Crêpes for La Chandeleur

Crêpes are a traditional food on La Chandeleur, or Candlemas, a celebration for the devout of the presentation of Jesus at the temple. One bite of these crêpes, and you’ll be wildly devoted to them!

I find sugar-encrusted crêpes to be so heavenly, I’d tape them to my body and pluck them off as snacks throughout the day if it wasn’t too indecent a notion. This is why February second may just be my favorite day in France: It’s Candlemas, La Chandeleur, a celebration for the devout of the presentation of Jesus at the temple.

The French have a knack for turning any occasion into a reason to eat, so for Christians and non-Christians alike, today is also “Crêpe Day,” when egg cracking, feverish whisking, and a round of luck-determining crêpe gymnastics are the activities du jour. A coin held in their writing hand, hopefuls must use their other hand to flip a crêpe into the air from the pan. If the crêpe lands back in the pan, good luck follows. If it falls to the floor, the dog is the fortunate one.

My dear friend Roland, who hails from the Dordogne region of France, once told me that his grandmother would make him take a crêpe to the chicken coop on La Chandeleur to encourage the Egg Gods to be generous. “You know, the chickens only ate half of it,” he said. I leaned in, eager to unravel the uncommon willpower of these French fowl. “Why?” I asked. “Because I ate the other half on the way to the chicken coop,” he laughed.

I love the French. And their crêpes.—Kimberley Lovato

Celebrate La Chandeleur with these crêpes

Swirl
A stack of Tom Aikens' chocolate crepes being drizzled with chocolate sauce.
These chocolate crêpes from Tom Aikens, made with butter, sugar, flour, dark chocolate, cocoa powder, eggs, and milk, are a simple and spectacular chocolate-lover's dessert (though we may have been caught indulging in them at breakfast, too).
Recipe
A single basic crepe, folded into quarters on a sheet of parchment with two lemon wedges beside it.
These buttery basic crepes are easy to make with just milk, eggs, flour, salt, and butter, and can be served sweet or savory. And with this recipe, you can forget what you've heard about crêpes being difficult or tricky.
Recipe
A small orange skillet with two crêpes Suzette and a spoon topped with citrus sauce.
Crêpes Suzette, a classic French dessert, is made with basic crêpes that are doused in a butter, citrus, and liqueur sauce. And so much easier than you’d ever imagined to make at home.
Recipe
A white plate filled with crêpes dentelles with sautéed apples and caramel sauce
These crêpes dentelles with sautéed apples and caramel sauce are an elegant and enticing combination of sweet crêpes topped with apples cooked in butter and sugar and drizzled with creamy caramel.
Recipe
A plate with two dulce de leche crepes filled with whipped cream and topped with chocolate sauce.
These dulce de leche Crêpes, or crepas salguero, are made with homemade dulce de leche made from sweetened condensed milk, classic crepes, chocolate sauce, and ice cream. Indulgence defined.
Recipe

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Comments

  1. I adore crepes so leave them to the professionals. The sister owners at La Creperie in Key West make gorgeous buckwheat wrappings with eggs, ham, and swiss, “la complete.” So simple, so good.

  2. I love the simple beurre-sucre/ butter sugar crepes but a favorite restaurant of mine in Ste Maxime, France, serves a Hawaiian Crepe…pineapple, chicken and a coconut cream sauce. Divine. Marcella… it’s interesting the Italian saying about winter left behind because here in the U.S., February 2 is also Groundhog’s Day and a furry little creature named “Punxsutawney Phil” is brought from his den out into the sunlight. If he sees his shadow there will be six more weeks of winter weather. Kind of silly really, and no crepes are involved. But it would be kind of fun to see if Phil likes crepes.

    1. Kimberly, I know about Groundhog’s Day only thanks to that movie starring Bill Murray 🙂 But I had forgot it is on Feb 2. And of course did not know anything about the rodent himself.

      So, what did Phil do yesterday?

      1. Wiarton Willie (Ontario) and Shubenacadie Sam (Nova Scotia) both agree with Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction that we can expect an early spring. Apparently, Phil also predicted the Pittsburgh Steelers will win the Super Bowl. (Pittsburg is in Pennsylvania so his view may be a bit biased.)

    2. Hey, thanks for chiming in, Kimberley. Beurre-sucre is another classic at our table… usually when “Mamie” (my mother-in-law) is around.

      As for Phil… I wonder. I have no clue what groundhogs eat, but maybe if we waved crepes above his hole each year, spring would always come sooner.

  3. Dessert crepes are definitely my preference – fresh berries or simply citrus juice and a light drizzle of agave nectar. I am not really a fan of meat with crepes, even though I am not vegetarian. But I love savory ones with asparagus or spinach and, of course, cheese.

    1. Asparagus crêpes sound like a good idea to have with dinner tonight. How would you put yours together, Dena?

      1. I prefer simple preparations, so I would make crepe bundles of roasted asparagus, melting cheese, a squeeze of lemon juice and a twist of sea salt. Asadero cheese is on my radar for this assembly because it melts easily and it doesn’t become oily at high temperatures.

        1. Simple is quite often best. I’ve not tried Asadero cheese before. Sounds like a delicious way to go!

  4. I thought La Candelora was a typical Italian holiday, I did not know the French have one too! btw in Italy there’s a saying that goes, more or less, “with the Candelora we’ve left winter behind” and today indeed is a miraculously sunny day 🙂

    We don’t associate any particular food to this day, as far as I know. But crepes – hey, it’s always a good day to talk about crepes 🙂
    I like them savoury, especially straight from the oven, all golden and bubbly. I don’t have a special recipe for them, with a base of mornay or bechamel pretty much anything goes (inside). It’s a very nice way to clear the fridge, almost any sauteed veggie is happy cradled in a crepe, not to mention forlorn morsels of cheese and lonely ham, speck or pancetta leftovers.

    I also like them sweet, but I’m all for simplicity here – a sprinkle of sugar (maybe brown, or even some exotic muscovado), some lemon juice or rum, and I’m done. Although those dulce de leche crepes pictured above really, really need some investigating 😉

  5. My favourite crêpes are the savoury type. I like using a mixture of king crab or lobster and shrimp in a white wine mornay sauce. Oozy, cheesy and with my favourite seafood. They would be rolled, but not much because I like to fill them well!

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