Un très délicieux Pancake Day!

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For a change, and because we specialise in French drinks, we decided upon a pancake day with a distinctly French influence. So where would we find out more? Simply by chatting to Patrick Jouan, the founder of Le Bon Vin who grew up in Brittany, France. What he described was mouthwatering, so we researched the recipes and the wines to match. Enjoy!

Apple Crêpes with Calvados

The classic combination of sweet apples with a calvados kick makes these pancakes impossible to resist. This recipe by Delia Smith is relatively simple to do while the results are outstanding. We recommend Calvados du Domfrontais, Domaine Pacory and Cidre Poire Normand to sip while dining.

  • Preparation time: less than 30 mins
  • Cooking time: 10 to 30 mins
  • Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 50g/2oz plain flour
  • 25g/1oz buckwheat flour
  • 1 level tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 200ml tub crème fraiche
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple
  • 2 tbsp. Calvados

To make the pancakes:

  • 50g/2oz melted butter

To serve:

  • caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp calvados
  • double cream, well chilled

Method

1. Peel and core the apple and cut into quarters. Coarsely grate into a bowl then toss it in 2 tbsp. Calvados and leave aside for 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, sift the flour, buckwheat flour and cinnamon into a bowl. Then in a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and crème fraiche together, then gradually whisk this into the flour mixture using an electric hand whisk until you have a smooth, lump free batter. Stir in the apple and calvados.

3. To make the pancakes, melt the butter in the frying pan, then tip it into a cup. To make your first pancake, heat the pan over a medium heat until it is very hot then use 1 tbsp. of the batter to make each pancake, cook until it becomes crisp at the edges and is a lovely golden colour underneath, then, using a palette knife or spatula, turn it over and cook the other side until crisp and golden (about 45 seconds on each side.)

4. Remove the crêpe to a warm plate. Lubricate the pan again with the melted butter, then continue cooking the pancakes until the batter is all used up. Transfer the pancakes to warmed plates, giving each person three or four, lightly dusted with caster sugar. Then combine the cream and calvados, put a little on each serving and hand the rest round separately. For a special occasion, you could flame these by leaving them piled on a large plate, dusting with caster sugar, then warming 3 tbsp. of calvados in a small pan ­ light it with a match and pour the flaming calvados over the pancakes. When the flame has died down serve each person three or four pancakes with pouring cream, served separately.

Download the recipe PDF here.

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Ham & Gruyere Galette Complète

Galettes hail from the Brittany region of France, and like bread were historically a very basic food item. This recipe is topped with an egg, melted Swiss cheese and ham. You can add almost anything, caramelised onions, sautéed mushrooms and even add green vegetables like spinach. Pay tribute to its rustic origins by pairing this dish with a glass of apple or pear cidre – Loic Raison Brut or a rich buttery Chardonnay like this one..

  • Preparation time: less than 30 mins
  • Cooking time: 10 to 30 mins
  • Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 80g buckwheat flour
  • 80g plain flour
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 110ml milk
  • 110ml water
  • 2 tbsp salted butter, melted, plus extra as needed

Filling:

  • 4 eggs
  • 225g Gruyère cheese, grated
  • 225g sliced ham

Method

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours and salt. Make a well in the centre and add the eggs, milk, and water. Whisk from the inside out, gradually pulling in the dry ingredients from the sides until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

2. Whisk in the melted butter. Then, whisk in 55ml cold water, or enough so that the batter has the consistency of heavy cream.

3. Heat a 12-inch non-stick sauté pan over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat and ladle some of the batter in the centre. Immediately tilt the pan to evenly distribute the batter into a thin, even layer. Return to the heat and cook undisturbed until lightly browned at the edges, about 1 to 2 minutes. Then flip with a spatula and cook for 1 more minute. Transfer to a plate and repeat until batter is finished.

4. To make a galette, heat the crepe pan and wipe a tiny bit of butter around the bottom. Add the crepe, ugly-side down (you’ll know which side I’m talking about), heat for 10 seconds or so, then flip. Place a slice of ham in the centre of the crepe and then crack an egg on top of the ham. Sprinkle about a ¼ c. of grated cheese around the egg and cook over medium heat until the egg white sets. Add the spinach and tomatoes at this stage if required. If you want to speed up the process, put a domed lid or another frying pan over the crepe. As soon as the cheese has melted, fold the edges of the crepe up so the galette is square and the yolk is framed by the round edges of the crepe.

Download the recipe PDF here.

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