Ficelle Picarde

from Rustic French Cooking Made Easy

Coming from Brittany, the birthplace of crepes, I always made savory crepes the traditional way, with buckwheat flour, until I discovered the Ficelle Picarde (cheese, ham and mushroom stuffed crepes). This cheesy gratin of crepes, stuffed with a mushroom cream and slices of ham, is a hit in its region, Picardy, and surely proves to Breton people that whole wheat flour crepes belong with savory fillings too!

The filling starts with the making of a duxelles, a finely chopped mix of mushrooms and shallots, cooked in butter and reduced to a crumbly paste. This simple preparation lends incredible flavors to the creamy sauce, and it raises this recipe from a classic ham and cheese crepe to an elevated comfort dish. 


For the Crepes

1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour

1 tbsp (13 g) sugar

Pinch of salt

2 large eggs

2 tbsp (30 g) unsalted butter, melted

1 cup (250 mL) 2% milk

1 tbsp (15 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

For the Filling

3 shallots

6 cups (420 g) cremini mushrooms

4 tbsp (60 g) unsalted butter

Salt and fresh ground pepper

1 tbsp (45 mL) crème fraiche

8 slices Parisian ham, or best quality deli ham, thinly sliced

2/3 cup (50 g) grated Emmental cheese (or Gruyere or aged cheddar)


To make the crepes, in a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar and salt, and make a well in the middle. Add the eggs and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula.

In a separate bowl, combine the melted butter and milk. Whisk the milk and butter into the crepe batter, in small additions, whisking continuously until the batter is smooth with the consistency of heavy cream. If there are any lumps, pass your batter through a fine mesh strainer. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.

Heat a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat, with 1 tablespoon (15 g) of butter. Pour in 1/3 cup (80 mL) of the batter and swirl your pan quickly to completely cover the bottom. Cook until micro-bubbles form on top and the underside of the crepe is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Loosen the edge of the crepe with a rubber spatula, then with your fingertips, peel off the crepe and quickly flip it. Cook for an additional minute. Slide your crepe onto a plate and cover with a dish cloth. Repeat and stack your crepes onto the plate always keeping them covered with a cloth. 

To make the filling, peel the shallots and chop them very finely. Wash the mushrooms and chop them very finely. Heat a large frying pan with the butter. Sauté the shallots and mushrooms until very soft, browned and all their juices have evaporated. Season to taste. Stir in the crème fraiche and set aside.

Preheat your oven to 350F (180C) with a rack in the middle.

Lay a crepe flat onto a plate. Top with a slice of ham and one-eighth of the mushroom cream. Gently roll up the crepe and place it in a 13×9 inch (3×23 cm) baking dish. Repeat with the other crepes. Sprinkle the grated cheese evenly on the crepes and season to taste. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

Serves 8 – makes 8 crepes.

Nada’s Tips & Tricks: I tweaked this using tortillas and made a cheese sauce over top of the casserole dish. Not authentic but quick and tasty!

Reprinted with permission from Rustic French Cooking by Audrey Le Goff. Page Street Publishing Co. 2019. Photo credit: Audrey Le Goff & Karly Schaefer.