Every year in late February our walking club hosts a public subscription walk which finishes by serving the walkers crêpes. Members of the club are asked to contribute by making dozens of crêpes. French families spend 2 February together making crêpes for Candlemas (Fr. La Chandeleur) and they are a universally popular dessert or seasonal snack here.
If you live in rural France or have school aged children in France one of your required life skills is to be capable of making crêpes. They are one of the most popular devices for club or association fundraising. Once you volunteer to make crêpes you'll be issued with flour and milk, but no other instructions apart from how many to make (and maybe 'leave them plain -- don't sprinkle them with sugar!'). I used a scaled up version of Delia's recipe (as did at least one other British volunteer).
Ingredients (for 46 crêpes)
660 g flour
1/2 tsp salt
1200 ml milk
450 ml water
250 g melted butter (plus some extra for greasing the pan)
- Allow 3 hours to make this quantity of crêpes.
- Put all the ingredients in a stand mixer bowl and whisk until you have a smooth batter. Start on a slow speed and work up to medium.
- Put the batter in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
- Set up a work station on the stove, with crêpe pan on the left and batter on the right if you are right handed.
- Heat the crêpe pan on a medium flame and brush with a little butter.
- Lift the pan and pour a scant soup ladle full of batter into the pan, turning the pan to swirl the batter thinly over the entire surface (I find turning clockwise works best). Stop pouring batter once you have enough to cover the pan. The idea is to get them as thin as is practical.
- Cook until set and will shake loose.
- Lift the pan and ease the crêpe over the edge of the pan opposite the handle. Quickly flip the crêpe by flicking your wrist forward and up, catching the crêpe on its way down.
- Gently smooth out any folds and cook until the second side is starting to brown.
- Slide the crêpe off the pan and on to a plate. The crêpes can be stacked directly on top of one another.
- Repeat 45 times, or until you've used all the batter.
- Serve, reheated in batches in the microwave, on a plate and under some paper towel. They can be sprinkled with sugar (with or without lemon) or spread with jam or chocolate and/or nut paste, folded into quarters.
The flour and UHT milk (this is France, so milk is a storecupboard ingredient, not a fresh product for consuming on its own) came from the village EpiService (corner store). The eggs came from a local farm.