Saturday, January 10, 2015

Crêpes Suzette in Orange Syrup--To Warm up

Originally, I had a very different idea for today's recipe but, with the subzero temperatures around, a frozen dessert I thought about seemed too cold. Instead, I will share my recipe for crêpes Suzette--a dessert to warm up.

Every two weeks, I make a batch of crêpes for my son, who eats them with Nutella. Although crêpes are a French invention, I have never made classic French crêpes Suzette before. But because this is a high season for oranges, making warm crêpes Suzette soaked in a warm orange syrup seemed to me like a great idea.

There are many crêpes recipes. When I had them in the Parisian Monmartre I asked the gentleman who made them for the recipe. I got it spelled out in the quantities he used to prepare his batter every day, that is, dozens of eggs, and many kilograms of flour and pounds of butter.

And although the Parisian crêpes are reputed to be wonderful, they were slightly too sweet for my taste. So I tried a recipe similar to the one I use every two weeks. In addition to typical crêpes ingredients, it also calls for a tiny amount of beer, which makes the crêpes a little more elastic, and easy to fold and roll. The syrup they are soaked in is aromatic from oranges, sweet and buttery and, thanks to a splash of liqueur, it can also warm you up.

All these wonderful ingredients were not enough for my son, so he added whipped cream on top. But since any dessert on a freezing winter day must be indulging, it may have been not such a bad idea after all.

Crêpes Suzette
(Makes 8 crêpes on a 10-inch frying pan)


1 cup all purpose flour,
2 large eggs,
1 tbsp sugar,
1 tbsp light vegetable oil (e.g., grape seeds or canola oil),
a pinch of salt,
2 tbsp light beer,
1 and 1/2 cup whole milk.

Orange Syrup
6 tbsp unsalted butter,
1/2 cup raw cane sugar,
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice,
2 tbsp orange zest,
4 tbsp Grand Marnier or Cointreau liqueur,
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped.

1. Put flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl and gently mix.
2. In another bowl mix eggs, oil, and half of milk. Pour into dry ingredients and beat with a whisker. When the batter is smooth, add the rest of milk and beer and mix until the batter becomes smooth and shiny.
3. Preheat the frying pan and when it is very hot pour about 1/3 cup of the batter. When the edges become dark gold, gently lift and flip the crêpe over.

4. Repeat with the rest of batter and set aside. (If you have no time to make crêpes just before serving them, they can be made a day ahead and kept in a refrigerator; they will be reheated automatically once you put them in the hot syrup.)

5. To make the syrup use a pan large enough for crêpes to fit in. Heat the butter and sugar on a low heat about 5 minutes, until the sugar melts and starts to caramelize.
6. Pour in orange juice and zest and let the syrup to bubble for 3 minutes.
7. Finally add the liqueur. Keeping a heat on low, place each crêpe individually in a pan. When it covers with syrup fold it in half, then in fourth.

8. Drain the crêpe (i.e., let most of the syrup it is soaked in to drip back into the pan) and place on a serving plate. Repeat with each crêpes the same way. If there is any extra syrup left drizzle it at the end on the crêpes.
9. Decorate the crêpes with whipped cream if you like and serve immediately, still warm.