Our family has embarked on virtual travels to various countries and regions. To explore these countries and their cultures, we have followed along with the festivals, cooked and eaten traditional foods, learned of traditional handicrafts with hands on exploration, along with many activities to immerse ourselves. Chronicled here are some of these activities.

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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Our French Canadian Roots: Recipe for Crepes au Sarasin | Buckwheat pancakes Part 1

Sharing our French Canadian heritage with a monthly recipe from our childhood, hoping to inspire similar traditions and memories for our daughters

It turns out both Hubby and I grew up with buckwheat pancakes. In Quebec, they are crepes au sarasin, that is thin buckwheat crepes with or without a filling, drizzled with maple syrup. In New Brunswick, an Acadian breakfast treat are ployes, buckwheat pancakes topped with butter and brown sugar.

This past weekend, my mother joined us for breakfast so Pea and I decided to make the crepes. Some of my fondest childhood memories revolve around these crepes: sitting at my grand parent's table in the middle of their kitchen, many of my mother's 8 younger siblings in various degrees of wakefulness - one helping my grandmother at the stove, another setting the table, another shouting that the bathroom is available. My grandfather is set in my memory as invariably sitting at the table, shredding good picnic ham to go with our crepes. And these crepes were huge - the size of dinner plates. Though you can eat the crepes alone with a drizzle (or much much more) of maple syrup, they are a hearty, tasty breakfast (or lunch, or supper) with a filling of ham and cheddar cheese. Topped of course with maple syrup.  Since my mother is a vegetarian, in this recipe we skipped the ham, and they are just as tasty, and filling, with cheese.

Read our earlier post on maple syrup here.

Crepes au Sarasin

Serves 4

  • 1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 egg
  • butter for your pan
  • cheddar cheese (optional - though recommended)
  • ham (optional)
  • maple syrup (a must)

1. Sift together dry ingredients.

2. Whisk together milk and egg - add to dry ingredients
Add water while whisking until you have smooth batter. Let stand for 30 minutes.

3. (Slice the cheese, shred the ham, set the table, get out the syrup)

4. Heat your pan on medium until hot. Melt a little bit of butter, then pour 1/4 cup of crepe batter (more if you want large crepes) onto your pan and swirl until it's nice and thin.

This one's ready to flip, bubbles around the edges, and no longer wet
5. These only take moments to be ready to flip - once you see bubbles at the top and the batter is no longer wet, flip the crepe. 

6. Add the cheese and ham on half, let cook for 30 seconds or so, and fold the crepe over the filling. 

Be sure to add a bit of butter to your pan after every second crepe or so (depending on your pan)

Enjoy with maple syrup - the real stuff. It's so worth it. 

- You can prepare the crepes first, keeping them warm in the oven on low. Then add the cheese, fold over and heat back up in a pan or two in order to have many ready at the same time. We are rarely that organized and all four of us take turns at the stove while the others are eating, and chatting around the kitchen table. 

Find our other French Canadian recipes here.


  1. Now I want to get some crepes.

    1. So easy to make - and have them for supper!

  2. Not fair!! Three recipes in one shot is not fair! I'm starving now!!

    1. Hee hee hee I'll try to slow down on recipe posts - this isn't supposed to be a cooking blog!


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