With acorn season in full swing, now is a great time to stock up on acorn flour recipes, like these versatile acorn flour crepes. Find out how to make either sweet or savory acorn flour crepes so you can enjoy these forest-to-table treats for any meal!
There are so many acorns on the ground under the white oak at the back of our property that I nearly slid down the hill under it. As The Tyrant reminded me, that’s a sure sign it’s time for us to use up last year’s acorn flour to make way for the new.
Yes, acorns are edible AFTER you’ve leached the tannins out of them. Otherwise, they’re terribly bitter and high in anti-nutrients like phytic acid, e.g. inedible.
Once the tannins are removed from acorns, they’re a wonderful, nutrient-dense food crop. And a single mature oak tree (which can live to be many hundreds of years old) can provide wheelbarrows full of acorns/food.
Bottom line: you can’t just eat unprocessed acorns or throw acorns in a blender and call it acorn flour. Steps must be taken first…
Making acorn flour
In case you’ve never made acorn flour before, be sure to read our How to make acorn flour guide. In the guide, we detail how to make either hot or cold-leached acorn flour.
- Hot-leached acorn flour can be made in 48 hours, but it’s not as good in the kitchen.
- Cold-leached acorn flour can take many weeks to make (until the tannins leach out), but you end up with a better end product.
Hopefully, we’ll soon be able to share a new process that makes cold-leaching acorns much easier to do at home. Regardless, if possible, we recommend taking the slow approach and cold-leaching your acorns before processing them into acorn flour.
If you have hot-leached acorn flour, don’t worry. You can still use it to make this crepe recipe. The flavor and texture will just be a bit different from ours.
Crepes: the perfect recipe for starchy nut flours (acorns and chestnuts)
We intentionally grow chestnuts, having purchased and planted a few Asian chestnut trees when we first moved to our property. However, we inherited quite a few mature white oak trees that have likely been here over a century given their size. (Nuts from those oak trees are what first inspired us to make acorn flour over a decade ago.)
As with our acorns, we also like to process our chestnuts into flour. Both nut flours are high in complex carbohydrates and make good contenders for the title “bread of the woods.”
Both acorn and chestnut flours lack gluten, making them challenging to convert into familiar fluffy bread recipes. Substitute acorn/chestnut flour into a traditional wheat flour bread recipe and you’ll end up with a flavorful brick. (Maybe this was the inspiration for the dense, super-filling lembas bread in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.)
However, there are plenty of wonderful recipes to be made with these starchy nut flours. Perhaps the easiest and most versatile is crepes, since they don’t use leavening and are actually supposed to be flat. Modifications still required though…
Previously, we went through multiple rounds of experimentation before we felt good enough about our chestnut flour crepes to share the recipe with you. (See: Chestnut flour crepes with beautyberry-whipped cream.)
Given the similarities between chestnut flour and acorn flour, we were curious if we could use the exact same recipe to make acorn flour crepes as well. Answer: yes.
We just wish we’d come up with this recipe sooner because it’s so dang simple! We also love that you can use acorn flour crepes as the base for sweet or savory meals. That means acorn flour crepes can be on your kitchen table for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Yes, acorn flour is gluten-free.
Thankfully, we don’t have sensitivities to gluten. However, if you do have gluten sensitivities/allergies, you’ll be happy to know that acorn flour and these acorn flour crepes are 100% gluten-free.
Acorn flour crepe recipe tips
After you’ve done it a few times, making crepes is simple. However, your first time out, expect to make mistakes and have some ugly crepes. (Edible mistakes, though!)
Here are some important recipe tips to keep in mind as you’re making acorn flour crepes:
1. Prep & refrigerate the batter the day before.
We recommend prepping the acorn flour crepe batter and refrigerating it in the blender the night before you make your crepes. Two reasons for this:
First, it’s difficult to make silky smooth acorn flour at home unless you happen to have a stone mill. (If you do, we’re extremely jealous.) That means your acorn flour (and ours) is going to have some small pieces of unground acorns (aka grit) in it even if you sift it.
Grit in a crepe is unpleasant; it’s like biting into sand. By storing the batter in your fridge overnight then re-blending it the next day, you’ll soften and pulverize those pieces of grit, making for a much better finished crepe texture.
Second, as with chestnut flour, acorn flour absorbs a lot of liquid, slowly. Letting it sit overnight allows the acorn flour to fully saturate.
2. Add the remaining wet ingredients AFTER you take the crepe batter out of the fridge.
As per the recipe instructions (below), you’ll start by blending most of the crepe ingredients, including 1/2 cup of whole milk and one egg. Those ingredients go into the fridge overnight.
Then you take the blender out of the fridge, add a second egg and another 1/4 cup of milk and re-blend all the ingredients for another minute.
Now your crepe batter has the perfect consistency and is ready to hit the pan.
3. Pan and ladle size
For this recipe we use a smooth-surfaced antique cast iron pan (a ~100 year old Wagner #6, to be exact). The pan is well-seasoned and no-stick and is our go-to pan for crepe making.
Our crepe pan is 7″ across the bottom, and we use a 1/3 cup measuring spoon to ladle out our crepe batter. This pan size and measuring cup size are perfectly matched to make the perfect thickness crepe. Recipe yield: 5 crepes.
If you don’t have a smooth-surfaced antique cast iron pan, use your best no-stick pan that has a gentle lip curve making it easy to slide a spatula under the edge of your crepes AND side the crepes out of the pan without breaking them.
If your pan is larger than 7″ across, use a ladle larger than 1/3 cup. If your pan is smaller than 7″ across, use a ladle smaller than 1/3 cup. (Don’t go too much larger or smaller in either direction though – you want a thin crepe that’s small enough to slide out of a pan but large enough to hold filling .)
4. Prep your stovetop crepe making station ahead of time.
Crepes cook (and burn) quickly so you don’t want to be running around your kitchen looking for something you need.
Instead, put everything you need to cook, remove, and hold your hot crepes all together around your pan before you start cooking, as seen in this picture:
5. Temperature and butter…
Our new stovetop cooks hotter than our old stovetop, which is an important reminder that each stovetop surface (and pan) cooks a little differently.
With our cast iron pan and stove, we’ve found that a temperature just below medium is ideal (3.5 – 4). You’ll want to get your pan well-heated before putting butter and the first scoop of crepe batter in.
Between each crepe, you may need to add more butter. You want enough oil so the crepe doesn’t stick but not enough that the batter slides around and folds over on itself. This is something you’ll have to figure out as you go.
6. Crepes are NOT pancakes: swirl the batter, don’t flip.
Crepes are supposed to be thin and pliable; they don’t break when filled and folded. Pancakes are supposed to be thick and fluffy; they break if you try to fold them.
Getting your acorn crepes to the perfect thickness isn’t just a matter of pan size and heat. You’ll have to pick up and swirl the pan as soon as the crepe batter touches the hot surface. Swirl until the batter is a uniform thickness, forming a circle across the bottom of your pan.
From there, it will take about a minute to cook each crepe. You’ll know they’re done when you no longer see any wet batter spots on the surface and the edges have started to brown up a bit.
Remove it from the pan immediately by sliding a spatula underneath the edges to loosen it while guiding it out of the pan.
7. Cover crepes as you go, then eat immediately.
As each crepe comes out of the pan, stack them inside a covered dish. (We use two inverted dinner plates.)
Leaving a crepe uncovered allows the moisture to escape, making it more brittle (and cold). Covering it essentially steams it, giving it ideal texture while keeping it warm.
Once all your acorn flour crepes are made, plate and serve them immediately. They’ll still taste good the next day if you store them in a ziplock bag in your fridge, but they’ll be much more brittle, meaning they’ll break instead of folding. (Once again, acorn flour is not wheat flour and does not have the same glutinous properties.)
8. Sweet or savory?
If you’re making a sweet crepe, we recommend adding a teaspoon of sugar or maple syrup to the recipe, as indicated below. Going in a savory direction? Skip the sugar.
In the sweet acorn flour crepes photographed in this article, we used:
- uncooked American persimmon pulp from a recent foraging outing (strained through chinois strainer to remove seeds);
- pecan-cinnamon-butter crumble over the persimmon filling and over the crepe as a garnish;
- pomegranate seeds from our trees (a nice tang to balance out the other flavors while visually brightening the dish).
Now you’re ready to get cooking!
Recipe: Acorn flour crepes
Acorn flour crepes (sweet or savory)
A delicious and versatile forest-to-table crepe recipe made with cold or hot-leached acorn flour. Gluten-free, and can be made into sweet or savory crepes!
Acorn flour crepe ingredients
- 1/2 cup acorn flour (cold-leached acorn flour will yield the best results)
- 1/2 cup whole milk, organic grass-fed (for BEFORE refrigeration)
- 1/4 cup whole milk, organic grass-fed (for AFTER refrigeration)
- 1 egg (for BEFORE refrigeration)
- 1 egg (for AFTER refrigeration)
- 1/4 tsp salt (we prefer pink Himalayan)
- 1 tbsp melted unsalted butter, grass-fed - plus more for cooking
- 1 tsp *maple syrup or sugar (*optional - use only if you want a sweeter crepe)
Pecan-cinnamon-butter crumble (optional for adding to sweet crepe)
- 1/2 cup pecan flour or pecans pulverized in blender
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp butter
Put wet ingredients in blender (except for additional 1/4 cup milk and 1 egg that are added AFTER refrigeration). Then add dry ingredients on top, and blend for one minute.
Place blender in fridge overnight.
Remove blender from fridge, add 1/4 cup milk and 1 egg, then blend again for one minute.
Prep cooking area as detailed in article. Use ~7" pan and a 1/3 cup measuring cup for batter ladle. Heat pan to medium low heat, 3.5-4 on our stove, and allow it to get hot. Lightly butter pan. Add scoop of crepe batter and immediately lift and swirl pan to get batter to evenly coat surface of pan.
Cook each crepe just until all wet batter spots on crepe surface have disappeared (about 1 minute or less) then immediately transfer crepe to a dish that you can cover, such as a plate with another plate placed upside down on top. This holds in the moisture & heat to ensure ideal crepe texture. Stack crepes on top of each other until all crepes are done. Plate and serve immediately.
Combine dry ingredients (everything but butter) in bowl, and stir until evenly mixed.
Add butter to small saucepan over ~medium heat (4-5). Add dry ingredients and stir constantly for about 2 minutes until ingredients are hot and the pecans begin to release a toasted smell. Scrape into bowl and use as garnish in/on other crepes ingredients. We used this pecan crumble over raw, American persimmon pulp that had been strained to remove seeds.
Our toddler scraped his plate clean, so we consider our acorn flour crepe recipe a success!
We hope you love these acorn flour crepes as much as our family does!
Go nuts with these related articles:
- How to make acorn flour
- Hot-brewed yaupon holly and roasted acorn flour – a native caffeinated beverage better than coffee?
- Acorn flour & American persimmon cookies
- How and why to grow organic chestnuts in your home orchard or homestead
- Recipe: 20 minute pan-roasted chestnuts on a stovetop
- Recipe: chestnut porridge, a simple & delicious sugar-free breakfast
- How to make chestnut flour
- Recipe: Hickory nut ambrosia