It was Candlemas the other day. What's that, you say? In the Christian tradition, it's the celebration of the presentation of the baby Jesus at the temple forty days after Christmas. In other traditions, it's observed as the mid-point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox (a.k.a. Groundhog Day). In France, people eat crêpes on Candlemas. Tradition says that if the cook can flip a crêpe while holding a coin in the other hand, the family is assured of prosperity throughout the coming year.
I've never made crêpes before, so I thought that I'd give them a try. I didn't try the coin trick, because this way my first time, and I figured that I'd need both hands, but just the same, I think it's a pretty auspicious sign for a prosperous new year that the crêpes came out all right.
The batter was pretty easy to make. It's just a couple of eggs, some flour, milk, a little bit of Cognac, and a pinch of salt. The Book says to put about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the batter in a hot crêpe pan or skillet. Because I didn't read the recipe carefully enough, I used a 10" skillet instead of the 7-8" skillet The Book says to use. As a result, it took about 3 to 4 tablespoons of batter to coat the bottom of the pan. It only took a couple of seconds to cook each of the crêpes, and they slid right out of the pan with the help of a rubber spatula. I was pretty impressed.
As each of the crêpes cooked, I folded it in quarters and put them on a plate. When they were all done, I melted some butter in the skillet and arranged the crapes in the pan and sauteed them for a little while until they were nice and golden on the bottom. I served them, as The Book suggested, sprinkled with some sugar and topped with some sliced fresh strawberries.
These crêpes were pretty good. They were light and tender and buttery. The sprinkling of sugar gave them a little bit of sweetness, and the sliced fresh strawberries were a necessary touch (although The Book says that they're optional).
Now, this recipe* is in The Book's Pies, Tarts and Pastries chapter, but I made it for breakfast last Sunday. Dessert for breakfast? Well, first of all what are crêpes but thin pancakes? And what are pancakes but a breakfast food? And anyway, I'm a grown-up, and if I want to eat dessert for breakfast, I can. So there! But, if I had made this for dessert, I would have been pretty dissapointed. These were a bit too light and not sweet enough for a dessert. Also, the fresh strawberries were nice, but if this is really going to be a dessert, they need some kind of sauce. Finally, I'm not sure what the purpose of adding the Congnac is, but if you ask me, Grand Marnier would hav been a better choice because it would have given the crêpes a nice orange flavor.
Date Cooked: February 1, 2009
Degree of Difficulty: Easier than I thought it would be!
*This recipe isn't on epicurious.com.
2 years ago