I remember eating this delicious French pancakes ages ago, (I am not that old) in seaside hotels and I made a mental note that I should learn how to make this recipe as perfect as possible since I didn’t want to miss it for anything in the world. And so I did, by approaching the maître d’ hotel the moment he was cooking the crepe suzette, flambé, in front of our eyes and asking him to tell me the secret of making this delicious French treat so perfectly and heavenly.
The secret was not so much a secret, since all you need to succeed is the “beurre Suzette”, a caramelized sauce made with rich butter and sugar, orange juice and zest and of course a good liqueur like Grand Marnier (Oh… and lets not forget the thin plain pancakes).
Flambé is a tricky word, but the preparation is not as hard as you expect, nevertheless you need to be experienced enough to do it and if you are afraid of fire, it is best to be avoided.
The most common way to make flambé Crêpe Suzette is to pour liqueur (usually Grand Marnier) over a freshly cooked crêpe with sugar and ignite it. This will make the alcohol in the liqueur evaporate, resulting in a fairly thick, caramelized sauce.
Crepe Suzette has a very unique taste and quite heavy if I might say, due to the liqueur and the orange combination and the best way to make it milder yet tastier is to serve it with two scoops of rich vanilla ice cream.
If you are implementing this recipe, although it sounds a bit difficult, I promise you the reward you get when eating it, is going to compensate all your efforts and hard work.
Level of difficulty 4/5
Estimated time in the kitchen: 40 minutes
Calories: 158 cl per crepe with the sauce without the ice cream
Fat: 8.90 g
Protein: 4,11 g
- For the pancakes:
- 300 ml skimmed milk
- 100 g plain flour
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon of sun-flower oil
- For the crepe-suzette:
- 100 g unsalted butter
- 100 g sugar
- 150 ml Grand Marnier or any other good quality liqueur
- 150 ml pure orange juice
- The zest of one orange or tangerine
- To serve:
- Rich Vanilla ice cream (I would go for Haagen Dazs – some things are timeless)
Put the flour, sugar and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Make a hole in the center, add the egg, oil and 2 tbsp of the milk, and beat together with a wooden spoon until smooth. Slowly start to pour in a little milk, mixing the mixture as you pour it, to keep the batter smooth. Pour in the rest of the milk, a bit more quickly now, until it looks like a smooth cream.
Heat a 15cm/6in crêpe pan. Using a soup ladle, take some of the batter and pour into the pan, moving it around so the mixture swirls and fits the bottom of the pan. When the crêpe is golden underneath (in about 15 seconds if the pan is the right temperature), turn and cook for a further 30 seconds, until spotted brown.
Slide the crêpe on to a plate. Wipe the pan with oiled kitchen paper and continue frying until all the batter is used, stacking the crêpes on top of each other as you cook them.
For the crepe suzette, heat the butter and sugar in a deep frying pan (about 25cm/10in) over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar begins to dissolve; turn up the heat and bubble quite fast, until the mixture starts to go brown and becomes caramelized (about 4 minutes), stirring only towards the end. Pour in the orange juice (see left); add the orange and/or tangerine zests, letting the mixture bubble for 3-4 minutes to thicken slightly. In this sauce dip in the folded into triangles pancakes and keep them in for a few more minutes to suck about a third of the juice and then add the Grand Marnier or cognac, heat for a few seconds and lower the heat.
The crepe – suzette are now ready, so remove from the pan and serve in a plate with that magic sauce and of course vanilla ice cream..!!