For those celebrating the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur, Saturday evening marks the end of a 24 hour period (25? 26? Depends how long your rabbi goes on…) we have spent praying to G-d, atoning for our sins. Think of it like confession, but on a once-a-year basis. All that thinking and praying leaves us utterly famished, because we’ve also been fasting while doing it. Fun, right?
Maybe not so much, but I still look forward to the holy day (that’s right, it’s really more of a “holy day” than what we Americans call a “holiday”) every year as a time to reconnect with my Judaism and think about what I want from myself in the following year. Can I be easier on myself? Can I act as a a better mother, friend, sister, daughter, wife? How can I use the traits I possess to touch the lives of others? For one day each year, I set aside everything else – food and water included – so that I can take this stuff very seriously.
Naturally, I also take my break-fast meal very seriously. At that point, it’s safe to say we switch over from holy day to holiday, joining as a family and devouring a breakfast-y meal of bagels and cream cheese, smoked white fish salad, lox, egg salad, and blintze souffle. Most of these things – especially the blintzes – are a once-a-year treat for me. Until I came along, no one in my family slaved over making the thin crepes rolled with fruit or ricotta filling from scratch. Instead we make a “blintze souffle” from frozen blintzes smothered in an egg custard. But this year I might just change things up, knowing how easy it is to make gluten-free, protein-rich crepes from coconut flour.
I got together for a little pre-holiday celebration with my good friend Ellen, otherwise known as the Gluten Free Diva. Ellen is one of many truly awesome people I’ve met through blogging, but she’s a extra-special since she lives about 5 minutes away. You know those blogger friends you always wish you could get together with to spend an afternoon cooking? Yes, we can actually do that!
You might remember when Ellen and I got together to make gluten free matzoh for Passover. This time, I couldn’t wait to share with her a blintz recipe I’d been dreaming up: gluten free coconut flour crepes, wrapped around sweet and tangy cashew cream filling, adorned with orange-scented caramelized figs. Am I the only one that thinks that sounds totally dreamy?
Ellen was hungry to bring some gluten free challah to the table, but not just any ol’ challah. Laced with sweet honey, tart apples and crunchy walnuts, this would be the perfect challah to ring in the sweet new year. We are still working on perfecting the recipe, though. And if it doesn’t make it up in time for the holiday, trust that you can enjoy it any time of year, fresh from the oven or as a heavenly french toast the next day.
Not celebrating Yom Kippur? No worries. These recipes are perfect for a fall brunch or get together with friends, or just as a way to treat yourself. Go on, you deserve it.
Looking for more ideas to round out your menu? Here are a few of our favorite gluten free Yom Kippur and brunch recipes:
Mascarpone & Caramelized Fig Blintzes
Yield: 12 blintzes
Cashew "Mascarpone" Filling
2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 3 hours
1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
4 teaspoons lemon zest
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon liquid vanilla stevia
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and cooled
Caramelized Fig & Orange Compote
1lb fresh figs, stemmed and quartered
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 cup coconut sugar
juice and zest from one medium orange
pinch of salt
Cashew "Mascarpone" Filling
Drain the cashews and add to a food processor or high-speed blender along with the almond milk. Blend for 30 seconds. Add remaining ingredients except for coconut oil. Blend for several minutes, until smooth and creamy, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Blend in the coconut oil. Transfer to a container, and refrigerate overnight.
Combine all ingredients in a blender and process for about one minute, until the mixture is smooth and no lumps remain. If necessary, scrape down the sides of the blender and process again. Let rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Brush a small amount of coconut oil onto the skillet. While holding the skillet away from the heat, quickly pour about 3 tablespoons of the crepe batter onto the skillet, tilting it so that the batter coats the bottom. Return the skillet to the stovetop. Allow the crepe to cook for about 2 minutes, or until set. Carefully lift the crepe with a rubber spatula, grab it by your fingertips, and gently (but quickly!) flip it over. Allow the opposite side to cook for 30-60 seconds, until just golden. Remove the crepe from the pan and transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining crepe batter, stacking the finished crepes.
At this point, the crepes can be covered and refrigerated until ready to use, up to a day in advance. However, I find that the crepes roll better when warm or room temperature, so if you have refrigerated the crepes, you might try warming them up in the microwave before filling.
Caramelized Fig and Orange Compote
Heat the coconut oil over medium-low heat until melted. Add the figs and coconut sugar, and cook for 5 minutes, or until figs are softened. Add the orange juice and zest and increase heat to medium-high. Simmer until the fruit is very softened and the liquid is thick and syrupy, 3-4 minutes.
Place a few tablespoons of cannole filling along the lower half of each crepe, and roll it up, burrito style, folding in the sides. Serve immediately, or transfer crepes to a baking dish, seam-side down. Again, the filled crepes can be refrigerated, covered, for up to one day. Reheat in a 350ºF oven for about 10-15 minutes, until hot. Spoon the caramelized figs over the warm blintzes.