It is Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day and I am sharing my favourite pancake or crêpe recipe with you. Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday, which is the first day of Lent and usually celebrated by eating pancakes. During Lent people give up richer, unhealthy foods for the 40 days leading up to Easter. “Shrove” is a form of shrive and it means to obtain absolution for one’s sins, to be “shriven” before Lent. The rich foods given up during lent, like eggs, milk, butter and sugar are used up the day before Lent’s fasting season. The French call pancake day Mardi-Gras, which literally means Fat Tuesday, the last day Christians could eat fatty foods- ‘des mets gras‘, before 40 days of Carême [Lent] and meat abstinence.
I love pancakes and crêpes and have tried a hundred recipes, this recipe from Rose Carrarini is my absolute favourite. It is rich but fluffy and so tasty, either as a savoury or sweet crêpe. Her recipe is not very specific, she gives options on amounts of flour [40-80g] and no timing indications, but here is my detailed instructions for the perfect Buckwheat crêpe :
Buckwheat Crêpes [by Rose Carrarini, Rose Bakery-Paris]
60g butter, melted
60g buckwheat flour
40g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
vegetable oil for brushing
Beat the eggs in a bowl, then add the buttermilk, beer and melted butter. Mix together the dry ingredients in another bowl, then pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour. Brush a frying pan or skillet with a little oil and heat. I used a 20cm pan.When the pan is hot, pour in just enough batter to cover the bottom thinly and cook until the edge starts to turn golden and dry. Turn the crêpe with a spatula and cook for another few minutes, then slide it out of the pan onto a plate. Cook the rest of the crêpes in the same way, brushing the pan with more oil if necessary.
These can be served with many savoury options as Rose suggests – smoked fish, crab meat, or grilled with cheese, ham or any vegetable. I used mushrooms and French Blue cheese. Nina, my daughter enjoyed them with syrup!
Happy Shrove Tuesday!