Global GF Pancakes: Classic, Gluten-Free French Crêpes

gluten-free French crêpe

Last week I professed my love for the beautiful French cookbook titled The Best of Gluten-Free Cuisine. In case you missed the post, read here! Besides for being a feast for the eyes, this cookbook is chock full of easy, elegant French recipes. Sound like an oxymoron to you? Today I thought I’d share with you a recipe for basic gluten-free French crêpes to mix up the old pancake routine.

gluten-free French crepe

How are crêpes different from Pancakes?

For starters, crêpes are much thinner and airier than their fluffy American cousins. Where a pancake is prized for being compact and spongy, crêpes are usually much larger in circumference and delicately thin.

Another primary difference? While pancakes are a traditional breakfast staple crêpes can be found in France throughout the day.  Eaten both sweet (ex. nutella and fruits) and savory (filled with meat, veggies or cheese), crêpes can be transformed into a main dish for any meal.

Be French and make crêpes on February 2nd!

Fun fact! Did you know that February 2nd is the French holiday called La Chandeleur a.k.a. gluten-free French crepes“crêpe day” ?  Celebrated 40 days after Christmas, this Catholic holiday (Candelmas) has ancient, pagan origins in France when people would celebrate the return of the sun after winter. Some say the tradition of eating crêpes is to pay tribute to the sun-the roundness of the crêpe representing the sun and the arrival of spring.

Whatever the origin, French people today follow certain traditions such as flipping crêpes in one hand while holding a coin in the other. If flipped successfully, it is believed your family will have a prosperous year ahead. This day also serves as a kind of “Groundhog day” in which rhymes involving the weather on Chandeleur serve as predications for the spring ahead.

A Note about the recipe: Learn from my mistakes!

Making crêpes is not rocket science. In fact, if you look at the ingredient list you will see that the batter is extremely easy! However, there is an element of technique and attention that crêpes require which make them slightly more difficult than pancakes. While I can flip pancakes half asleep I had to throw away a good 5 crêpes and struggled at first with the technique. Hopefully I can save you this trouble with a few notes on my mistakes!

  • Don’t let the skillet get too hot-I found that if the heat was too high when you go to “swirl” your batter it will already have started cooking when it hit the pan and thus will not “swirl”. Instead you will have a lumpy mess. I kept the heat on my electric stove top at level “4” sometimes lowering down to “3.5”
  • Butter/grease the pan between each crêpe! Even when using nonstick skillets crêpes need the butter/margarine to swirl around the pan and cook nicely. I tried skipping the greasing and my crêpes wouldn’t turn and crumbled.
  • Mix/whisk the batter between each crêpe-I noticed that the rice flour settled quickly and that the batter needed a good stir before pouring each crêpe
  • Be patient! There is a reason these French treats are elegant and delicate! Once you get your swirling/flipping down they will come out beautifully!

Recipe:

Le meilleur de la cuisine sans gluten

Translated and adapted from: Le Meilleur de la Cuisine Sans Gluten

Classic Gluten-Free French Crêpes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Delicate, thin and airy, these gluten-free French crepes can be served as an elegant breakfast item, filled with veggies or cheese for a savory lunch or topped with nutella and fruits for a scrumptious dessert
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: French
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • ½ tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups of milk
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, xanxthan gum, salt, sugar)
  2. Add in the egg and slowly whisk in the milk until you reach a smooth creamy consistency. The batter will be thin and similar to the consistency of heavy cream
  3. Heat a small skillet over medium heat and grease lightly with butter or margarine. Using a ladle, spoon about ¼ cup of batter into the center of the pan and immediately swirl the pan so that the batter spreads into a thin, circular layer
  4. Let the crepe cook for about 1 min (the batter will become dull and dry looking) and gently flip with the help of a spatula or using your fingers
  5. Cook the second side for about 30 seconds or until slightly golden
  6. Repeat the process, greasing the pan with butter between each crepe
  7. Serve with your choice of filling or freeze in a plastic bag with sheets of wax paper between each crepe for storage

 

1.In a bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, xanxthan gum, salt, sugar)

making GF crepes
2.Add in the egg and slowly whisk in the milk until you reach a smooth creamy consistency. The batter will be thin and similar to the consistency of heavy cream

Making GF crepes
3.Heat a small skillet over medium heat and grease lightly with butter or margarine. Using a ladle, spoon about 1/4 cup of batter into the center of the pan and immediately swirl the pan so that the batter spreads into a thin, circular layer

Making GF crepes
4.Let the crepe cook for about 1 min (the batter will become dull and dry looking) and gently flip with the help of a spatula or using your fingers

Making GF crepes
5. Cook the second side for about 30 seconds or until slightly golden

Making GF crepes
6.Repeat the process, greasing the pan with butter between each crepe
Serve with your choice of filling or freeze in a plastic bag with sheets of wax paper between each crepe for storage

7. Enjoy!

Gluten-free French crepe

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