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Tuesday 5th February 2008

Crêpes with Fruit Mince and Crème Anglaise for Pancake Day
Crêpes filled with Fruit Mince and Crème
AnglaiseCrêpes filled with Fruit Mince and Crème Anglaise

Today is what is commonly known in Commonwealth or Church of England countries as Shrove Tuesday. It is the day before Ash Wednesday - the day the Christian season of Lent begins. It is customary to eat pancakes on this day to help clear away any leftovers or rich ingredients such as milk, eggs and sugar before the traditional period of fasting and prayer leading up to Easter. Fasting is not so common now, so in these more modern times today has become known simply as "Pancake Day!"

The French also recently celebrated a festival associated with pancakes or in this case "crêpes" on February 2nd. "La Chandeleur" is the festival of light, the name coming from the word "chandelle" or candle in English. La crêpe by it's circular shape and colour is thought to represent the sun, being our greatest source of light and heat.

As I simply adore crêpes, I could not let this day go by without indulging myself. I filled my crêpes with some rich and delicious fruit mince I had leftover from making Christmas fruit pies, together with lashings of crème anglaise, using more of those rich eggs, milk and sugar ingredients. Not that I'm planning to fast for forty days, mind!!

  • Crêpes:
  • 1 cup of plain white flour
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of baking power
  • ¼ cup of castor sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1¾ cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • extra butter for greasing the pan
  1. In a large bowl sift the flour, salt and baking powder and add the sugar.
  2. In another bowl or measuring jug whisk the eggs and milk together.
  3. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture together with the 1 tablespoon of melted butter, stirring constantly to form a smooth runny batter.
  4. Cover and refrigerate the batter for 1 to 2 hours.
  5. Heat a small fry pan or crêpe pan over a medium to high heat and drop a small piece of butter in, swirling the pan to grease it lightly.
  6. Pour small ladles of crêpe batter into the pan and quickly swirl it around again to coat the bottom.
  7. Continue to cook over a medium heat until the crêpe appears to be golden at the edge.
  8. Loosen the edges of the crêpe with a palate knife or spatula, being sure it hasn't stuck to the pan anywhere.
  9. Now if you are the confident cook flip the crêpe, if not.. then by all means slide the palate knife under the crêpe and turn it over to continue cooking the second side for half a minute or so.
  10. Slide the crêpe out on a plate covering it with a clean tea towel to keep warm and begin again with the remaining batter.
  11. Makes 12 to 14 crêpes.

  • Crème Anglaise:
  • 500 mls of full cream milk
  • 1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped
  • 1/2 cup of castor sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  1. In a saucepan heat the milk with the split vanilla pod and the scraped seeds.
  2. In a separate bowl or large measuring jug, whisk the egg yolks with 100 grams of castor sugar until thick.
  3. Remove the vanilla bean from the milk and almost bring the milk to the boil.
  4. Slowly pour the hot milk into the egg mixture whisking quickly and continuously to prevent the egg scrambling.
  5. Strain the custard back into a clean saucepan and gently heat the custard stirring with a wooden spoon until it thickens.

  • To serve:
  • 8 to 12 crêpes
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of fruit mince, warmed - my recipe can be found here
  • 2 cups of Crème Anglaise
  • A handful of toasted almonds, chopped
  • A few fresh cherries, or berries to garnish (optional)
  1. Gently warm the fruit mince through in either the microwave or on the stove top.
  2. Fill crêpes with 2 large dessert spoons of the warmed fruit mince, and fold into triangles.
  3. Arrange 1 to 2 crêpes on each serving plate.
  4. Spoon over a little Crème Anglaise and sprinkle with chopped almonds.
  5. Place a few cherries on the side if desired.
  6. Place any remaining Crème Anglaise in a small jug for others to help themselves.
  7. Serves 6 to 8.
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