I might be aging myself, but I remember a time when internet dating was still kind of taboo and the thought of actually getting to know, and fall in love with(!!), someone online seemed totally crazy (not to mention dangerous!). I used to believe that it was impossible to truly get to know anyone online and thought that the people who started dating via the internet were weird. What changed my mind was when I started blogging and discovered that I had a lot in common with so many people out there. True friendships have been born out of this blog and it never ceases to blow my mind. Some of the people I hold most dearly in my heart are other bloggers I’ve met on this online journey (and many of whom you’ll meet during this series of guest posts). Though Alanna and I haven’t met in person yet, we’ve developed enough friendship-like habits (regular communication, support, encouragement, and caring) that I know it’s only a matter of time before it happens. Part of this blogger connection, I think, is that we get each other. We’re all online, making ourselves vulnerable, trying to inspire and share something beautiful. What you learn when you’re in it, is that it takes a lot of work, very little ego, and the courage to put yourself out there. Alanna is a supportive, enthusiastic, engaging, and fun person to have in your life. She’s also a wonderfully creative and super cool blogger, photographer, and chef with some of the best hands in town. Amiright?! One look at her blog, The Bojon Gourmet, and you’ll see that I’m not kidding at all about her coolness factor. Her recipes are inspiring and thoughtfully created, her photos tell stories a life well-lived, and her words are always so eloquently written. I am honoured and thrilled to have Alanna here today, so I’m going to stop rambling of internet dating, and all that jazz, and turn it over to her and these good-lookin’ crèpes.
I found Kris’s amazing site last fall when she adapted my gluten-free pie dough into an absolutely exquisite galette. Sometimes you come across a site where the photographs are stunning, the writing is gritty and real, and every recipe is a must make. Kris’s is one of them. Each post takes my breath away with its beauty, and though we have yet to meet IRL, she already feels like a dear friend.
So I’m thrilled to be guest-posting on 80twenty today. Thank you for having me, Kris!
I made this sunny dish in honor of my favorite French holiday, La Fête de la Chandeleur, also known as Crèpe Day. The holiday refers to the returning of the light to the earth after a long winter (now called Candlemas but originally a pagan celebration). Indeed, these last few weeks have brought me much joy as a natural-light photographer because it means I can procrastinate shoots for another hour each day. That alone is worth celebrating.
It’s traditional to eat crèpes on Chandeleur (accompanied by a crock of hard cider) as their round, golden shape represents the sun. I’ve been pairing this ricotta-laced version, adapted and gluten-freed from Kim Boyce’s Good to the Grain, with extra-sunny citrus kissed with honey. Cara Cara and blood oranges, tiny tangerines and tart kumquats all make a bright foil for these rich little crepes. A trio of flours – oat, millet, and sweet rice – create perfect texture and the protein in the ricotta makes them extra pliable. I fed one to Jay who said, “These aren’t gluten-free, right?” Score.
I’m desperately obsessed with Bellwether’s basked-dipped whole-milk ricotta (each time I make this recipe I’m hard-pressed not to eat the entire basket all on its own). Here it adds nubby texture to the crepes, and the rest gets whipped with heavy cream to top the dish. The whole thing is sweetened with a touch of honey, and a shower of mint leaves adds even more brightness to the dish.
For Chandeleur or otherwise, these sunny crèpes can’t help but murmur of sunnier days to come. And if you’re feeling more savory, fill these with sauteed leeks, mushrooms, gruyère, romesco, or whatever your heart desires. Either way, be sure to wash it all down with a glass of cider. Your inner Frenchman will thank you.
Wishing everyone a bonne fête de la Chandeleur.
- ⅓ cup (1.25 ounces / 35 grams) GF oat flour
- ⅓ cup (1.5 ounces / 45 grams) millet flour
- ⅓ cup (1.75 ounces / 50 grams) sweet white rice flour
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea or kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 cup (8 ounces / 235 ml) whole milk (more as needed)
- 1 cup (8 ounces / 235 ml) whole milk ricotta
- ghee or butter, for cooking the crèpes
- ½ cup (4 ounces / 120 ml) heavy cream
- ½ cup (4 ounces / 120 ml) whole milk ricotta
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 Cara Cara (or navel) oranges
- 2 blood oranges
- 4 small tangerines
- 8 small kumquats
- a handful of small, pretty mint leaves
- a few tablespoons honey, for drizzling
- In a large bowl, whisk together the oat, millet and sweet rice flours with the salt. Add the eggs, butter, honey, and ¼ cup of the milk and whisk to form a smooth, thick batter. Gradually whisk in the remaining milk, then the ricotta. If the batter is thick, add a tablespoon or two of more milk to thin it. (I usually add an additional 2 tablespoons, but I recommend making a tester first to make sure you need it.)
- Heat an 8-inch crèpe pan or skillet over medium heat. Add a small pat of ghee to the pan and use a scrunched up paper towel to wipe it around the pan; you just want a super-thin layer of ghee to prevent stickage, but not so much that the batter slips and slides all over the place when you swirl it around the pan. When the pan is hot, grasp it in your left hand (if right-handed) and pour ⅓ cup of batter onto the left side of the pan. Quickly tilt the pan to the right, shuffling it to spread the batter evenly into a thin layer that coats the bottom of the pan.
- Place the pan back on the flame and cook the crèpe on the first side until the edges are golden and the top is fairly dry, about 2 minutes. Slide a thin metal spatula under the crèpe to make sure it hasn't stuck (I like using a tiny offset spatula), then grasp an edge with both sets of fingers and flip it over. (Or use a wide metal spatula to flip if you haven't burned off all your fingerprints yet flipping crèpes.) Cook the crepe briefly on the second side until cooked through, about 1 minute. Fold the crèpe into quarters and slide it onto a large, covered plate to keep it warm.
- As you work, adjust the heat under the pan as needed. You want enough heat to give the crèpes a lacy look, but not so much that the pan smokes or the batter goes crazy when you pour it into the pan.
- Cook the remaining crèpes, repeating the ghee-spreading, batter-shuffling, finger-burning process. It will take a good half hour to get them all cooked.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, combine the heavy cream, ricotta, honey, and vanilla. Whip on medium-high until the mixture holds soft peaks. Cover and chill until needed.
- Rinse and dry the fruits.
- Cut the ends off of an orange. Place the orange cut-side down on a cutting board and use a sharp chef's or serrated knife to pare away the skin and pith, following the curve of the fruit. Turn the orange on its side and cut into thin rounds, removing any seeds. Repeat with the other oranges and tangerines. Slice the kumquats into thin rounds and remove the seeds.
- Re-warm the cooked crèpes in the hot pan, and place two on each of four plates. Divide the citrus rounds over the crèpes and top with some pretty, small mint leaves (or tear large ones into pieces). Spoon some ricotta whipped cream to the side of each crèpe and drizzle the whole thing with a bit of honey. Serve immediately.