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Pancake day comes early in France

Households celebrate Candlemas this Monday - a day when superstition is rife

CRÊPES are on the menu as French households celebrate Chandeleur (Candlemas) this Monday and then carnival season.

While children in the UK have to wait for Shrove Tuesday this year on February 17, French pancake day falls on February 2 and marks the presentation of the baby Jesus at the temple in Jerusalem and the end of the Christmas season.

Traditionally, eating pancakes on this day is supposed to ensure that the harvest for the coming year is plentiful.

Weather proverbs say that if it rains on Candlemas, it will continue for 40 days. If Candlemas has clear skies then winter is behind us.

Staying on the superstitious note, it is traditional to flip your crêpes with one hand while holding a gold coin in the other. This is supposed to ensure prosperity for your family for the year (as long as you don’t drop the pancake!)

Pancake mix the Breton way courtesy of the Finistère tourist board.
It makes 30 to feed the whole village!

500g plain flour
200g sugar
3 eggs
1 pinch of salt
50g lightly salted
butter, melted
1 litre whole milk
Optional flavouring (vanilla/rum)
Your choice of topping


Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre to add in the sugar, salt, flavouring and eggs.

Whisk the mixture with a small amount of milk until you get a thick batter.

Add the melted butter and mix gently. Gradually add the rest of the milk, stirring until the batter is smooth.

To check the consistency, it should lightly coat a spoon when dipped into the mixture.

You can leave the batter to rest for an hour or start immediately.

Cook each pancake on a medium heat – two tablespoons of batter should be enough for a 20cm serving.

Top as you see fit: butter or sugar, chocolate, jam, honey, lemon, salted caramel, banana, vanilla ice cream or rum.

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