The smell of fresh pancakes brings forth memories of Saturday morning cartoons, family fun in the kitchen and breakfast for dinner creativity. Once I stopped eating gluten I realized pretty quickly that while I could deal without bread pretty easily pizza, pasta and pancakes were quick staples that I'd grown up keeping on hand for meals after an exhausting day and I missed them. I've been searching for a truly great gluten free pancake for ever since... for years now... and I've finally found one I love.
This recipe is one that I have been regularly working into my meal preps for a while now and feel confident saying I will keep using. They have a touch of cinnamon, a hint of vanilla and just enough sweetness to sate the desert craving should I want to stuff them with whipped cream and some chocolate shavings or a few berries. I freeze them in 2-3 pancake stacks and microwave them once I get to the office most days but occasionally I'll do breakfast for dinner and pair them with scrambled eggs or an omelette. Either way they are delicious!
A couple quick notes: these are not the thick fluffy pancakes you get at breakfast restaurants (but if you let the mixture sit for a little bit to thicken up you will be able to get them a bit thicker but they will still be a thinner pancake). The reason these pancakes work is the blender, I've tried making them with a whisk and I couldn't get them quite the same.
Other Items Needed:
Sometimes I crave pizza. Shocking, I know. Not! Everyone likes pizza... why wouldn't you? There's the tang of the tomato sauce, tasty toppings ranging from crisp or sauteed veggies to savory meats and herbs, lots of cheesy goodness, and the garlic. I love garlic. Most of the time I end up just having to suck it up and deal with the consequences of eating a slice or two from the local pizzeria but the other day I went to Firecrust again and it was pretty amazing. I have been to Firecrust before, I got a fairly traditional pie with ricotta and mozzarella cheeses, basil, tomato sauce, olive oil and mushrooms. It was pretty fabulous. The crust was thin and crisp, perfect for the lightness of the toppings. All the toppings were fresh, from the ball of mozzarella they tore a chunk off of for my pizza to the basil and roasted mushrooms. I was a happy camper... but still had some tummy upset later.
This time when I went I saw that they had gluten free pizza crusts now! Hurray! I was pretty excited to try out my same pie but on their new crust. It did cost $2 extra but $2 and no consequences later? Totally worth it. The procedure to make the gluten free pizza went beyond just grabbing a gluten free crust and assembly lining it to the end though. They pulled special utensils out for my pizza, made sure to get ingredients from beneath the counter so there was no cross contamination from the wheat flour pizzas, and even checked to see if their pepperoni was gluten free (it isn't *sad trombone*)... all without me even asking or saying a word about it. The manager put my pizza in the oven and chatted with me while I waited... she was very knowledgeable about why the gluten free pizza crusts took longer and made sure that the box she put my pizza in didn't even get the packets of cheese and peppers 'just in case'... and never once did they make me feel like I was putting them to extra effort in any way. The customer service was fantastic! I got my pizza and felt very confident that it wasn't cross-contaminated in the slightest. I just have a sensitivity but if I had Celiac I would feel comfortable eating something these guys had whipped up for me, they were that on point with what their procedure should be. They even have a gluten free flat bread now for their salads I was informed as I picked up my order.
On to the flavors and textures. The toppings were as on point as they ever were, of course... creamy ricotta, flavorful mushrooms, tangy sauce... basically perfection on a pie. The crust wasn't the best I've ever had but it was far from the worst as well. The flavor was actually pretty good but I'm a big texture person. Flavor-wise, it was a little sweeter than traditional wheat flour crusts but very mild in flavor which was a plus as sometimes these crusts can taste quite nutty. I was told that they use tapioca starch as a main ingredient in the crusts so this could be reason for the more neutral but slightly sweet taste. The biggest issue I had with the crust was that it was a little too thick in my opinion which made it somewhat chewy in the center. This isn't an uncommon problem by any means and I've come to expect it from gluten free pizzas but if they would make the crust just a little thinner I think this issue would go away completely. It would also help solve the issue of needing to be cooked longer than their other pizzas which causes a little singe on the outside edge (it didn't taste burnt though!). It was a pretty good pizza all in all and was very filling. I would likely split this pizza if I went again as it is equivalent to a small pizza but, as with most gluten free 'breads', more calorie dense so you get filled up faster. As it was I ended up saving half to eat later in the day as a second meal. It was pretty tasty cold as well.
Oh! And for you vegans and vegetarians out there... they have vegan cheese and plenty of non-meat only toppings to try on their pizzas! I have not tried that cheese as I don't eat soy and I assume that it is soy based (I didn't ask but many of them are) but they do have it. They even have a sauce-less 'white' pizza if you can't have tomatoes. Auto-immune protocol people this could work for you. I'm not sure about the ingredients in their crust though, I'd suggest calling to ask if you were interested in going to make sure. They are pretty accommodating to various eating styles and needs I'd say.
I recommend this restaurant for both my gluten eating and non-eating friends as the pizza, and the customer service, is top notch.