La Chandeleur is a religious holiday that is celebrated on February 2nd in France and in many other countries. On that day, It is said that Jesus Christ was presented to the Temple in Jerusalem. In honor of this special day, all the candelabras in French churches are to be fitted with new candles that very day. It is also a custom in certain parts of France to light candles in your own home to honor that special day. On that day, though you are to put away any nativity scene that you may have left out ever since Christmas.
But La Chandeleur is mostly known for Crepes ( very thin pancakes). There are two reasons why crepes are to be eaten on that day. Some say that Pope Gélase the first used to give out crepes to his disciples. It is also said that crepes, round and golden, are reminiscent of the sun and symbolizes the upcoming arrival of Spring.
Nonetheless, crepes is a tradition that has been perpetuated for many years, and that is still being carried on by most French people. Crepes are quite easy to make and requires so few ingredients. There are tricks though to make the best crepes.
1. the dough needs to be the perfect consistency, not too runny ( or they will be too thin and will burn before you can cook them), and not to thick ( they should be paper thin).
2. the frying pan should be the perfect temperature so as the cook the crepes without scorching them.
I love to make them. Though it took me a while to learn to make them, I have now mastered to art. I don’t make them often because they take so long to make. But I can assure you that when I make them, the whole family gathers quickly in the kitchen to steal one here and there while I am cooking them;-)
And I am glad that they are…. In fact, if they were not coming down, I would have to call them out to carry out a French tradition that has been carried on for years.
Each member of the family needs to carry a golden coin in left hand called a LOUIS, and try to flip the crepes onto the frying pan with their right hand without dropping it onto the floor. If they manage to flip it, it is said to bring them good fortune for the new year…
I had posted the crepes recipes a year ago, but here it is again.
- 11 oz of flour,
- 4 eggs,
- 1 1/2 cup of milk,
- 1 1/4 cup of beer or more.
- 4 tbsp of butter melted in a small bowl.
- Take a large bowl and place the flour in the bowl.
- Curve a hole in the flour, and slowly pour the milk while mixing with a whisk. Be careful to whisk slowly so as to make the mixture smooth and free of lumps.
- Then add the eggs one at a time and mix well.
- Add the beer and mix well also. The mixture should be smooth and liquid, but not too liquid.
- Turn the stove to medium high and place the frying pan on the stove. The frying pan should be hot before starting to fix the pancakes .
- With a paper towel or a brush, spread butter on the walls of the frying pan and pour a small ladle of crepe mixture. Move the frying pan in a circle motion so that the dough has spread to the entire surface of the pan. Cook for 1 minute. With a spatula, flip the crepe and cook for 1 minute.
- Place the crepes flat on a plate. Continue the process until you have exhausted all the dough.
- To eat the crepes, there are many things you may do. I love them with sugar and creme fraiche. I spread a bit a creme fraiche, sprinkle a bit of sugar, roll them in a cylinder or fold them in a triangle and eat them as such.
You can add nutella ( hazelnut chocolate spread from Europe) and whipped cream, jelly and whipped cream.
You may also make salty filling such as ham, mushroom and cheese. Your imagination again is your only boundary! So be creative!!!!!!
Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!!!