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Crêpes Suzette

Crêpe Suzette is one of the most popular and well-known French desserts. So much so that National Crêpe Suzette Day is celebrated annually on the 6th of May. Crêpe Suzette consists of crêpes (pancakes) with an orange sauce. It is served flambé.   The crêpes can be made in advance or if you are pressed for time, use shop-bought crêpes. You can even use South African Pancakes to make Crêpe Suzette! If you like the combination of orange and alcohol, be sure to also try my recipe for Duck à l’Orange!

Flambé (French for “flamed” or “flaming”) refers to the technique of dressing a hot pan with liquor such as brandy, cognac or rum, which causes a momentary burst of flames. As a result of the combustion, the alcohol’s raw flavor is burned off, but leaves behind a subtle, sweet flavor, adding complexity to the dish. The technique is primarily executed for dramatic tableside presentation. Other popular dishes that are flambéd are Bananas Foster, Baked Alaska Flambé and Steak Diane.

Crêpe Batter
120 g cake flour
2 ml salt
30 ml castor sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
250 ml milk
90 ml water
30 g butter, melted

Orange Sauce
85 g butter
60 g castor sugar (I used demerara sugar)
grated rind of 1 large orange, finely chopped
250 ml orange juice
60 ml Grand Marnier, Orange Liqueur, Cognac or Brandy

To serve
cream or ice-cream
orange segments (optional)

  1. To make the batter, combine the flour, salt and sugar in a medium bowl and make a well in the centre.
  2. Pour in the eggs, milk and water and mix well.
  3. Set the batter aside for 30 minutes.
  4. Pour in the melted butter and mix well.
  5. Heat a 20 cm non-stick crêpe pan over a medium heat.
  6. Brush the pan with a little butter and pour in about 30 ml of the batter.
  7. Quickly tilt and rotate the pan to cover the base with a thin layer of batter.
  8. Cook for about one minute until the top is set and the base is golden.
  9. Turn over the crêpe with a palette knife and cook for 20 to 30 seconds before tipping the crêpe out on to a plate.
  10. Continue cooking the crêpes, stirring the batter occasionally and brushing the pan with butter as necessary.
  11. Cover the crêpes with a clean kitchen towel while you prepare the sauce.
  12. To make the sauce, melt the butter in a medium pan over a medium heat.
  13. Stir in the sugar, orange juice and orange rind and bring the sauce to a boil.
  14. Allow the juice to boil for 5 minutes, reducing into a slightly thick sauce.
  15. Place a crêpe in the pan and spoon the sauce over it. Fold the crêpe in half with the aid of a palette knife or spatula.
  16. Fold the crêpe in half again to form a triangle. Push the crêpe to the side of the pan and continue heating and folding the rest of the crêpe until all the crêpe are the warm and covered with the sauce.
  17. Remove the pan from the heat.
  18. To flambé  the crêpes, heat the Grand Marnier, Orange Liqueur, Cognac or Brandy in a small saucepan over a medium heat.
  19. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully ignite the alcohol.
  20. Carefully pour the flaming alchohol over the crêpes. The flames will die down in a few seconds.
  21. Serve the crêpes with cream or ice-cream and orange segments.