Sunday, January 15, 2012

Vegan crêpes

We start every morning off right with some French press coffee. On the weekends we use what Michael likes to call "Big Bertha"- our 12-cup French press. We love coffee and even have a little coffee station in our kitchen.

We have crêpes almost every weekend and I thought I'd really miss these eggy, milky, buttery thin pancakes but after a few recipes I've finally found one that makes the cut. A lot of vegan crêpe recipes take a non-vegan recipe and make it vegan which can work but also can include some processed stuff that I don't like to get into. Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero have saved the day again! In their vegan bible cookbook, Veganomicon there is a great crêpe recipe that I tweaked just a little bit for my own tastes. It doesn't use an egg replacer but uses different kinds of flour that when combined with nondairy milk hold together nicely. This is a tricky recipe at first and if at first you don't succeed with crêpes, please try, try again. They're wonderful when you finally get them right. My first suggestion is to get a non-stick pan. I know there is some debate over whether or not these are actually safe to use but there are so many things out there that can make you sick and I pick and choose my battles. Trust me, unless you know how to correctly season a stainless steel pan go out and get a non-stick pan. You also need to grease the pan in between crêpes as there is no oil in the batter.

So the recipe says to let the batter chill for at least an hour or up to overnight. Since we're pretty hungry as soon as we wake up in the morning I usually make this the night before and it saves a lot of time in the morning.

"Savory wheat crêpes" from Veganomicon

1 1/2 cups soy or rice milk (I used almond milk because that's what we had on hand but soy or rice are a bit creamier)
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (I used 1/2 cup white and 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry)
*1/4 cup chickpea flour
1 Tbs arrowroot flour (you can use cornstarch)
1/2 tsp salt
I added 1 tsp or so of maple syrup and about a 1 tsp of vanilla extract

Michael wanted to get in this picture!

1. Combine the soy milk, water, flour(s), arrowroot and salt in a food processor or blender (I do this with a whisk in a bowl and you can use a handy hand-blender to make it really smooth- no need to get out your food processor or blender). Blend until everything is smooth- the batter should be very thin. Pour into an air-tight container, cover, and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour, or as long as overnight. When ready to cook the crêpes, briefly stir the batter if the ingredients have separated.

2. Over medium-high heat, heat a 9 to 10-inch crêpe pan or a heavy skillet. The pan is ready when a few drops of water flicked into it sizzle. Spray with non-stick cooking spray or grease with some Earth Balance sticks. Ladle 1/3 to 1/2 cup (use the bigger amount for a bigger pan) into the center of the pan. The batter should sizzle when it hits the pan. Holding the pan firmly by the handle, use your wrist to tilt it in a circular motion so that the batter spreads in a thin layer across the bottom. Continue to tilt the pan until the batter is fully spread and then sets.

3. Cook until the top of the crêpe is dry, the center is bubbling and the edges appear firm and lightly browned when gently lifted with the spatula, 1 to 1.5 minutes. Gently run the spatula under the crêpe to loosen it, then carefully flip and cook on the other side for about 30 seconds. Slide the crêpe onto a regular-size dinner plate.

4. Grease again with the Earth Balance for the next crêpe. Add more grease if it seems the crêpes are sticking to the pan. If bits of batter collect on the pan, or the pan seems too oily, quickly swirl a crumpled paper towel across the surface of the pan to remove the crumbs. Cook the rest of the crêpes, stacking one on top of another (often it's easiest just to slide the flipped crêpe directly onto the stack). If not serving immediately cover the entire batch with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.

5. For sweet crêpes, serve with fresh fruit and maple syrup, jam, peanut butter, chocolate hazelnut butter, almond butter, lemon curd or even just some powdered sugar. The sky's the limit! You can also make these into savory crêpes by omitting the vanilla and maple syrup and have them with mushroom gravy or vegan hollandaise sauce with roasted asparagus, or really with whatever your heart desires.

Crêpes with jam and maple syrup- yum!

*I wasn't sure about going out and buying chickpea flour- I mean, what else could I possibly use it for? It took me awhile to even attempt this recipe because I kept putting off buying chickpea flour. Just go out and buy it- it keeps well in the fridge and it really is an important part of this recipe. You can use it again and again for crêpes (because you're going to want to keep cooking these again and again) or you can use it for other recipes. I have yet to try it out with anything else but I've heard good things!

No comments:

Post a Comment