Life’s too short for papery pancakes. Welsh crempogau (crempog singular, also known as Ffroes) differ from the British/French crepe. More like the American pancake and bigger than the Scotch pancake, crempogau can be made with or without yeast, with buttermilk, oats or speckled with raisins or currants. Traditionally, they are made from self-raising flour, salt, eggs, milk and butter. Often stacked in a pile and smothered with butter, the stack can be sliced like a wedge of cake and eaten as a teatime treat.
Crempogau are traditionally eaten on Shrove Tuesday, though they're great to eat all year round! There are many customs attached to Shrove Tuesday in Wales, involving kicking cans up and down streets, door-to-door begging for flour and and cheeky songs and verses. They would have been cooked on a cast iron bakestone (or ‘planc’), but frying pans work fine, too! Here is Aaron Broster's recipe.
Modryb Elin Enog
Os gwelwch chi'n dda ga i grempog?
Cew chithau de a siwgr brown
A phwdin lond eich ffedog
Modryb Elin Enog…
Please may I have a pancake?
You can have tea and brown sugar
And your apron full of pudding
Auntie Elin Enog
How to make crempogau
- 2 oz/ 55g butter
- 15 fl oz/ 450 ml warm buttermilk
- 10 oz/ 275g all purpose/plain flour
- 3 oz/ 75g sugar
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- 2 free range eggs, well beaten
- Stir the butter into the warmed buttermilk until melted. Gradually pour the milk and butter into the the flour and beat well. Leave the mixture to stand for at least 30 minutes (or a few hours if possible) before stirring in the sugar, bicarbonate of soda, salt and vinegar into the beaten eggs.
- Pour this mixture into the flour and milk mixture and beat well to form a smooth batter. Heavily grease a griddle or hot-stone and heat, then drop the batter, a tablespoon at a time onto the heated griddle and cook over a moderate heat until golden brown on both sides. Keep the crempogau warm and continue this method until all the batter is used up. Spread butter on each pancake and eat while warm. Jam, banana, syrup, currants and even a chocolate drizzle are of course optional!
Recipe based on 'petites crêpes galloises' by Steph in the Cuisine
This recipe is © Aaron Broster