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Bryanna’s Chai-Spiced Crepes With Citrus-Almond ‘Ricotta’ Filling and Grilled Mangos

For the Chai-Spiced Crepes: These are really excellent—they have that flexible “eggy” texture of regular crepes. You can freeze them too. These are adapted from the basic crepes in my book Soyfoods Cooking for a Positive Menopause.

2 1/4 cups soy milk or lite coconut milk
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup firm regular tofu or extra-firm silken tofu
1/3 cup soy or chickpea flour
1 1/2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast flakes
1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. ground ginger
3/4 tsp. ground cardamom
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. ground anise
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
Pinch of turmeric
Few gratings of nutmeg

• Process all the ingredients in a food processor or blender until very smooth.
• Heat a nonstick 8-inch skillet (a shallow crepe skillet is best) over medium-high heat and wipe or spray lightly with oil.
• Drop about 3 Tbsp. of the batter into the pan and roll and tilt the pan until the bottom is evenly covered. Cook for a few seconds, or until the top looks dry. Carefully loosen with a spatula and flip over. Cook for a few more seconds. Fold into quarters or roll like a jelly roll and place on a plate (or leave flat if you are going to stack them with filling). Set aside, covered with a clean tea towel.
• Repeat, stirring the batter between each crepe, until all the batter has been used.

Note: If you’re not going to use all the crepes, place them in a plastic bag or rigid container (with pieces of waxed paper in between each crepe) and refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze them for future use (thaw thoroughly before filling).

For the Citrus-Almond ‘Ricotta’:
1 cup hot water
1/2 cup whole blanched almonds
1 cup cold water
4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
4 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. oil
1 tsp. maple syrup
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. lime juice
Grated zest of 1 large orange or blood orange
Grated zest of 1 large lemon
Chopped peeled fruit of the orange or blood orange

• Place the hot water and almonds in a blender and blend until very smooth. Add the cold water, lemon juice, cornstarch, oil, maple syrup, and salt. Blend again until incorporated.
• Pour into a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan and stir constantly over medium-high heat until thickened and beginning to boil. Turn the heat down to medium and cook 1 minute more, stirring constantly.
• Scrape into a container. Cover and chill. When chilled and firm, mash and stir with a fork. Mix in the sugar, lime juice, citrus zest, and chopped orange. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Grilled Mangos:
3 mangos, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. vegan margarine, melted (try Earth Balance brand)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

• Preheat the broiler.
• Toss the mango in the margarine. Place in a shallow baking pan and broil, 3 to 4 inches from the heat source, until softened and slightly charred.
• In a bowl, combine the maple syrup and the lemon juice. Toss the mangos to coat.

To Assemble:
Shredded coconut for garnish (optional)
Chopped macadamia nuts for garnish (optional)

• Place 2 to 3 Tbsp. of the filling down the center of each crepe and roll up. Place the filled crepes in one layer in shallow baking pans. Cover with foil and bake at 400°F for 10 to 15 minutes, or until just hot and slightly puffy.
• Top with the grilled mangos and sprinkle with the coconut or nuts. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

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      • Amy says:

        Brilliant, tasty recipe! Easier than it looks, so long as one doesn’t blanch the almonds oneself. A few suggestions, though: Add more soy/coconut milk to the crepes (1/2-3/4 cup more); When making the crepes, expect the first crepe to be sub-par, as the pan is still heating up; Wipe the pan with an oil-soaked paper towel between crepe frying, otherwise the pan will smoke and the crepes will stick to the pan. My crepe pan broke in the middle of this adventure (as I was frying, too), and though the skillet I used to finish this with wasn’t ideal, it worked.

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