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Fast, uncomplicated and remarkably versatile, there are endless ways of serving crêpes, morning noon or night. Stuffed with savory fillings – fresh vegetables, herbs, meat or seafood – crêpes make perfect appetisers, entrées or main courses. Filled with seasonal fruit, sauces, sorbets or ice cream, they become flavor-oozing, one-isn’t-enough desserts.
The theatre of making crêpes – at home or happily watching one being prepared for you at a food market stall – is very much part of the joy they bring. From the seamless pouring of the silken batter and its transformation into a perfect golden-brown circle to the uplifting scent seducing the nostrils.
Perhaps the best part of making crepes at home is the joyous freedom of experimenting with as many ingredients as inspire you. The possibilities go far beyond the classic sprinkling of sugar followed by a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
At Christmas in particular, there is much to love about being able to make the batter ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for a day or two. Even better, you can make crêpes a few days ahead and reheat them in two minutes in a warm skillet without any real loss of deliciousness.
Are there any golden tips? Refrigerate the batter after it’s been mixed. This relaxes the gluten and makes for light, airy crêpes. “No matter what the recipe says, you should adjust the consistency of your batter to one resembling double cream,” advises celebrated BBC TV chef, Nigel Slater.
Whether you are a once-a-year crepe-eater or an all-year-round enthusiast who loves to cook up a batch at any opportunity, this festive season we cheerfully challenge you to broaden your crêpe savoir-faire.
Try fruit vinegar as an alternative to fruit sauce, jam or chocolate sauce. Maille’s intense Red Wine Vinegar with Dijon Blackcurrant Liqueur works a treat stirred into a berry compote or drizzled over ice cream.
For something really special that your guests won’t have experienced before, whip a spoonful or three of Morello Cherry, Almond and White Wine Mustard into fresh cream, spoon on a folded crêpe and top with a morello cherry
If looking for a super-seasonal recipe, fold Gingerbread, Chestnut Honey and White Wine Mustard into cream cheese. This classic from Alsace with spicy gingerbread sweetened with honey adds a standout spicy twist to a sweet crêpe.
Parmesan Cheese, Basil and White Wine Mustard for example, adds a refreshing hint of gourmet green-herbiness to a savory stuffing. Stir into salmon flakes or leftover chicken for a restaurant-worthy treat in under 10 minutes.
Similarly, an extra savory kick of Blue Cheese and White Wine Mustard will inject instant new life into cold meats going spare in the fridge. Chop up some cornichons to add a classic French crunch.
Get into the festive spirit – literally – by adding a luxury touch of alcohol to your crepes. A jar of Prunes, Armagnac Brandy and White Wine Mustard will add flavor to both sweet and savory crepes..
A marriage made in epicurean heaven, prunes and France’s oldest brandy are elevated to powerful heights with the addition of Maille Dijon mustard. Stir into your favorite melted cheese or chocolate sauce for an impressive new depth.