Feburary 2nd is Crepe day, at least in France. For those of you who are not French, you may not know about this day (which also goes by another name), or you may not even know what crepes really are. The thing that drives me the most nuts about them and Americans is that Americans butcher the pronunciation. The middle “e” is pronounced as an e in elephant, not as an “a” in ape.
That aside, they are not really like pancakes. They are thinner, and taste different and have no baking powder in them. I also think they taste better. My family eats them for dinner one night, and we eat leftovers for breakfast and lunch the next day (if there are any left). And yes, you can put other stuff in them than strawberries and whipped cream, and the traditional thing is actually a sugar made from beet roots
(also very good is nutella, if you can have nuts). Yes. I’m totally serious. How you eat your crepes is up to you and your imagination. They’re really good stuffed (my family’s favorite stuffing is chicken and spinach in a white sauce), you can eat them plain (but taste even better with stuff on them), you can layer them, fold them (triangle, square, envelope, whatever), roll them, put cheese in them, or whatever.
So, in honor of Crepe Day, I’m going to share with you 2 recipes for crepes: 1 without egg and the other with egg. Both are gluten and dairy free.
However, first I’ll tell you about the process of making them and why it’s taken me so long to get the right recipe, and even write it down so I can repeat it. I don’t know any thoroughly French person who makes crepes from a cook book. I learned to make them from my mom who learned from her mom and dad, and I’ll pass it along when the time comes. It’s all in the eye and hand. Before I went gluten free, I often had friends ask me for a crepe recipe (after they tasted my stuffed crepe dish at the county fair), and I’ve had to tell them that I don’t exactly have a recipe. I pour about this much flour and add that many eggs, and this much milk, and that much oil…. you get the point. It all comes with practice.
The most important part however, is the skillet. The lower the side of the skillet, the better and easier they will be to make. Also, preferably you’ll want to use a teflon skillet, though make sure it’s either a dedicated gluten free one, or has no scratches on it. Also, you’ll want a flipper thingy. Traditionally you use a long knife thingy, but if you don’t have that, a pancake flipper can do too.
When you mix the batter, you’ll want to get as many lumps out as you can. I usually use a fork at first, and if necessary an electric mixer, and then finish off with the ladle. The consistancy is the hardest part. It all depends on how thick or thin you want your crepes. It should be liquid, but not as liquid as milk is. But it should absolutely not be like pancake batter. If they’re too thick, simply add a bit of milk to the batter.
So, now, for the recipes. First the gluten, dairy, and egg free one:
25 g Sorghum
25 g Garbunzo and Fava bean flour
25 g Millet flour
25 g Potato starch
25 g Arrowroot flour/starch
50 g Sweet white rice flour
30 g oil
380 g rice/soy milk
Mix the flours together, then add 1/2 the milk, the oil and then slowly the other 1/2 of the milk, incorporating it with the ladle. Pour onto a skillet and spread the batter out by tilting the pan. Let cook 2-3 minutes (till you see it’s no longer white on the top) and flip. Let cook 1-2 min and remove from skillet. Repeat. Makes 4-5 6-7″ crepes.
(As I’m typing this up, something looks funny about this recipe. I’m not sure if I forgot to write down either xanathan gum or flax seed meal…. but I’ll find out and fix it if necessary)
Gluten and dairy free crepes:
50 g Millet flour
90 g Sweet Sorghum flour
65 g Sweet White Rice flour
95 g Potato starch
3 g xanathan gum
40 g oil
585 g soy/rice milk
Mix flours together. Add eggs and begin to mix. Add 1/2 of milk slowly, then oil. Slowly add remaining 1/2 of milk stirring with ladle (if you need more milk, add more milk, only a little at a time though). Pour 1/3-1/2 cup of batter on skillet and spread around by tilting the skillet. Cook 2-3 minutes or until batter is not white on top. Flip. Cook for 1-2 minutes, remove from skillet. Makes 8-10 7-8″ crepes.