There's no hiding that the French enjoy crêpes or thin pancakes at any time of year. But most of all, we all love when there's a foodie celebration, right?
French Crêpes Times in February
Just as we're finishing the season of Galettes des Rois in January (it's meant to be for Epiphany but galettes continue right to the end of January in Paris), the next French gourmet festival is crêpes in February! We first enjoy crêpes for La Chandeleur (Candlemass) beginning February. And if we're not getting enough crêpes then, there's Mardi Gras, or Shrove Tuesday later in February!
French Crêpe Fillings
Our family loves just a simple sprinkling of sugar on them and a squeeze of lemon - or oranges. Oranges have this instant pick-me-up effect in the winter. It's not just their warm comforting glow as you pierce a fingernail into its peel and tiny pores create miniature concentrated fountains that perfume the room. For me, they're a cheery reminder of walking home from school on a wild and wet Scottish winter afternoon. To encourage us to walk up that hill, Mum's words always did it with, "Come on, as soon as we get home we'll have oranges by the fire".
And so we feasted on oranges. By the fire.
A real feast is oranges with crêpes. The French do it so well with their boozy Crêpes Suzette but at breakfast I love making simple orange crêpes from "Teatime in Paris". If you're enjoying plain classic crêpes then add a wonderful orange boost with this deliciously creamy orange curd. Imagine it also on fluffy brioche, on toast, or on all sorts of chocolate puddings. What's more, it's an egg yolk recipe for all of you macaron lovers!
Orange Curd Recipe (Crème à l'orange)
The perfect accompaniment to French crêpes.
Orange Curd Filling for Crêpes
- 3 organic eggs
- 3 organic egg yolks
- 100 g (3.5oz) caster sugar (superfine)
- 250 ml squeezed orange juice (from 2-3 oranges)
- orange zest from one unwaxed orange
- 125 g (4.5oz) butter, unsalted
- In a large heatproof bowl, whisk the eggs until well combined using a balloon whisk. Add the sugar and gently whisk in the orange juice and zest. Add the butter and set the bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water (bain marie), making sure the bowl doesn't touch the water (important, easy tip - otherwise it risks curd-ling).
- As soon as the butter melts, gently whisk the mixture continuously for 20-25 minutes. Don't worry if it's not thickening at first. It will start to thicken naturally after about 12 minutes. The orange curd should be the consistency of custard. The curd will also continue to thicken in the jars. If you prefer curd without the zest in, sieve out the zest at this point.
- Pour the orange curd into squeaky clean, sterilised jars and seal straight away.
- Once completely cool, store in the fridge and enjoy within 2 months.