Crêpes for all [wheat & dairy sensitivity]
I have a fondness for breakfast and brunch foods. In fact, I would say brunch is hands-down my favorite repast. On the weekends, the mid-morning meal represents the quality time I get to spend with people I love. Coffee that I can sip in comfort, and a meal that befits my more leisurely weekend tempo.
The hubs loves sweet and savory meals of french toast, pancakes, waffles and crepes. The challenge is that with a gluten sensitivity, we have to be more creative with options that taste almost or as good as the wheat version.
I want to share a simple crepe recipe that you can enjoy with your partner, your rambunctious family, or special date. If they have a gluten or dairy sensitivity, no problem!
Keep reading and you’ll see easy-peasy recipes for mortadella & cheese crepes and confetti fruit crepes. Fun fact, funfetti was trademarked by Pillsbury, so hence the references here to confetti and the use of rainbow sprinkles to achieve the effect.
A little crêpe history mon ami
The delicate, thin pancake is typically made of wheat flour. It’s French in origin and is a Latin derivative of the term crispa, which translates to ‘curled’. The history of crepes date back to the thirteenth century in Brittany, a region west of France. Crepes were made famous in Brittany and eventually became a national dish of France. These delicate pancakes are most often filled with fruit fillings with sweet syrup, fresh fruit, and even a sweet lemon filling.
Crepes today can be found in much of the Western world. It’s popularity is seen in US, Canada, Belgium, and throughout Europe. Crepes are often eaten for breakfast, dessert, and the savory versions are ideal for lunch, snack or even dinner. Depending on the preparation, you could theoretically enjoy it breakfast, lunch and dinner. Popular savory versions include fillings of ham, cheese, and eggs with various types of veggies, i.e. mushrooms and spinach.
From time to time, you’ll see crêperies that specialize in an assortment of sweet and savory crepes. It’s also a popular item on some restaurant menus, but it’s easy to make at home. You don’t need any special equipment to make crepes in your own kitchen. Just grab that skillet, and let’s get started.
Basic Gluten Free Crepe Recipe
The first thing you want to do is to make the crepes themselves. You’ll need to gather up your ingredients. Dry ingredients of gluten-free flour and a pinch of salt. Wet ingredients of eggs, almond milk and vegan butter (for those with dairy sensitivities). See the ingredients list below.
For gluten-free flour, I would recommend Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose baking flour, or King Arthur’s all-purpose flour. Both are high quality GF flours. The Bob’s Red Mill flour I use is made from a blend of garbanzo bean flour, potato starch, whole grain white sorghum flour, tapioca flour, and fava bean flour. If you’re curious, the King Arthur all-purpose flour is a blend made from rice flour, tapioca flour, potato starch, and whole grain brown rice flour.
Blend flour and a few pinches of sea salt
Quickly blend the GF flour with a few pinches of sea salt or kosher salt.
Combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl
In a separate bowl, blend all your wet ingredients first. Your eggs, almond milk and melted butter (cooled to room temperature) should be whisked together until its well combined.
Then add your blended flour in with the wet ingredients, whisk until its well combined. Then set your batter aside
Heat up 9-inch skillet to make crepes
Use extra virgin olive oil spray oil to lightly grease the Skillet, then heat it up to a medium heat. Once the pan is hot, then ladle in the batter (~5 tablespoons) until the bottom of the pan is completely covered. You’ll want to tilt the pan around so the batter evenly spreads. Give it a minute to a minute-and-a-half and then carefully flip over with a large spatula. The other side will need half the time.
Stack up the cooked crepes on a platter
You’ll be able to make one crepe at a time, and the time goes by pretty fast. Stack up the crepes on a large plate or platter.
Basic Crepe Ingredients (makes ~12 servings)
– 1 3/4 cup of gluten-free flour
– Few pinches of sea salt
– 3 large brown eggs
– 2 tablespoons of vegan (or regular) butter
– 2 cups of Almond milk
– extra virgin olive oil spray
Mortadella & Cheese Crepes
What I do is split the 12 crepes and make half savory crepes, and half sweet crepes. The first batch of 6 crepes, I start with the savory filled crepe of mortadella (Italian bologna) combined with diced tomatoes, mushrooms, and shredded cheese. Mortadella is basically a fancier bologna that has become quite popular. It’s made from finely ground, cured pork and flavored with spices and includes whole peppercorns, myrtle berries and slices of pistachios. It’s certainly not the bologna I grew up with back in the day.
For dairy sensitivity, Daiya mozzarella shreds are fantastic. Otherwise go with a nice blend of mozzarella and cheddar shredded cheese.
Heat up the skillet and make savory crepes
Make one crepe at a time and fill with a large tablespoon of each type of savory ingredient. Then fold over the crepe to cover the filling, using the large spatula. A minute on each side (carefully flip over the closed crepe).
Serve up the crepes on a platter, and dig in.
Savory Filling Ingredients
– 1/2 cup of diced tomatoes
– 3/4 cup of shredded (vegan) cheese
– 1/2 cup of sliced mushrooms
– 3-4 slices of Mortadella (Italian bologna) or ham. Diced up.
– 1/4 tsp Herbs de provence
Confetti Fruit Crepes
You can then use the remaining crepes to make sweet fruity versions, which the kids (or the kids at heart) will love.
Prep fresh bananas, strawberries and blueberries for the filling
Slice up the bananas and strawberries. Place them in a bowl along with the fresh blueberries. Sprinkle the fruit with cinnamon.
Heat up the skillet to make the fruit-filled crepes
Heat up the skillet at a medium temperature and place a generous tablespoon of each type of sliced fruit. Add more to your liking, and then fold over the crepe. Heat both sides of the folded crepe for about a minute.
Place the finished crepe on a serving plate and get ready to adorn with the funfetti part.
Melt dark chocolate down in a bowl
In a microwave safe bowl, you can melt down 70-80% dark chocolate (or bittersweet baking chocolate chips). Microwave on high for 1 minute when you’re actually ready to use the chocolate. Stir the chocolate with a spoon before you drizzle over each of the folded crepes. You can do zig-zags of melted chocolate over the folded crepe.
Top off the fruit-filled crepes with rainbow sprinkles
On each crepe, drizzle the melted dark chocolate using a table spoon. Then optionally add non-dairy (or regular) whip cream. You can add sprinkles at the top and then serve it up on a dish.
Confetti Fruit Filling Ingredients
– 1-2 large bananas (sliced)
– 1/2 cup of strawberries (stems removed, sliced)
– 1/2 cup of blueberries
– 1/2 tsp cinnamon
– 1/4 cup of dark chocolate (70% cacao+) melted down
– Rainbow sprinkles (confetti effect)
– Non-dairy whip cream (optional)
Enjoy a fun new breakfast tradition. For a healthier sweet crepe version, you can tweak and adjust the toppings. Enjoy and bon appétit!