Crêpes {gluten-free}

Gluten Free CrepesThe first time I can remember having crêpes was quite a few years ago when my mother made a batch of Crêpes Suzette from an old cookbook she had. Of course, I was hooked… Since that happy day, crêpes have been a regular in our rotation for breakfasts, brunches, lunches, dinners…I think I make crêpes at least once a week.Over the years, I have adapted and changed the original wheat flour recipe, and now I like to alternate using a variety of flours. This particular recipe is one of my favourites; a flavourfully nutty combination of chestnut and oat flours.  I have tried different gluten-free flour combinations, but this one seems to provide a really nice texture; very tender and smooth, not grainy at all, and pliable enough to flip without breaking apart in the pan. Strawberries are listed as a low-oxalate fruit on this University of Chicago website, which has the most up-to-date information I have found so far; I’m still trying to find out about chestnut flour.

This recipe makes approximately 6-8 ten-inch crêpes.

Ingredients:

2 large eggs
2 cups milk (dairy or coconut)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla*
1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 cup chestnut flour
pinch of salt
teaspoon of organic sugar or maple syrup*
butter or mild-flavoured oil, such as coconut for the pan

*if you are making savoury crêpes, omit the vanilla and sugar

In a large bowl, blend the flours, sugar, and salt together with a whisk. Measure out the milk, make a well in the centre of the flour mixture, and gradually blend with a whisk to form a paste, then incorporating more of the milk until all is blended and smooth. Then add eggs and vanilla and whisk again to combine. Alternatively, if you have a blender, you can add all the ingredients to the blender, starting with the wet ingredients, and just blend for a minute or so. Let the batter rest while your pan heats up.

Set a cast iron or non-stick green-pan over low/medium heat; the pan should be hot enough to sizzle a drop of water, but not so hot that your oil smokes and burns. Turn your oven to about 170° F, and place a cookie sheet in the oven (this is to put the finished crêpes on to keep them warm). I also like to put our plates in the oven to warm them up.

Once your pan is hot, spread about 1/2 a teaspoon of butter in the bottom of your pan with a pastry brush; just enough to cover the bottom of the pan, but not so much that the crêpes will be greasy. I use a soup ladle to measure out about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of batter per crêpe, but you can adjust this amount to suit the thickness of crêpe you prefer, and to fit the size of your pan.

As soon as you pour the batter into the pan, pick up the pan by the handle, and tip the pan from side to side, and front to back in a circular motion to evenly distribute the batter over the pan before it cooks. It will cook very quickly, so you have to be fast!  Once the batter has set, and the bottom is lightly browned (you can use a spatula to lift up an edge and peek underneath) it’s time to flip the crêpe.

flipping the crepeRun the corner of your spatula all around the edge of the crêpe to loosen it from the pan.  If it’s sticking in the centre, you can gently edge the spatula underneath until the crêpe is loosened.  Then, slide the spatula directly underneath the centre of the crêpe, and quickly flip over, trying to centre the crêpe in the pan.  For some reason, it seems as though the pan likes to be “broken in”, and sometimes this first crêpe will not be very successful (Emmy has enjoyed a few crumpled balls of crêpe dough).

Place cooked crêpes on the cookie sheet in the oven, and cover with a clean, damp dish towel to keep them from drying out. As you make additional crêpes, add them to the cookie sheet in the oven to keep them warm (they shouldn’t stick together, so it’s ok to stack them on top of each other).

We like our crêpes filled with strawberries and whipped cream, or scrambled egg and grated swiss cheese, but of course, you can use any filling you like!

Regarding substitutions, this recipe is quite forgiving, you should be able to substitute a variety of gluten-free flours and still have the crêpes turn out well.  However, they seem to hold together better when a combination of at least two flours is used, rather than a single type of flour.  I have used mixtures combining oat flour or sorghum flour, and they have all worked quite well, but I have found that crêpes made with gluten free flours are a bit more delicate, so I’ve had to be more careful when flipping them over.

Buckwheat Crepes-2

Printable version:

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Crêpes

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups milk of choice dairy or coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla*
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 cup chestnut flour
  • pinch of salt
  • teaspoon of organic sugar*
  • butter or mild-flavoured oil such as coconut, for the pan
  • *if you are making savoury crêpes omit the vanilla and sugar

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, blend the flours, sugar, and salt together with a whisk.
  2. Measure out the milk, make a well in the centre of the flour mixture, add a bit of milk, and gradually blend with a whisk to form a paste, incorporating more of the milk until all is blended and smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk again to combine. Alternatively, if you have a blender, you can add all the ingredients to the blender, starting with the wet ingredients, and just blend for a minute or so. Let the batter rest while your pan heats up.
  3. Set a cast iron or non-stick green-pan over low/medium heat; the pan should be hot enough to sizzle a drop of water, but not so hot that your oil smokes and burns.
  4. Turn your oven to about 170° F, and place a cookie sheet in the oven (this is to put the finished crêpes on to keep them warm). I also like to put our plates in the oven to warm them up.
  5. Once your pan is hot, spread about 1/2 a teaspoon of butter in the bottom of your pan with a pastry brush; just enough to cover the bottom of the pan, but not so much that the crêpes will be greasy. I use a soup ladle to measure out about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of batter per crêpe, but you can adjust this amount to suit the thickness of crêpe you prefer, and to fit the size of your pan.
  6. As soon as you pour the batter into the pan, pick up the pan by the handle, and tip the pan from side to side, and front to back in a circular motion to evenly distribute the batter over the pan before it cooks. It will cook very quickly, so you have to be fast!
  7. Once the batter has set, and the bottom is lightly browned (you can use a spatula to lift up an edge and peek underneath) it's time to flip the crêpe.
  8. Run the corner of your spatula all around the edge of the crêpe to loosen it from the pan. If it's sticking in the centre, you can gently edge the spatula underneath until the crêpe is loosened. Then, slide the spatula directly underneath the centre of the crêpe, and quickly flip over, trying to centre the crêpe in the pan.
  9. Place cooked crêpes on the cookie sheet in the oven, and cover with a clean, damp dish towel to keep them from drying out. As you make additional crêpes, add them to the cookie sheet in the oven to keep them warm (they shouldn't stick together, so it's ok to stack them on top of each other).
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