouring a thin liquid batter onto a hot frying flat pan, previously greased with butter or oil. The batter is spread evenly over the cooking surface of the pan by tilting the pan.
Another standard French and Belgian pancake is the crêpe Suzette, a crêpe with lightly grated orange peel and liqueur (usually Grand Marnier), which is subsequently lit upon presentation.
In France, crêpes are usually bought in a crêperie, which may be sold as a takeaway in a stall on the street, in public gardens, or a proper restaurant.
What are the ingredients for making crêpes?
Makes 12 crêpes:
- 250 g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 600 ml milk or a mixture of milk and water (50/50)
This recipe works equally well with soy milk.
My [very easy] method for making crêpes
- Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the beaten eggs and a little milk. Gradually mix the flour from the sides, pouring more of the remaining liquid and keeping a smooth batter. Continue until all the liquid is added and the flour is combined. You can use an electric whisk if you prefer, but ensure you incorporate the liquid gradually; otherwise, you will have lumps through the batter.
- Cover and let it rest for at least 30-60 minutes or overnight in the fridge.
- When ready to make the crepes, beat the batter lightly.
The heating process…
- Heat the crepe pan very hot with a small amount of vegetable oil. Wipe with a kitchen towel/ pour the excess oil away so you don’t end up with a greasy first crêpe.
- Pour a small amount of the batter in and work quickly, tilting the pan to cover the base with a thin layer of the batter. When it bubbles a little and comes away from the sides of the pan, it is ready to turn … toss if you feel confident or turn with a spatula.
- Cook the other side, then serve with the topping of your choice.
- Some people cook the whole stack and then reheat it quickly before serving. Others cook a big stack and keep them warm in the oven with a tea towel whilst cooking them all… or serve people one at a time as you make them and make a social event.
- One is never enough, so allow at least 2-3 per person… more if you have savoury ones to start with.
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- Find out more about the tradition of Candlemas in France.
- Find out more about Winter in France on our French blog.