With Shrove Tuesday well on its way (13th February), the entire nation seems to have been captivated by a rapturous level of excitement for ‘pancake day’. Having developed immeasurably from the tradition of using leftover ingredients before the start of Lent; pancake day has become an important part of the yearly calendar, celebrating everything from fluffy American pancake stacks to paper-thin crêpes. This week’s recipe covers the latter, however, shared by Michelin starred chef Pascal Aussignac, taken from his cookbook, Cuisinier Gascon: Meals from a Gascon Chef.
“This is my mother’s favourite recipe for light and lacy pancakes – one that I grew up with. Her secret is always the same easy formula of two rounded tablespoons of flour to each egg. You can either use the batter straight away or leave it for up to two hours in the fridge and thin it down with a little water.”
Makes about 6-8 crêpes
1 large free-range egg
2 rounded tablespoons of flour (approximately 40g) + pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoon Armagnac or dark rum
1 tablespoon orange flower water
A little sunflower oil, for greasing the pan
Caster sugar, for serving
“In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg with the flour, then gradually beat in the milk, next the Armagnac and orange flower water.
Heat a crêpe pan, about 20cm round, and lightly brush with a little oil. (My mother uses a fork wrapped with a little cotton cloth.) When you can feel a good heat rising from the pan, pout in a small ladle of batter (about 50ml) and quickly swirl the pan to coat.
Cook until thin and lacy. When the batter sets on top, loosen the edges of the crêpes and flip over for a few seconds to brown the underside.
Then slide the crêpe out onto a clean tea towel of sheet of kitchen paper. Reheat the pan and repeat with the oiling and cooking. Stack the crêpes up on each other to keep them moist and serve simply sprinkled with caster sugar.”
This recipe is taken from Cuisinier Gascon: Meals from a Gascon Chef by Pascal Aussignac, Absolute Press, 2009. Photograph by Jean Cazals.