Saturday, April 14, 2012

Maple Almond Butter Crêpes with Toasted Walnuts and Orange Blueberry Sauce

I can't stop thinking about the crêpes I had this morning...

If you’ve never had a crêpe before, the best way to explain them is an egg-based, ultra thin French pancake filled with a myriad of savory sauces, jellies, butters, and fruits.

In short: pure deliciousness.

Unfortunately, as delicious as they are, crêpes are also entirely non-vegan. But impossibility has never really affected me, so I set to the Internet to find a basic recipe and stumbled across a real gem at VeganYumYum.

After a few slight alterations and a whole lot of whimsical superfluities, I came up with my version of the classic French crêpe:

Maple Almond Butter Crêpes with Toasted Walnuts and Orange BlueberrySauce
adapted from VeganYumYum's Spring Crêpes Three Ways

For the Crêpe Batter:

1 cup flour
¼ teaspoon fresh nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1 tsp brown sugar
1 T maple syrup
½ cup vanilla soymilk
2/3 cup water
¼ cup olive oil
2 tsp vanilla

For the Filling:

1 cup walnut halves
1 cup blueberries
¾ cup maple syrup
1 tsp orange zest
1 tsp orange extract

And here’s how you make them (for the quick and dirty version, click here):

The first thing you will want to do is measure out all of your ingredients. 

I like my breakfast crêpes to have a hint of sweetness, so I blended maple syrup and brown sugar to achieve a warmer flavor. However, if you want to make savory crêpes, just leave the sweeteners out.

Next, combine all of the ingredients in a medium sized bowl and whisk until the batter is smooth and free of lumps. Place in the refrigerator for a half an hour.

Meanwhile, you can prepare the walnuts and orange blueberry sauce.

Place the walnuts inside a skillet and set to medium heat, tossing occasionally to achieve an even toast. 

Or, you could do what I did and leave them sit and achieve a lovely uneven black.

While the walnuts are toasting, pour the maple syrup, blueberries, zest, and extract into a small sauce pan and set to medium high heat. The maple syrup will come to a boil relatively quickly, so keep an eye on it so it doesn’t boil over. Stir occasionally for approximately ten minutes or until the berries begin to break down and the sauce thickens. 
Pour into a bowl and set aside.

By now, the crêpe batter should be nice and set. When I pulled mine out, it was a little bit thick, so I added about two tablespoons of water to the batter, which made it more pourable.

Heat a medium sized skillet over medium heat. (An easy way to tell if a skillet is hot enough is to flick some water onto the surface. If it sizzles, you are ready to go). The first crêpe I made was naturally a disaster. I used a scant quarter cup of batter and poured it directly onto the surface like you would a pancake. The result?
A little on the small size…but the good thing is I had an excuse to try my orange blueberry sauce and may I just say Yum.

Not to be discouraged by the first flop, I came up with a three-step technique. First, I picked up the skillet so it wasn’t directly on the heat source, then I used a ladle to swirl the batter onto the skillet rather than plop it in a heap like I did before. Lastly I used the flat side of a spoon to smooth out the batter until it covered the entire pan in one thin layer.

Ahhh perfection…

Eventually, after about three minutes, the edges of the crêpes should start to look golden brown. When this happens, use a spatula to flip the crêpes onto the other side and cook for about another minute.


The best time to assemble these crêpes is right when they come off of the skillet as the heat from crêpes aids in the spreading of the almond butter. I used about three tablespoons to cover the entire crêpes, but feel free to use more or less depending on how much nutty flavor you want. Finally, sprinkle with walnuts, fold in thirds, and top with blueberry sauce. Enjoy in a garden with a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice.

Yield: 6 crêpes

A few tips:

If the crêpes split during flipping, apply some batter over the cracks like Spackle. After you have finished browning the current side, flip and allow the batter Spackle to set.

If you want to make all the crêpes at once, simply reheat the finished crêpes on the stove when ready to eat.

To make crêpes for a smaller crowd, simply halve the filling recipe and freeze the remaining crêpes.  Whatever you do, do NOT fold the crêpes before freezing. I did this my first time saving crêpes and ended up with crêpes crumbs.  Thaw in a microwave or skillet.

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