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 is for Mardi Gras which will be celebrated on 5th March in 2019. 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.
I’ve seen that one of my local boulangeries is making crêpes this morning. I’m sure they’ll be eagerly consumed by people visiting the Saturday morning market. The boulangerie is Les Délices de Gavray and the address is 3 Place du Dr Beck, 50450 Gavray.
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. 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 include adding beer to the batter and replacing some of the flour with cocoa powder. Other toppings might include nutella, jam, lemon and sugar, caramel sauce, fruit, chantilly cream. So you have lots of possibilities. However you eat them be sure to enjoy a crêpe on La Chandeleur.