Shrove Tuesday is known as Mardi Gras in France. In English this translates to ‘Fat Tuesday’ – to reflect the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting for Lent begins. Pancakes are an excellent way to use up all the eggs in the house because many eggs are used to make them.
Instead of a pancake, in France we make crepes – a very thin, larger (usually the same size as a plate) version of a pancake.
We usually make savoury and sweet crepes. Savoury crepes are called galettes. For savoury ones, we use buckwheat flour instead of normal flour. The savoury crepes are thicker than the sweet ones in order to support the filling.
Some people like to add alcohol to the dough. This could be beer for the savoury crepes and rum for the sweet ones.
The fun in making crepes is always in the flipping. When it is time to cook the other side of the crepe, you should throw it quite high in the air and catch it in the pan on the right side. You can imagine that many crepes end up on the floor or even on people’s heads!
You can fill your crepes with anything you like. These are some of our favourites:
Savoury crepes: grated Emmental, egg, ham
Sweet crepes: Sugar, butter, jam, Nutella, Chantilly crème
Happy Mardi Gras!
A simple crêpe recipe for the sweet ones:
250g plain flour
500ml whole milk
50g melted butter
50g caster sugar
Combine the flour, eggs, sugar and milk in a mixing bowl – add rum and melted butter.
Heat a large non-stick frying pan or crêpe pan over a medium heat.
Lightly grease the pan with vegetable oil or butter.
Pour about 4 tablespoons of batter into the pan or enough to cover the bottom of the pan.
Flip the crêpe when it starts to brown slightly. When it is finished cooking, remove it and repeat this process with the remaining batter.