A few years ago, I posted a quick and simple sweet crêpe recipe, along with directions for making the crepe (I highly recommend using a dedicated crepe maker like the one I have, a CucinaPro 12" Griddle, but a normal crepe pan works as well).
After posting a picture of some special crêpes I make for my children (who have a number of food allergies!) on Twitter, a few people asked for the recipe, since it's a bit of a trick to get a gluten, dairy and egg-free crepe to taste okay and hold together in a way that resembles a traditional crêpe! If you just go gluten-free, the crepe has mostly the same taste and texture. If you just go dairy-free, you loose a little fluffiness, but otherwise the taste is unaffected. Remove the eggs, and it can be tricky to hold a thin crepe together!
The recipe below has been tested and honed quite a bit over the past year, as my family has a weekly tradition of Sunday crêpe night:
- 1 ½ cups gluten-free flour
- 2 tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 ½ cups almond milk
- 2 'fake eggs' (mix 3 tbsp corn starch, 3 tbsp water separately, stir right before mixing in)
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
Combine dry ingredients in bowl and gently mix them together with a whisk.
Combine liquid ingredients in separate bowl or measuring cup, mix with a spoon, then pour into dry ingredients.
Stir both together until texture is smooth (hand stir for maybe 2 min), and put into a pouring device (I use my Pyrex measuring cup).
Heat griddle/pan to low/medium, pour enough batter to cover a CD/DVD-sized circle, then spread with a wood crêpe-spreader stick (or use pan handle to work the batter around the pan). Fill in any large air bubbles with a little extra batter. Wait until top surface looks dry, then flip the crepe, and wait until steam volume is about half what it was at the beginning.
(Makes ~6 10" crêpes.)
Tips for best crepe texture
The taste is about the same as long as you don't burn the crepes—but the hardest thing to get right when you're playing around with gluten/dairy/egg substitutes is the texture. Cook the crepe too long, and it turns into something resembling peanut brittle. Too short, and it tears when you pick it up. Here are some ways to get a more traditional texture:
- Stir the batter every 3-4 minutes (otherwise the corn starch has a tendency to clump in the bottom and your batter won't stick together as well.
- You can keep the batter in the fridge an hour or two if you need to (it should be chilled, so either use it right after making it, or keep it in the fridge for a bit).
- Coat your pan in a very light cover of vegetable oil, but don't keep spraying it, buttering it, etc. unless you can keep it in a very thin layer.
- Don't cook the crepe until steam stops—if you do, that means the little moisture that allows some flex in the crepe is gone, and you now have crêpe-brittle, not a soft/fluffy crêpe!
- Trial and error is best; depending on temperature, batter thickness, and even what brand of GF flour or milk alternative you use, you will need to modify the technique and possibly the amounts in the recipe slightly.