Almost Spring Spice Crepes

Spice Crepes-15

Recently, I was flipping through the The Northwest Best Places Cookbook, and one of the first recipes that caught my eye was for Gingerbread Crepes. I’m not really sure why it got me so excited… I’m not a big gingerbread fan… but the idea stuck in my head, and I knew with a little tweaking, these crepes would be something I would love. To me, these crepes are like a warm blanket on a cool spring morning… comforting, but light and fresh. If you’ve been intimidated by crepes before, give these a try… they are much easier than you think.

To begin with, I made added Amaranth Flour to the mix. Amaranth flour has a great nutty flavor that you might associate with graham crackers and tends to add crispness to whatever you bake with it, meaning that your crepes are less likely to get soggy while you cook up the whole batch. Amaranth is also much more nutritious than all purpose flour containing a nearly complete protein. Because Amaranth doesn’t contain gluten, you will need to mix it with other flours to achieve the desired texture. I’m not gluten free, so I chose regular all purpose flour… but there are other flours you could mix with that could yield beautiful results.

The sweetener for this recipe is malt syrup which is something like a cross between honey and molasses. It’s lush and golden and pairs beautifully with the spice combination of ginger, cinnamon and cardamom. A little grated citrus peel (preferably fresh, but dry is okay too) brightens up the whole batter.

For the filling, you can use fresh apple slices but applesauce is delicious and much easier. A bit of Meyer lemon adds a lovely sweet tartness and keeps the apples from being cloying. I love these served with a dusting of powdered sugar and a bit of lemon served on the side which also helps bring out the citrus in both the crepes and the filling.

Spice Crepes-24

Spice Crepes with Meyer Lemon Applesauce

If you can’t find Meyer Lemons, use the juice of half a lemon and half of an orange.

3/4 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c amaranth flour
2 T sugar
1 t powdered ginger
1 t cinnamon
1 t cardamom
1 t grated orange or lemon peel
1 1/3 c milk
2 eggs
1/4 c barley malt syrup
1 T butter, melted

2 c applesauce
1 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
1 meyer lemon, juiced

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar and spices. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, malt syrup and butter. Stir the egg mixture into the dry ingredients until the batter is smooth.

Melt 2 t of butter in a flat, round, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add a scoop of the batter to the pan and give it a tilt to thinly coats the bottom of the pan. When the edges start to brown after 1 to 2 minutes, carefully flip the crepe with a wide spatula, and cook for another minute. Slide the crepe onto a plate, and repeat with another scoop of batter adding a little more butter if needed. Use a bit of parchment between the crepes to prevent them from sticking together. Cover with a towel to keep the crepes from drying out.

Heat the applesauce in a high-sided pot on medium heat. Add the lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg. When just warm, you are ready to start filling your crepes.

Take a single crepe, and add the applesauce. I like to do it just off center. Then, I roll, starting from the small side, all the way over. Sprinkle with a bit of powdered sugar, and serve with a slice of Meyer lemon.

Technorati Tags: ,

  • RecipeGirl

    Mmmm… sounds lovely. And I dig the idea of making the applesauce MEYER lemon applesauce :)

  • Peter G

    I’ve never heard of amaranth flour..I must try it now…great twist on an old favorite..

  • matt wright

    I have eaten a ton (no exageration..) of crepes, but never had spiced crepes like this. Did you use a crepe pan, or just a regular non-stick skillet? Apparently if you are serious about crepes a decent carbon steel job is the way to go. Seens crazy to just have a pan for crepes though!

  • Aran

    Wow… great looking crepes. I love the idea of meyer lemon applesauce, sounds so fresh against the spiciness of the crepes. Great idea… I might have to try it!

  • L

    Matt – I have a flatish non-stick scanpan that I used… I’d love to get a carbon steel pan, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. In the meantime, the scan pan works quite well. What I’d really love is one of those cool stand-alone crepe griddles! but where I would store it is beyond me.

  • Sarah

    Oh that looks so good! I had never heard of Aramanth flour, but I’ll have to try it out. I love every single flavor that you’ve combined in this recipe. :)

  • chriesi

    Looks great. It must taste like a dream.

  • Mari

    I’m a seasoned pancake baker, but have yet to delve into the world of crepes. This could be the recipe that gets me in the kitchen, though!

  • kate

    i’ve never heard of amarnath flour. Sounds interesting.So does the applesauce with lemon … i’m sure it tastes gr8.

  • EB

    Gingerbread/Spice crepes? Are you kidding??? I’m a sucker for gingerbread/spice anything but it never occurred to me to make crepes. Pancakes yes, crepes no. No idea why. Yay! I know what Sunday brunch is all about this week!!

    Thank you!

  • VeggieGirl

    Ooooh, I LOVE baking with amaranth flour – it lends such a lovely flavor to the batter!! Those crepes look positively scrumptious.

  • Francesco

    Not sure I can find amaranth flour in Europe. I would have to find its italian or dutch name.
    Good to hear that the scanpan works well, since we have been looking at it for a while for pancakes … maybe it is time to take one.

  • Patricia Scarpin

    I love crepes – light, delicious, and versatile.

    I’ll be trying this recipe, tks for sharing!

  • Julia

    You introduced me to two ingredients I can’t wait to try: Amaranth flour and malt syrup! I’m not big into crepes; I wonder if this recipe would adapt easily to pancakes…

  • Annemarie

    These look just so utterly lovely. Ginger, apple, maple syrup…I want it to be Saturday morning right now, and to be inhaling these wonderful scents as I cook my breakfast up.

  • Lore

    I’m addicted to these thin layers of melting joy! I cannot imagine life without them, I cannot imagine a week without them actually :). I love to experiment with different flavours and add them to the batter. Your variation looks sooo scrumptious.

  • Ali

    Francesco – I usually grind amaranth seeds to a flour using a coffee grinder…

  • L

    Ali – good idea! Although it may also be hard to find amaranth seeds. I just used Bob’s Red Mill Amaranth flour which you can order online here