Did you know that France celebrates Pancake Day twice? The first time is on 2nd February and is the equivalent of Candelmas in the UK. The celebration is known as La Chandeleur. Candles are blessed at church and pancakes, known as crêpes, are eaten. The second time you can enjoy pancakes is for Mardi Gras. This is the same as Shrove Tuesday in the UK.
How lucky is France to have two days to celebrate? Crêpes are very popular in France. Because of this you can find a crêperie (pancake house) in most larger towns.
You can buy ready-made crêpes in the supermarkets all-year round. Around the dates for La Chandeleur and Mardi Gras, boulangeries also make crêpes. If you’d prefer to make your own, then try this recipe.
A traditional French recipe for sweet pancakes involves
200 g of flour
25 g of sugar
50 g of melted butter
60 cl of milk
5 cl of rum
Extra oil or butter for the pan.
Watch the video below for instructions on how to make a traditional crêpe.
Regional Variations and Toppings
There are regional variations for crêpes. To make Normandy crêpes you replace the rum with calvados which is an apple brandy. You can also add grated apple to the batter or you can caramelise some apples in a little butter and sugar. Normandy butter and milk are key ingredients to the batter. The result is a light and very delicious crêpe.
Other variations for Normandy crêpes include adding beer to the batter or replacing some of the flour with cocoa powder. Other toppings might include nutella, jam, lemon and sugar, caramel sauce, fruit or chantilly cream. So you have lots of possibilities. However you eat them be sure to enjoy a crêpe on La Chandeleur.