February 3, 2016

French Crêpe Day or Let's Celebrate La Chandeleur

Sweet or Savory...I Love crêpes!

I am a day late...but I did not want this first week of February to pass without mentioning the French holiday that celebrates crêpes. Well, really it is more than crêpes ...but they are definitely involved.  (We do tend to mix our religious holidays with food...all over the world.)

The Catholic holiday of Candlemas on the 2nd of February is a feast to commemorate the purification of the Virgin Mary and the presentation of baby Jesus.  

In France, this holiday is called la Chandeleur, Fete de la Lumiere, or jour des crêpessource

In France, the month of February starts with the celebration of Candlemas – la Chandeleur – which occurs on the 2nd, which is 40 days after Christmas. This religious celebration recalls the Presentation of Jesus to the Temple, a decisive event that happened during the early years of Jesus and is described in the Bible (Gospel of Luke chapter 2 verses 22-40).
The origins of the Chandeleur date back to a pagan feast: according to local customs, candles had to be lit at midnight as a symbol of purification. Chandeleur comes from the latin “candelarum” as does the English word ‘candle’.
The Church adapted the tradition into the blessing of the candles, which were to repel Evil, thus reminding all that Christ is the light of the world. Christians would then come back to their homes with the blessed candles in order to protect them. source

To read more about le jour des crêpes ...

I have included some videos to help you with your crêpes. Just watch how they are made. You will use a skillet instead of the huge restaurant crêpe maker.

Crêpes are great street food...and you will see how they are made in the next couple of videos. Check out the fillings. One has egg, cheese, and ham. Oh la la! 

Crêpes...great street food in France!

A creperie in Paris. Youtube.
(I tried to overlook his handling money and going right back to touching the food. But, C'est la vie!)

When I lived in Aix-en-Provence I loved les creperies. There were some that had a window to the street and you could just walk up to the window and order the fillings you wanted. That was pretty gourmet street food. ha! 

I came home weighing more than when I arrived in France! (even though I walked and rode my little orange Peugeot bicycle everywhere.)

Let's get to making crêpes

Spinach ricotta crêpe
A savory crepe
Crêpe batter is basically a very thin pancake batter. A small amount of batter is poured into a hot oiled or buttered skillet, and rolled around. You will basically have a paper thin pancake...into which you can put sweet or savory fillings. The options are limitless. I love chocolate and strawberries. Just me. :-) 

This video is in French...however just watch the process. Note the consistency of the batter is almost like creme. (Click the arrow.)

Consider setting up a crêpe bar with bowls of fillings...then let your family, guests, grandkids, etc. have fun making their crêpe. Then they can decide how they want to roll or fold their crêpe

I found this batter recipe from Veggie Table and it looks very much like the recipe I brought from France...(but have no idea of where it is now.) I thought butter was used...but maybe it was oil like in this recipe.

Crêpe Batter

It might take a few tries to get the hang of making perfect crêpes, but once you do, the sky’s the limit!
Yield8-10 crêpes
Time20 minutes
  • Blender OR food processor OR bowl and whisk
  • Skillet, crêpe pan, or omelette pan
  • Spatula
  • 1 egg
  • 1¼ c milk
  • 1 c flour
  • ¼ t salt
  • 1 t oil
DirectionsBlend or whisk everything but the oil until smooth. The batter should be the consistency of heavy cream; if not, add more milk/flour as needed.
Heat 1 t of oil in the pan. When it is extremely hot (a drop of water sizzles away), lower to medium heat and pour about ¼ c of batter into the center.
Tilt the pan so that the batter covers the entire bottom, then pour off any excess.
Cook until set and lightly golden, about 20 seconds, then turn and cook another few seconds on the other side.
Transfer to a plate and continue cooking the rest of the crêpes, piling them on top of one another.
Make the crêpes and serve. If you’re not planning to use the crêpes right away, cover the plate with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 or 4 days.

It might take a little while to get the hang of making crêpes – keeping the pan at the right temperature, using the correct amount of batter – but once you do, the possibilities are endless. Source, The Veggie Table


How to Make Crêpes

Crêpes are thin French pancakes that can be wrapped around just about anything to turn it into an elegant meal, or simply folded and topped with something yummy.
Step one: Make some crêpes.
Step two: Figure out what you’ll use for fillings and toppings – take a look at my suggestions for savory crêpes and dessert crêpes, or experiment to invent your own.

Dessert Crêpes

Whether you fill them, top them, or both, sweet crêpes make the ultimate elegant dessert. Once you’ve whipped up a batch of crêpe batter, the hardest part is figuring out the perfect combination of fillings and/or toppings for your own personal sweet tooth. Here are some ideas to help you get started.
  • Apples
  • Berries
  • Bananas
  • Cheese: cream, ricotta, mascarpone, cottage
  • Ice cream
  • Jam
  • Nutella
  • Peaches
  • Peanut butter
  • Your favorite pie filling
  • Applesauce
  • Berry Sauce
  • Brown sugar
  • Crème fraîche
  • Jam
  • Hot fudge
  • Maple syrup
  • Nuts
  • Powdered sugar and lemon juice
  • Sour cream 
  • Whipped cream
  • Yogurt

Step three:  Decide how you want to fill and fold the crêpes.

Rolled crêpe
Put filling along the diameter of the crêpe and roll it up. If using a small plate, you might want to cut the crêpe in half – which has the added bonus of showing off the filling, as in the photo at the bottom of the page.
Triangle folded crêpe
Place filling on a quarter triangle of the crêpe and fold in in quarters. This works well for spreadable fillings like Nutella and jam.
Rectangle folded crêpe
Place filling in the middle of the crêpe and fold in the sides, then the top and bottom.
Folded and rolled crêpe
Put filling in the center of the crêpe, fold in the sides, then roll into a log. This can be heated in a skillet with a bit of butter or oil.
I could really go for this peanut butter, banana, and chocolate crepe any time!

Thanks for visiting!
Bon Appétit!

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My Kentucky Living
My Kentucky Living

Hello, I'm Sheila and my house is a giant art project! I enjoy creating an environment where my family can feel safe, secure, and loved. We are empty nesters learning to slow down and enjoy life.

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