My fondest memories of crepes date back a few years ago. I was backpacking through France and crepes were budget friendly food. During my time in Paris, I gained 7 pounds in a 7 day period due to a steady diet of crepes, croissants, baguettes, and other French pastries whose name I surely butchered.
I ate crepes at la crêperie restaurants, at tiny bistros and sometimes whilst walking down the forever charming streets of Paris.
When I returned to the states, I didn't bother making crepes because I knew mine would never be nearly as good as the French stuff. Fast forward to now and I have had a hankering for crepes.
Of course, traditional French crepes are made with des oeufs or eggs. So what's a vegan supposed to do??
Honestly, you don't really need eggs! Just some basic ingredients like flour, (soy) milk, and (vegan) butter, and you're all set!
My favorite part of this recipe is that you can just toss the ingredients into a blender. No hand beating or whisking required.
My other favorite part of this recipe (yes, I'm allowed to have two favorite parts) is that it's packed with holiday flavors! The combination of the nutmeg and molasses will make it smell like tiny gingerbread people have invaded your home, and the cranberry orange compote is the perfect combination of sweet and tart. The compote is sweet enough so you don't need to add maple syrup, but a dollop of dairy-free whipped cream would be a lovely addition.
Now for some tips on how to cook crepes:
- Sift the flour so you don’t have any clumps.
- When making eggless crepes, it’s helpful to add baking powder. Not only does it add some leavening but it also makes it more alkaline, and thus easier to spread.
- Let your batter rest for at least 15 minutes, or an hour if you can. This allows the starch in the flour to hydrate and properly absorb the liquid in the batter, giving it a more viscous texture and more uniform finished product.
- A shallow pan works best for crepes since it's easier to flip and remove the crepes. I find that nonstick pans and cast iron pans both work well.
- Pour just a little bit of batter into the pan - you want the crepes to be thin
- Make sure the pan is hot before you add the batter.
- Once the pan is hot, remove the skillet from the heat and pour in the batter and tilt and turn the pan to get a thin layer. Then return the pan to the heat to cook.
- Be patient: if you can’t get the spatula underneath the crepe without forcing it, let it cook for a few more minutes. If the crepe lifts up quite easily, it’s time to flip.
You can serve these crepes in two different ways. One option is to fold the crepe once you've cooked both sides, and then top the folded crepe with the cranberry compote or your filling of choice.
The other option is to flip your crepe, then layer the cranberry compote filling down the center, and fold the crepe over in the middle, like a burrito.
I hope you give these festive crepes a try. Bon Appétit!
Gingerbread Crepes with Cranberry Compete
An easy crepe batter that comes together in your blender and requires minimal cleanup? Yes, please! Add in some gingerbread spices and gooey molasses, and you have yourself a warm and decadent treat this holiday season! The cranberry compote is sweet enough to replace traditional syrup and a garnish of fresh mint adds a welcoming freshness.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose or whole-wheat flour, sifted
- Scant 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- A pinch of cloves
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons organic blackstrap molasses
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons soy milk or other non-dairy milk
- 1/4 cup sparkling water
- 1 tablespoon melted vegan butter or melted coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until you obtain a smooth and lump free batter. Alternatively, you can use a whisk to mix everything together until well combined.
- Cover the batter and chill for 1 hour.
- To cook the crepes, place a non-stick or cast iron shallow skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add a little bit of cooking oil or vegan butter and melt.
- Then, remove the skillet from the heat. Pour in 1/4 cup crepe batter and quickly tilt and turn the pan in circular motions to form the batter into a thin circle. Return the pan to the heat and cook for approximately 2 minutes until golden brown. Loosen with a spatula and flip, cook for 1 minute.
- Top with cranberry compote down the center of the crepe and fold over. Alternatively, you can fold the crepes and serve the compote on the side.
- 1 cup cranberries
- 1 cup raspberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 3 peels of orange zest
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- A pinch of kosher salt
- 1-2 tablespoons chia seeds
- In a saucepan, combine all the ingredients except for the chia seeds and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add in 1 tablespoon of chia seeds and stir to thicken. Add another tablespoon if the compote is not thick enough.
- Remove from heat, and allow to cool.