Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Wine Pancakes?

For Pancake Day, Shrove Tuesday or whatever you call it...

picture photograph of making crepes pancakes 2007 copyright of sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/ and photgraphy by Frederic Schmidt

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.

picture photograph of of a complet crepe with gruyere cheese fatted calf petit jambon ham and marin sun farms egg 2007 copyright of sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/ and photgraphy by Sam Breach

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!

Local Resources
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?

© 2007 Sam Breach at "Becks & Posh", becksposhnosh.blogspot.com This RSS Feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this material in your news aggregator, or at the aforementioned url, the site you are looking at might be guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact becks.posh.food.blog[AT]gmail[DOT]com to report any suspected violations. Thank you.


Wine Pancakes?


  • At 20/2/07 01:11, Blogger ChrisB said…

    Although this looks delicious It has to be lemon and sugar to bring back childhood memories. I could never cook them fast enough do you remember.

  • At 20/2/07 01:38, Blogger Culinary Cowgirl said…

    I don't know...that looks pretty good to me. But today this California girl will be enjoying a more traditional British version here in England.

  • At 20/2/07 02:13, Blogger Beccy said…

    Dillon thought it looked nice but doesn't want me to make those today, he wants the traditional lemon juice and sugar!

  • At 20/2/07 07:22, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ah, how can you go wrong with that lovely ham?

  • At 20/2/07 08:31, Blogger cookiecrumb said…

    Oh, gahhh! Beautiful.
    But really, egg *that* runny?

  • At 20/2/07 09:00, Blogger Catherine said…

    I'll be at my mum's tonight so I'm going to request the pancakes of my childhood with lemon and sugar. I'm not sure about buckwheat flour, but the wine sounds a good idea.

  • At 20/2/07 09:39, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    lemon and sugar in our home. no childhood memories of shrove tuesday here...just patisserie valerie.

  • At 20/2/07 11:55, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    That looks fantastic, what kind of wine did you end up using? I'm assuming it's a white, but wonder what your result would be like with a red.

  • At 20/2/07 23:20, Blogger Chubbypanda said…


    Silly girl. You never need an excuse for dessert.

  • At 21/2/07 02:38, Blogger Gemma said…

    This was the first year in a long time that I didn't have pancakes. It is lemon and sugar all the way for me - maybe I'll have them today instead!

  • At 21/2/07 06:03, Blogger Freya said…

    It's lemon and sugar all the way for me, but I have often fancied trying these buckwheat ones, they look devilishly good!

  • At 21/2/07 07:10, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh, I think they look nicer than mine! I've never tried that way of cooking eggs on top - very neat! I will definitely try that and the buckwheat next time. Although as you will see from my latest post, I don't think it was what was used in the original.

  • At 23/2/07 11:17, Blogger thepassionatecook said…

    oh how i crave galettes - super-completes are my favourites! shame you can't buy buckwheat galettes here in the uk... i find it very difficult to get the flour here. i completely missed pancake day this year, might make up for it by feasting at our local creperie ;-)

  • At 24/2/07 08:33, Blogger Sam said…

    get yourself on a plane mum and come make me pancakes, please?

    culinary cowgirl - I hope you like them.

    beccy - i don't blame him - i think these crepes are great, but pancake day itself needs lemon and sugar.

    brandon - I can't and I didn't!

    cookiecrumb - in the top picture, the egg isn't cooked, by the time it was finished, the white was opaque but, yes, the yolk I think I could just about eat raw if pushed - I LOVE runny egg yolk.

    catherine - you really should try the buckwheat flour for savoury crepes with cheese - as a veggie you would LOVE them I guarantee. I am totally sold on the idea of buckwheat for starters and regualr flour for afters.

    faustianbargain - I loved their almond croissants, but I loved Cafe Amato down the street even more. Umm, Cafe Amato, of my dreams.

    sabrina - i used white - there was a link to the wine I used in the bottom section of the post.

    chubbypanda - I know I don't really need one, but my conscience makes it wone of the requirements anyway.

    gemma - every day should be pancake day!

    freya - you should try it if you can get hold of the flour. I don't recommned them with lemon and sugar though.

    christina - thanks for all your help and your inspiration.

    johanna - what you should do is find a UK flour source then write a post called "where to find buckwheat flour in the UK" thereafter you will be the top of google for every search on the subject!

  • At 24/2/07 10:34, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    How cool, nice photos quality on the site and nice to see someone else breaking down the things we use or avoid everyday. Our food ran blog is similar, and we put up a link to this nice read and time consuming read.


Post a Comment

<< Home