For Pancake Day, Shrove Tuesday or whatever you call it...
Today is Pancake Day and so I am reminded of one of my favourite childhood food memories. As I will be otherwise engaged this evening, I celebrated Shrove Tuesday a couple of days early this year, at the same time taking the opportunity to do a little experimentation.
I blame Christina over at The Thorngrove Table, a fascinating food blog with a serious interest in Medieval cookery. She wrote a post about c.1393 'Crespes' – medieval French Crêpes made with wine instead of milk. My interest was piqued - I had to give it a go.
From the outset I knew I wanted a savoury crepe so in a minor departure from Christina's attempt, I decided to use buckwheat flour instead of regular white flour. My eggs, from Marin Sun Farms, were on the small side and the batter turned out too thick so in addition to what the recipe called for I added an extra splash of water and another glug of wine to thin out the mixture.
I can't say I was totally enamoured of these crepes in their unadorned state, but once they had been smothered in Fatted Calf Petit Jambon, Cave Aged Gruyere and topped with a barely cooked egg in the style of a Crêpe complète, there was little telling them apart from a regular buckwheat crepe. Simply a nutty, toothsome backdrop to all the good stuff you want to throw on top of them, who am I to complain about a successful vehicle for transporting gooey melted cheese and runny egg yolk with a tasty bit of pig thrown in for good measure? It's clearly a French favourite, Fred appeared to be uncharacteristically happy with the outcome. I must have done something right, but next year it's back to the British method for me, after all that saltiness, I now need dessert.
PS Update: Christina at the Thorngrove Table kindly posted an answer to my question about Flour & Buckwheat in medieval times. Thanks Christina!
Ham | Petit Jambon, The Fatted Calf
Eggs | Marin Sun Farms
Favourite Place for Crepes | Ti Couz
Other Resources & Further Reading
Ancient, medieval and modern food | The Thorngrove Table
Wine Used | Horse Heaven Sauvignon Blanc, 2004
BBC Food | Why do we eat Pancakes on Shrove Tuesday?
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Labels: TraditionWine Pancakes?