Add some extra taste to your crepes with this subtle version combining saffron and rum together. Sprinkle sugar on top or enjoy flambe with rum!
Observed every year on February 2nd, French Crepes Day (also called “Chandeleur”) is now right around the corner. Often associated with the Catholic holiday of candlemas, la Chandeleur actually stems from pagan traditions. The funny thing is that most of French people don’t even know about its origins. What matters is crepes, crepes, and only crepes! Oh yes, you can go crazy with crepes on February 2nd and every home make piles of crepes to enjoy with jams, sugar, chocolate, or whatever filling they fancy and have at hand.
You got it, Crepes Day is a serious thing, and I never met a French who didn’t know how to make crepes. It must be in our blood from when we were born, or almost. After so many years living abroad, I finally organized this year a Crepes Party prior to la Chandeleur. If you count the children, more than 20 people were expected, and I didn’t need to remind any of them about the event: almost everyone replied yes to the event and showed up. You never miss a crepes party (for more info, read Flip it like the French: learn how to organize a successful crepes party)!
Also, as crepes disappear so quickly (they are thin, light and supple), I asked my guests to bring anything they wanted from additional crepes, various fillings and drinks, among which cider is the official one to enjoy with crepes. I didn’t need to send any reminder, they all played the game beautifully and we ended up with no less than 150+ crepes, among which some classic French crepes, vegan chocolate crepes, sourdough crepes (I need to share with you this AMAZING recipe), and saffron crepes as well!
The beauty of crepes is indeed that you can use any perfume of your choice in the dough: from simple vanilla to Grand Marnier, Rum, lemon, orange, cocoa, or orange blossom water. This time I went a little bit crazy with saffron. It was actually not my first attempt. I had made crepes with saffron before when I lived in Sweden. There, it’s a common thing to use saffron in your pastries, which most of the time appears quite unusual for other countries. Even among my guests, I noticed that some of them where a little bit reluctant to try sweet crepes with saffron… until they tried!
The first thing you notice when you add saffron to your crepes (or any of your cooking/baking) is the beautiful and rather unusual yellow tint that it brings to the food. In this case, you get some lovely yellow crepes! Then, there are a few rules to keep in mind when using saffron. In order to help this precious spice to release its flavor the best way possible, you need to infuse in a small quantity of alcohol and sugar. Here, I combined it with rum and sugar in a small liquor/shot glass. Let sit for as long as possible, from a few minutes to a couple of hours and why not overnight before using it.
Then all you need to do is combine this saffron-rum mixture to the crepes batter and mix well. For this recipe, I also added 3 tablespoons of sugar to the batter (that not necessarily need sugar on the first place) for extra taste because of the saffron. For the rest, just cook your crepes as you would normally do, flipping them over once the first side is cooked through, and serve warm or cold with additional sugar sprinkled over. You can also flambe your crepes with rum if you feel like it. In any case, never forget to serve with a glass of strong cider on the side to enjoy your crepes as French do. Happy French Crepes Day, everyone!
- 1½ Tablespoon rum
- 0.5g saffron, freshly ground
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
- 1 pinch of salt
- 4 large eggs
- 2 Tablespoons (25g) melted butter or vegetable oil, neutral in taste
- 2 cup (50 cl) milk
- 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) oil for cooking
- 3 Tablespoons (45g) sugar
- In a small liquor/shot glass, combine rum, freshly ground saffron and one teaspoon of sugar. Let sit for at least 30 minutes before using it (if possible, let sit overnight).
- Pour flour and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Add the eggs and the melted butter. Whisk vigorously and slowly start to pour in a little milk, mixing as you pour, to keep the batter smooth. Add the saffron-rum mixture and stir well. Pour in the rest of the milk until it looks smooth. Cover the bowl and let sit for 1 hour.
- Heat a 15 cm/6-inch crêpe pan and grease with oil using a piece of paper towel. Pour in a ladle of dough by tilting the pan in all directions to distribute the dough well. Heat until the surface is cooked, then flip the pancakes and cook the other surface for about a minute, or until the crepe becomes lightly blonde. Proceed the same with the remaining batter.
- Stack the crepes onto a plate, and serve sprinkled with sugar or fambe!