I grew up celebrating La Chandeleur, the Catholic holiday of Candlemas, on February 2 (forty days after Christmas), with my family and eating these succulent crêpes prepared by my mother and grandmother. I’ve kept this heartwarming and delicious ritual alive with my children, who have learned the recipe by heart -- because we don’t save it just for Candlemas. Every so often, they prepare the batter and surprise me. This recipe is so simple that anyone can make it!
For the crêpes:
2 1/3 cups
all-purpose flour, sifted
Pinch of fine sea salt
3 1/4 cups
unsalted butter, melted, plus more for cooking
orange flower water
For the salted-butter caramel sauce:
heavy cream, warmed
salted butter (if using unsalted butter, add a generous pinch of salt)
Mix the crêpe batter. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt and make a well in the center. Add the eggs one by one to the well, whisking them into the dry ingredients. Whisk in the milk, followed by the melted butter and orange flower water. The batter should be smooth, without any lumps. Cover and let rest at room temperature for 2 hours or, preferably, overnight in the refrigerator (remove from the refrigerator 1 hour before cooking).
Make the caramel. Melt the sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat -- do not add water, and do not stir until it has nearly completely melted. Then cook, swirling the pan occasionally, until the sugar is uniformly dark amber in color. Remove from the heat, carefully pour in the warm cream, and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Stir in the butter. Return the caramel to low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until smooth, 5 to 10 seconds. Set aside to cool slightly, then stir in the fleur de sel. The caramel can be stored in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to a week; reheat gently before serving.
Cook the crêpes. Heat a lightly buttered crêpe pan or small sauté pan over medium-high heat. Scoop about 2 tablespoons of batter into the pan, rotating the pan so it spreads evenly, and cook until just set and lightly browned, about 45 seconds. Flip and cook on the other side until lightly golden, about 5 seconds. Transfer the crêpe to a plate and cook the remaining batter, stacking the crêpes as you make them. You should get about 40 crêpes.
Roll the crêpes and serve them, about 5 per person, on individual plates, drizzled with the salted butter caramel.
Mimi Thorisson is the author of Manger, a blog devoted to French cooking, and the host of La Table de Mimi on Canal+ in France. After a career in television and having lived in Hong-Kong, Singapore, London, Reykjavik, and Paris, she settled with her photographer husband, five young children, two older stepchildren, and the family's fourteen dogs in a rural farmhouse in Médoc.