Ode to the Crêpe

Monday, Sep 12 2011 Cooking!

The crêpe embodies all that is good in life: simplicity, versatility, elegance. It is French, after all. Unlike romantic partners, bank accounts, or the weather, a crêpe is infinitely malleable and adaptable to one’s desires. It’s equally comfortable gussied up as the debutante (Suzette) or dressed down the peasant (aux oeufs). Buckwheat crêpe for savory preparations, white flour for sweet. A nearly anonymous vessel, it provides a beautifully straightforward vehicle for sauces, cheeses, eggs, sweets, fruit, veggies, ice creams, and the like. It is the alpha and the omega; the breakfast, the appetizer, the entree and the dessert. All in one.

I’m willing to err on the side of hyperbole and proclaim it one of the greatest culinary inventions, ever.

After much trial and error, I nailed a GFDF facsimile that compromises neither taste nor texture. Below is my recipe for crêpes sucrées, or “sweet crepes”. I most recently served these with lemon curd, fresh strawberry coulis, and a filling of DF sour cream whipped with lemon zest. Strawberry. Lemon. Cream Cheese. Crêpes. Yes, please.

CRÊPES SUCRÉES

1/3 c. white rice flour
1/3 c. sweet/glutinous rice flour (it’s gluten-free despite the confusing name)
1/3 c. brown rice flour
2 eggs
1/3 c. canned coconut milk
2/3 c. water
1/4 t. salt
2 T melted butter or grapeseed oil

Put all ingredients except butter/oil in blender or food processor and blend until smooth (or, whisk by hand until all lumps are gone). Pour batter into bowl and whisk in butter. Let stand 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat crêpe pan or medium-sized sautee pan thoroughly over medium heat. If using butter, add enough to just grease the surface. The pan is the right temperature if butter froths but does not burn. Add 1/4 – 1/3 c. batter (depending on size of pan) and immediately rotate pan around to spread batter and create a thin pancake. Cook 2-3 minutes per side.

Cooking crêpes takes a bit of time, unless you have 2+ pans and 4+ hands. So, they make for the perfect leisurely weekend morning breakfast. To keep mine soft, as they come off the burner I stack them one on top of another on a dinner plate placed in a heated oven (turned onto 200 degrees for 5 minutes and then shut off).

Note: This Lemon Curd recipe on Epicurious has served me time and time again. In my dairy-eating days I would stuff crêpes with ricotta and serve them with a shining dollop of this tangy goodness.

Suggested Listening: An 8Tracks soundtrack I compiled, “To accompany the making and eating of breakfast crêpes.”