Shrove Tuesday, perhaps better known as Fate Tuesday (Mardi Gras) or Pancake Tuesday, is nearly upon us. Established as the final feast before the famine of Lenten austerity, pancakes once represented all things indulgent, blending sinfully rich sugary, fatty ingredients in one shameless dish.
Beyond the iconic short stack, fluffy and soft, a wide world of diverse pancakes exist. Be it blini, latkes, injera, dosa, jeon, or bánh xèo, there’s a whole lot to flip over on this day, and everyday of the year for that matter.
Delicate, gossamer thin French crêpes follow the same basic blueprint as their thicker American brethren, but most notably take shape with a higher ratio of liquid to flour while omitting chemical leaveners. Even at their most basic, with a squeeze of lemon juice and a touch sugar, they will never disappoint. Flavors and fillings are truly unlimited, showing up in savory formats just as often as sweet, making the ideal vehicles for seasonal vegetables, soft cheese spreads, fresh fruits, and fudge sauce alike.
It all starts with one basic batter. Flying in the face of conventional crêpe construction, no eggs, butter, nor any debauched ingredients are necessary for the most exquisite, soft sheets of pancake goodness to emerge from your skillet. These righteous treats should stay on your menu all year long.
- 1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1/2 Cup Chickpea Flour
- 2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
- 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Cup Plain Non-Dairy Milk
- 1/4 Cup Aquafaba
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 - 2 Tablespoons Water
- In a large bowl, stir together both flours, sugar, and salt just to distribute the dry ingredients evenly. Add in the non-dairy milk, and olive oil, and whisk thoroughly to combine. You don't want leave any lumps, but don't go crazy and overdo it either. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes, after which you may notice it will thicken slightly. Slowly add in the aquafaba, a tablespoon at a time, to thin it back out to about the viscosity of melted ice cream.
- Place a nonstick skillet over medium heat, and grease very, very lightly. If you're using a spray, use a paper towel to wipe away any excess. Once the pan becomes hot enough, pour in 1/4 cup of the batter. The traditional method of shaping the crepes is to swirl the pan around so that the batter drips into shape, but this never gave me satisfactory results- no matter how quickly I worked, the crepes were always terribly misshapen. After a lot of trial and error, I found that using the bottom of the 1/4 cup measuring cup to push the batter in a circle was much more effective, but if you use this technique, make sure that the cup is not plastic, as it could melt! Either way you choose to go about it, speed is key, because these cook very quickly.
- Let the crepe cook for approximately 1-2 minutes on each side. You will know that the first side is done cooking because the top will start to look a bit dry. Use your spatula to go around the edges and loosen the crepe first before flipping, to make sure all of it flips at once.
- Do not re-grease the pan between crepes, as the nonstick surface should continue to do it's job just fine. The pan will continue to get hotter as you cook, so if you notice the crepes browning too quickly, be sure to turn down the heat just a step. Stack finished crepes on a plate and cover with a clean towel to keep warm before serving.
Need some ideas for fillings? Here are a few of my favorite sweet options...
Tiramisu Crepes: Sweetened vegan cream cheese, drizzled with coffee syrup, topped with cocoa powder/chocolate shavings
Banoffee Crepes: Sliced bananas, caramel sauce, and whipped coconut cream
Fluffernutter Crepes: Peanut butter and vegan marshmallows, topped with chopped peanuts
Not-tella Crepes: Hazelnut butter blended with cocoa powder, drizzled with chocolate syrup
Peach Melba Crepes: Raspberry preserves, slices peaches, with a scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 108Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 85mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 3g