Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Whose got your Gluten-Free, Vegan Back Baby?

I knew it was a crazy idea because everyone knows you can't make crepes without eggs right?  Then I started thinking about all that gluten and stomach ache I was going to have even if I figured out a way to make them without chicken embryo gut bombs.  My thinking was, "they are going to be these carboard tasting, goey textured pancakes".  Which, let me add at this juncture...they WILL BE exactly that if you don't chill the dough AND if you fail to cook them long enough.

Typically crepes are made over moderately high heat (not screaming though) and they only cook a couple of minutes per side.  It doesn't matter whether you use a crepe maker or a saute pan (like I do...I don't need another electric gizmo to take up space in my kitchen), the traditional crepe cooks pretty darn fast.  But if you take note of the texture of the batter...especially right after it hits the hot skillet and you swirl it all out nice and thin, you'll notice that it LOOKS rubbery.  Now, if you know how to make them, they don't taste or feel rubbery but you can see the elasticity when they cook.  This of course if from the protein bonds in eggs and the flour. 

Gluten-free Vegan crepes will not have that.  They'll have a little bit of a protein bond from the interaction of the flour and the almond milk...but certainly not enough.  That's why I add a little xantham gum to my batter.  I tried it both ways...with and without.  The ones made without just fell apart.   The ones made with...looked and cooked up much like a traditional crepe with the exception of the cooking time.  Also, the batter doesn't "run" quite as easily when you swirl the pan.  You may need to give it a little help by filling in the gaps with a few drips of batter here and there.  As for cooking time...no less than 5-7 minutes per side, depending on how hot your pan is.  If you get it too hot, the crepes will burn on the outside before they are cooked through so take it easy on the heat.  I kept mine set at a steady medium...dead center of the button on my stove eye.  Match your skillet size to your burner size for even heat distribution and thus even cooking also. 

I know all this sounds like one gigantic pain in the butt...BUT...if you're already a gf and or vegan cook, you are well aware that experimenting is part of the process.  Some of them work...some don't.  This one works great.  As to the taste...they actually taste amazinly close to a regular crepe which totally blows my mind because the CEGB's make up most of the flavor component of regular crepes.  Or is it just a fried bread thing?? 

You can make these sweet or savory.  Reduce the amount of maple syrup in the batter for a savory crepe though.  In this recipe, I made them for dinner filled with mushrooms and shallots sauteed in white wine.  I hope you'll give them a try. 

Gluten-Free Vegan Crepes

•1 cup all purpose gluten free flour blend
•1 teaspoon xantham gum
•2 cups unsweetened almond or rice milk
•1/2 cup water
•1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
•1/4 cup melted coconut oil
•2 tablespoons pure maple syrup - reduce to 2 teaspoons if making savory crepes


•Combine flour, xantham gum and kosher salt in medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix until no lumps remain. This process can also be done in the blender.

•Cover batter and chill for at least 2 hours. Note: Chilling is important and crepes may not turn out as well if batter is not chilled.

•To Fry: Heat an 8" non stick skillet over medium heat and brush with a small amount of coocnut oil. Test by dropping a few drops of batter into skillet. Batter should blister up right away.

•Mix batter well before adding to pan. It should be about the consistency of unbeaten heavy cream. Ladle into pan and immediately tilt pan to spread batter. Fill in any holes with a few drops of batter.

•Fry until browned and set before attempting to flip. Crepe will need to cook twice as long as a traditional crepe or inside will be doughy. About 6-7 minutes per side over medium heat.

•Transfer to a plate and continue making crepes until all batter has been used. Use filling of choice.

For a delicious and simple savory filling; saute four thinly sliced shallots in two tablespoons of olive oil. Stir in 1 1/2 pounds of sliced mixed mushrooms. Saute until mushrooms are tender. Deglaze pan with 1/4 cup white wine and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make a slurry of 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder and 3 tablespoons of water or vegetable broth. Pour into mushroom mixture and stir until thickened. Use this mixture to fill crepes.

Make a simple sauce using 1 cup vegetable broth and 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk thickened with 1 tablespoon arrowroot. Bring this mixture to a boil; season with salt, pepper and herbs of choice. Serve over mushroom crepes. These are particularly good with a sprinkle of minced fresh Tarragon.

I placed my pan of finished crepes under the broiler with just a little of the sauce over them to crisp up the tops.  It made them look and taste yummy!

About to take a nice big yummy bite!

(c)copyright Jill Anderson
The Homegrown Gourmet

No comments:

Post a Comment

Wooohooo, yippeeee...I've got comments!

About Me

My photo
Fort Myers, Florida, United States