Being something of a hedonist, or more accurately a bloated pleasure-seeker, I reflexively recoil from foods that wear their healthy virtues on their sleeves. So a recipe for gluten free almond crêpes might not immediately catch my eye.
Just to be clear: when the virtue has a direct impact on flavor and enjoyment, count me in. By all means, line-catch those fish, tend organic gardens with care, grass feed the cattle and allow poultry to roam and roost to their heart's content. Local, natural, heritage, sustainable, artisanal — no problemo.
It's "-free" that sets off warning bells. Like all good sin and vice, if you're supposed to give it up, it must be pleasurable. Welcome to my short-sited world view. And insensitivity, as not everyone is blessed with the indestructible Sullivan cast-iron stomach.
The recent International Food Bloggers Conference opened my eyes to the difficulties facing folks with gluten allergies and sensitivities. Thanks to our government's agricultural subsidies ($20 billion a year and counting), wheat is plentiful and cheap. It's not only the obvious suspects — breads, baked goods, cereals — that the gluten intolerant must avoid. Wheat is used as a stabilizer and thickener in foods ranging from ice cream to ketchup. Conveyor belts are oftentimes dusted with flour to prevent sticking, and since that's not technically an ingredient, it becomes a lesson is learned the hard way. Gluten lurks in nearly every corner of the supermarket. Imagine what a drag that is.
Newly aware of this widespread problem, a new blogger friend, Leanne Coffman of GlutenFreeFearlessly invited me to create a Spectacularly Delicious recipe for her audience. The goal: flavor and flair without a hint of deprivation or sacrifice. How could I resist?
So now ignore everything I've said up 'til now and approach this recipe on its own merits.
A delicious sweet crêpe made with almond flour, pliant yet slightly crisp, evocative of the all-the-rage Vietnamese bahn xeo. Filled with luscious fruit, whipped cream and caramelized nuts, there's nothing sad-sack going on here.
Preparing these crêpes eliminates a step — no need to give the batter time to relax the gluten in wheat flour. No, just whip up this batter and you're good to go. Cooking time might be tad longer but the flavorful results are second to none.
After peeling and slicing the peaches, I keep them on stand-by in a Seven-Up bath. Adds sweetness and a bit of sparkle while keeping the fruit from darkening.
Lastly, finished with a voluptuous blob of whipped cream (I prefer unsweetened) and a liberal sprinkling of the candied almonds.
Almond-flour Crêpes with White Peaches and Candied Almonds. The gluten-free adherents had better take care so as not to be trampled by the bloated pleasure seekers rushing the table! Click here for recipe for Gluten Free Almond Crepes.