Prep. time: 5 minutes
Resting time for the batter: 1 hour
Cooking time: 10 minutes
It's hard to talk about pancakes or crepes without thinking about Brittany, the region where I apprenticed as a cook, in Dinan.
During February, particularly on Candlemas (February 2) and Mardi Gras, we make Crêpes Suzette. According to Escoffier, they should not be flambéed.
We kept up this tradition when our two children were small. When the holiday evening came, we'd flip (!) the pancakes... a time of guaranteed amusement.
Candlemas pancakes are rooted in various traditions and beliefs. The round golden crepe evokes the sun that is tentatively making its return.
One custom consists of nimbly flipping the first crepe with the right hand while holding a gold coin in the left hand and making a wish.
Don't confuse the pancakes made from soft wheat flour from Lower Brittany (generally served sweet) with the buckwheat pancakes or galettes that are used in savory dishes in Upper Brittany.
Of course, in Brittany and Normandy, pancakes are served with fine bottled cider.
In a bowl, combine the sugar with the lemon and mandarin (orange) zests, add the flour, salt and eggs. Gradually mix in the milk.
Let the batter rest for at least 1 hour in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap.
Before making the crepes, blend in the browned butter - it not only adds flavor, but allows you to cook the crepes without too much fat and to brown them more evenly.
Spread the butter in the skillet with a piece of paper towel. Don't worry... the first crepe never looks very good!
Cook the crepes according to the usual method.
The pan should always be very flat and non-stick or a steel (Lyon-style) pan heavy enough to distribute the heat evenly.
Use a flexible spatula if you're not daring enough to flip the crepes.
Use a ladle that will hold enough batter for one crepe
Have 2 plates ready: one placed on a saucepan of hot water where you can pile the crepes, and the other turned over to cover them in order to keep them hot.
Fold the crepes and place them into a serving dish; pour on the Grand Marnier.
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