In the 1960s and ’70s Crêpes Suzette used to be the epitome of fine restaurant dining. The tuxedoed waiter, the copper flambé pan, the silver burner, the flash of flame, the oohs and aahs of the other diners — how sophisticated we thought we were. Never mind your sniggering; this is still a great dinner party dish that is always polished off with gusto, no matter how substantial the previous courses. Time for a resurrection, I reckon.

Crêpes Suzette

  • For the crêpes (makes 10, serving 4 people, with seconds for more enthusiastic guests)
  • 100 g plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 275 ml milk (or non-dairy equivalent)
  • 50 g unsalted butter, melted (or use vegetable, sunflower or light olive oil), plus extra for frying
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • For the Suzette sauce:
  • Juice of 2 oranges
  • Zest of ½ orange, julienned
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Zest of ½ lemon, julienned
  • 25 g unsalted butter or margarine
  • 1 tablespoon of Muscovado sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of caster sugar
  • 50 ml Grand Marnier
  • 25 ml brandy

To make the crêpes

  • Sift the flour and salt into a bowl, make a well in the centre and add the eggs; stir in as much flour as possible without it becoming too stiff.
  • Gradually add the milk and beat well to form a loose batter.
  • Alternatively, put all the ingredients into your food processor and blitz until completely smooth.
  • Refrigerate the batter for at least half an hour.
  • Place a 20cm non-stick crêpe pan on the stove and, when hot, wipe it with some butter or oil.
  • Pour in enough batter to cover the base of the pan. Tip any excess batter back into the bowl.
  • When the bottom of the crêpe is golden, flip it over and cook the other side for about 30 seconds.
  • Slide the crêpe onto greaseproof paper; put another sheet of greaseproof paper on top.
  • Repeat until you’ve used up all the batter.
  • Your first crêpe will always be a disaster. Keep going — the rest will be fine.
  • These crêpes can be used for savoury dishes too. They freeze brilliantly: keep them flat and interleaved with greaseproof paper; just slide them into a freezer bag until needed. They separate easily when frozen and thaw quickly.

To make Crêpes Suzette

  • Sprinkle each crêpe with a little caster sugar. Fold them in half, then into quarters to make triangles. Set to one side.
  • In a frying pan large enough to hold all of the folded crêpes, melt the butter (or margarine) and gently sauté the orange and lemon zest for 1 minute, ensuring that it does not brown.
  • Add the sugars and stir together until the zest, sugar and butter (or margarine) turn sticky and caramelly.
  • Pour in the orange and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer until all the sugar has dissolved.
  • Carefully place the folded crêpes in the sauce, overlapping them neatly, then add the Grand Marnier and brandy.
  • Ensure that the crêpes are covered with sauce, simmer them briefly to heat, and serve immediately with vanilla ice cream.
  • If you have the confidence you can endanger your guests by taking the pan to the table, adding another dash of Grand Marnier and brandy, and carefully igniting the alcohol to flambé the crêpes before you serve them.
  • I’ve allowed two per person, but those of us who should know better can always manage three.

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