4.3 CrÃªpes Suzette
In the 1960s and â70s CrÃªpes Suzette used to be the epitome of fine restaurant dining. The tuxedoed waiter, the copper flambÃ© pan, theÂ silver burner, the flash of flame, the oohs and aahs of the other dinersâââhow sophisticated we thought we were. Never mind your sniggering; this is still a great dinner party dish that is always polished offÂ with gusto, no matter how substantial theÂ previous courses. Time for aÂ resurrection, I reckon.
- For the crÃªpes (makes 10, serving 4 people, withÂ seconds for more enthusiastic guests)
- 100âg plain flour
- 2 eggs
- 275âml milk (or non-dairy equivalent)
- 50âg unsalted butter, melted (or use vegetable, sunflower or light olive oil), plus extra for frying
- Â¼ teaspoon of salt
- For the Suzette sauce:
- Juice of 2 oranges
- Zest of Â½ orange, julienned
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Zest of Â½ lemon, julienned
- 25âg unsalted butter or margarine
- 1 tablespoon of Muscovado sugar
- 2 tablespoons of caster sugar
- 50âml Grand Marnier
- 25âml brandy
To make the crÃªpes
- 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 crÃªpe 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 crÃªpe is golden, flip it over and cook the other side for about 30 seconds.
- Slide the crÃªpe onto greaseproof paper; put another sheet of greaseproof paper on top.
- Repeat until youâve used up all the batter.
- Your first crÃªpe will always be a disaster. Keep goingâââthe rest will be fine.
- These crÃªpes 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 CrÃªpes Suzette
- Sprinkle each crÃªpe 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 crÃªpes, melt the butter (or margarine) and gentlyÂ sautÃ© 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 crÃªpes in the sauce, overlapping them neatly, then add the Grand Marnier and brandy.
- Ensure that the crÃªpes 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 flambÃ© the crÃªpes before you serve them.
- Iâve allowed two per person, butÂ those of us who should know better can always manage three.
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