Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Raspberries and Cream Crepes

It's GF Ratio Rally time again; time to unveil the monthly challenge to tackle a recipe using ingredients measured by weight rather than volume and in ratios of liquid: egg: flour. This month's project was crepes, as chosen by guest host T.R. of No One Likes Crumbley Cookies. These eggy, thin pancakes are something that I remember making in my high school French classes, but not since, so I was excited to learn more.

The classic French crepe is a thin pancake, browned lightly and then either topped or stuffed and rolled with sweet things like jam, macerated fruit, powdered sugar, or honey. They can also be savory and filled with all kinds of cheeses, leftover cooked vegetables or meats and other imaginative fillings. My family is a big fan of the raspberry, so I had it in my head to make a some sort of delicious crepes dessert with Raspberries and Cream using up most of a bag of frozen thawed raspberries from my freezer.

Unfortunately, the first version of my Raspberries and Cream Crepes were passably edible, but they lounged on the plate like slabs of fried bologna, and no amount of tarting them up with my lurid raspberry sauce and chocolate chips could disguise their basic lack of curb appeal. My idealized crepes dessert failed in its practical application, although perhaps it might make its way onto a Halloween dessert buffet someday.

The thawed frozen raspberries that I mixed into my crepe batter tinged things up to a dusky purple-gray that indeed looked like fried bologna, and when folded on the plate went from bad to worse, looking then like a giant dog tongue. The Raspberries and Cream sauce that I made from heating up some other frozen berries with sugar and half-and-half turned a shocking magenta and that combo of clashing colors really took things downhill fast.

It was time to go back to basics. Make a basic crepe, and then adorn it simply with some raspberry jam or fresh raspberries, and a dollop of whipped cream.

I actually didn't have trouble with the technique of making the crepes and flipping the batter. I read up on the making of crepes in my various cookbooks and I started with a ratio of 2:2:1 for my basic crepe batter that was outlined in our GF Ratio Rally information (2 parts liquid, 2 parts egg to 1 part flour mix). I used a non-stick pan and kept a small plate with pre-measured 1/2 tsp. pats of butter to sizzle in the pan before each new crepe got started to keep the momentum going.

I got the knack of pouring a small amount of batter in my hot pan using a quick spiral motion starting at the center of the pan. I seemed to judge pretty accurately when the crepe was ready to flip (it looks very dry on top and when the pan is shaken the crepe moves slightly in the pan). Using a wide rubber spatula, the crepe was ready to flip (see photo below for correct technique).

Eliminating all the fancy pants mix-ins and adornments, my second round of creperie turned out much better. I didn't have to press dessert on my dinner victims as with my first version and we enjoyed this much more elegant looking batch very much.

So, here's the recipe for Round 2 of the Raspberries and Cream Gluten Free Crepes project:

4 oz. almond milk
2 eggs
2 oz. gluten free flour mix (I used equal measures of potato starch, brown rice flour and tapioca starch)
Pinch of salt
1 Tbsp. sugar

Butter for frying


Raspberry jam
Powdered sugar
Fresh raspberries
Toasted sliced almonds
Whipped cream

I mixed my first five ingredients in my food processor.  I then poured the rather liquidy batter into a large measuring cup with a spout and covered this with plastic wrap. It went in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to rest. When it came out, it was a bit thicker, more like a traditional thin pancake batter.

Heat a nonstick skillet. Add in a pat of butter (about 1/2 tsp.) and let sizzle. Working quickly, pour about 1.5 to 2 Tbsp. of crepe batter in the pan, starting in the center and spiraling outward. Tip pan to coat the bottom evenly. Let cook until the tops are dry, about 1-2 minutes, then loosen the edges with a rubber spatula. Turn or flip your crepe and cook another 30 seconds to 1 minute. The crepe should have lightly browned bits on each side.

Remove crepe from pan and let cool on a plate all its own. By the time you have flipped the next crepe, the first crepe will have cooled to the point where you can fold it into fourths on a separate plate to finish up later.

Makes 5-6 (8 inch diameter) crepes.

To garnish, spread some raspberry jam inside a warm crepe. Roll into a flute. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, adorn with a few fresh raspberries, some toasted sliced almonds and dollops of whipped cream. Voila!

T.R. will have lots of other links to the sweet and savory gluten free crepes recipes that other Ratio Rally participants are posting about today so be sure to stop by.  From Black Pepper Crepes with Chicken Tikka Masala to Nutella Crepe Cake, this looks like a fascinating crepe roundup!


Angela @ said...

Love the bunny crepe maker photo! Too funny! I have made things also that seemed like such a great idea in my mind, but didn't turn out that way on the plate. So glad you persevered and made another batch. They are beautiful and I bet they tasted great!

Caneel said...

They look fabulous! (I also love the bunny photo!)

Jenn said...

They look wonderful!! Kudos to you for giving them a second shot (though from the photo the 1st round looks great too) - and lovely flavor combination :)

charissa (zest bakery) said...

glad you stuck with it! sometimes simple is best. love rasperries and almonds together!

Morri said...

I had an awesome mental image of your flop! Regardless, from one who made quite a few flops, I think your finished product turned out wonderfully.

Stay awesome!

Eliotseats said...

Crepes intimidate me! I love the rabbit illustration!

Jonathan said...

So many things about this post made me smile, especially the rabbit crepe flipper and the description of your first crepe trial looking like "bologna" and "dog tongue" (ok, that had me in stitches). Your crepes look lovely and I so appreciate you sharing all the aspects of your experiments. Thank you, Rachel!