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Monday, August 12, 2013


Posted by Bryna Bear aka Gluten Free Baking Bear

     Crepes are a thin French pancake.  They can be filled with savory items for lunch or dinner or with sweet things for dessert or breakfast.  There are sweet batters for sweet fillings and unsweetened batter for savory crepes.  There are also buckwheat crepes.  I made an unsweetened crepe batter for savory crepes.
     Crepes can be made a few days ahead and stored in the refrigerator between layers of plastic wrap, waxed paper or parchment paper  (so they don’t stick together).  For a crowd you can easily reheat them in the oven or some people enjoy them at room temperature with warm or cold fillings.  Filled crepes are folded or rolled.  For the French Tea Party I folded it in half and then served each guest a half of a crepe.
     I decided to use Julia Child’s recipe from her cookbook “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” and then I converted the recipe into a gluten free version.   I never tried to make gluten free crepes before.  I have a non-stick crepe pan, a wooden crepe turner and a wooden crepe batter spreader.  I read some instructions about pouring the batter into the pan while the pan is tilted at an angle and turning the pan as you pour so the batter spreads.  I guess I am not coordinated well enough to do all that at the same time.  
     My first several crepes kept falling apart when I tried to turn them over (the damage was irreparable...but they tasted great).  I had almost used up half the batter when I finally ceased and desisted and watched some videos on Youtube.  Jaques Pepin used his bare fingers to grab an edge to flip them.  It looked so easy.  I figured the spatula and wooden turner must be to blame for tearing my crepes.  My goodness those crepes were hot!  My bare fingers could not manage to turn them without breaking them.  So then I deduced that the gluten free texture must be different from the wheat crepes and decided to try flipping the crepes over with a plate.  My first few attempts required two plates to get the crepe with the right side into the pan, but then I got it down to a one plate method.  I slid the cooked side onto a plate, put the pan over the plate and with two oven mitt clad hands I held the plate and pan together as I flipped the crepe over into the pan raw side down. Success! 
     Jacques Pepin patched the holes in the crepes with some batter.  Even his crepe batter did not spread perfectly all over the pan.  I managed to make the rest of the batter into whole crepes, but I had wasted too much batter at first and I had to make another batch.  Julia Child’s instructions indicated that the batter had to be refrigerated for several hours before using, but Jacques Pepin cooked his right after mixing the batter.  My first batch was refrigerated overnight the second was used right away.  Truthfully, I think the fresh batter came out better. 
     Every recipe I looked at said that mixing the batter in a blender was the way to go.  I wonder how they managed to make crepes before electricity.  I’m all for modern conveniences and used a blender.  You should try to make the crepes very thin, about 1/16th of an inch thick.  I did not measure mine, but I’m pretty sure they were a bit thicker than that.  I was just happy that they were whole, round and cooked.
     For the Tea Party I made the crepes, the filling and the gravy dairy free. I sautéed chopped vegetables for the filling and made the Mushroom Gravy from my Thanksgiving post. Everyone loved them and they came out quite delicious. 

UPDATE:  I now have a new easier to make and turn over crepe recipe.  Try this new crepe recipe with these fillings. 

Makes about 20 crepes


2 cups  Milk - For Dairy Free use non-dairy milk such as almond.
4 large Eggs
1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
1 cup Sorghum Flour
1/4 cup Tapioca Flour
1/4 cup Chickpea Flour
3/4 tsp. Xanthan Gum
4 Tbs. Oil or Melted Butter or Margarine

  1.   In a small bowl add the flours, salt and xanthan gum and mix well.  Set aside.
  2.   Add the eggs and milk to the blender, then add the flour mixture and then the oil or melted butter or margarine.
    Ingredients in the blender.
  3.   Blend at top speed for 1 minute.
  4.   Scrape down any flour that has stuck to the sides of the blender and blend for a few more seconds.
    Batter after blending.
  5.   The batter should be the thickness of heavy cream and coat the back of your wooden spoon.  If too thick add water, a tablespoon at a time, until the right consistency is reached.
    Batter coating the back of a wooden spoon.
  6.   Heat a crepe pan (mine is 8 1/2 inches on the bottom) over medium to medium high heat.
  7.   Grease pan with oil (I used cooking spray) before making each crepe.
  8.   Use about 1/4 cup of batter for each crepe.  (I had to use 1/3 cup.)
  9.   Tilt the pan and pour the batter into the pan as you turn the pan in all directions to spread the batter out over the bottom of the pan.  Fill any uncovered areas with a little batter.
  10.   Cook for about 45 seconds or until lightly browned.
    Crepe with the top raw and bottom cooked, ready to flip over.
  11. Flip the crepe over and cook on the other side for about 20-30 seconds.  (I slid the crepe onto a plate after the first side was cooked.  I covered the plate with the pan and using two oven mitts on my hands I held the plate and pan together and turned the crepe over into the pan with the raw side facing the bottom of the pan.)
    The plate with the crepe raw side up and the pan on top,
    ready to be turned over while wearing oven mitts.

    The crepe turned over with the raw side facing down.
    The crepe will be centered by shaking the pan.
  12.   If not eating right away allow the crepe to cool completely before placing a piece of plastic wrap, parchment paper or waxed paper on top and placing the next crepe on top.  Repeat making the crepes until all the batter is used.  Store the crepes for up to 5 days separated with waxed paper, parchment paper or plastic wrap and zipped up in a plastic bag.  The cooked crepes freeze well.  Reheat when ready to use.
    Cooked crepes piled between layers of plastic wrap.


1 medium Onion chopped
2 large Cloves of Garlic minced or crushed.
3 cups Chopped vegetables such as zucchini, yellow squash, peppers, string beans or any combination of these.
to taste Salt and Pepper
1/2 tsp. Ground Herbs de Provence  (This is a combination of herbs very commonly used in France.  Mine contains Basil, Marjoram, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Savory and Lavender.  Usually the French version has Savory, Fennel, Basil and Thyme.)
2 Tbs. Olive Oil for cooking

  1. Heat oil in a sauté pan. 
  2. Add the onions and sauté for a few minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and sauté about 30 seconds.
  4. Add the rest of the vegetables and sauté until tender.
  5. Add the Herbs de Provence and season with the Salt and Pepper to taste.

  1. Make 1/2 recipe Mushroom Gravy.

GF Savory Crepes filled with vegetables, folded and cut in half.
Next the mushroom gravy will go on top.
Photo by Mary Pearson

  1. Take one crepe.
  2. Place about 1/4 cup of vegetable filling on one half of the crepe.
  3. Fold the crepe in half.  Repeat until you have the desired amount of crepes.  
  4. If the crepe and filling are cold place the folded crepes on a foil lined baking sheet and heat in a 350 degree oven for about 5-10 minutes until warmed through.
  5. Cut the folded crepes in half and place one half on each plate. 
  6. Top with mushroom gravy.
  7. Serve and enjoy.

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