Looking for a non-chocolate treat for your Valentine? Look no further than Crepes Suzette with their buttery sweet orange syrup. These are so simple and delicious. One bite and you’ll understand what all the fuss is about.
The origins of Crepes Suzette are murky. Who exactly Suzette was is up for debate. They first appeared in Parisian restaurants at the end of the 19th century where the dish was prepared tableside with a dramatic, fiery flambeed finish. Not every version of Crepes Suzette makes use of liquor (Wiki). Our version uses brandy but we cooked the alcohol out while making the sauce.
There are several crepe recipes on the blog. Some are savory (like this) and some are sweet (like this). I refer you to these recipes for tips on making the crepes. You’ll save yourself a little trouble if you make both the sauce and the crepes ahead of time and store them in the fridge until ready to assemble your Crepes Suzette. Making the crepes takes the bulk of the time and if you’re serving these as part of a romantic dinner, you’ll want to spend as much time as possible with your sweetheart, not in the kitchen.
This sauce, from What’s For Eats is a marvel. It makes good use of the entire orange; fruit, juice and peel. I used two large navel oranges but the type doesn’t matter. One was used for the zest and juice while the other was cut into sections (See Photos 1,2 and 3 above). The fruit was then cut away from the peel and trimmed of the pith. Likewise the strips of peel were also cleaned of pith with a sharp, flexible knife and cut into strips which were added to the sauce.
You should get at least 10 crepes from this recipe, figure two per person. There should be plenty of sauce for the crepes. You’ll notice if you make the sauce ahead of time that it will congeal as it cools. Don’t fuss about it as it will warm up well. There’s a lot of butter and sugar in the sauce so this is a very rich dessert. If you’d rather just make enough for two (and avoid the temptation of leftovers), adjust the recipe and make half the sauce. The extra crepes will store well in the freezer if you pack them with a piece of waxed paper between them.
- 1 cup flour
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- pinch salt
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup water
- 2 teaspoons butter, melted
- 2 eggs
- zest and juice of one orange (about ⅔ cup)
- orange sections, peeled and pith removed, reserve some of the peel and prepare make it edible by removing the pith and cutting it into thin slices (I used about ¼ cup)
- 2 sticks of butter (1/2 pound)
- ½ cup sugar
- pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup brandy or Grand Marnier (optional)
- Whisk the wet ingredients together, then add the dry ingredients and blend well. The batter will be very thin without lumps
- Store the batter in the fridge for at least an hour and up to two days.
- The batter will separate from standing. You may also see some natural fermentation. Stir it all together.
- Heat a 9 or 10 inch skillet or crepe pan over medium high heat. Lubricate the pan with cooking spray, oil or melted butter as needed.
- Add a scant ¼ cup of batter to the pan and immediately rotate the pan to spread the batter into a very thin pancake. (It will take some experimentation to determine the perfect pan and amount of batter to use.)
- Use a spatula to loosen the sides of the crepe and flip when the top begins to dry. You'll quickly figure out when the crepes are ready to flip.
- Cook the second side briefly and remove to a platter.
- Repeat with the next crepe. As a new crepe is added to the platter, fold the previous crepe into quarters with the nicer side towards the outside.
- Cooked crepes can be stored in the fridge for a couple days or frozen using waxed paper to keep the crepes from sticking together.
- Deal with the oranges first. Zest and juice one. Measure the juice, you'll need about ⅔ a cup. If necessary, you can either juice another orange, or supplement with water or other juice you may have on hand. Cut the second orange into 8 sections. Remove the peel and trim the individual pieces of orange. Reserve the orange slices to use as a garnish, Take two or three piece of reserved peel and use a sharp, flexible knife to cut away the pith such that only the peel remains. Slice the peel into thin strips.
- Melt the butter, orange zest and peel in a large sauce pan or skillet over medium heat.
- Add the sugar, orange juice, vanilla and salt. Stir well to combine.
- If you don't want to flambe the brandy, add it now, otherwise wait until the entire dish is assembled. (optional)
- The sauce will bubble and froth as it cooks. Just keep stirring and manage the heat to prevent a boil over. Eventually the sauce will smooth out and begin to thicken.
- At this point you can remove the sauce from the heat and allow to cool to transfer to the fridge.
- If the crepes and sauce have been made ahead of time, remove them from storage and allow them to warm to room temperature.
- Heat the sauce in a large skillet, stirring to remelt the butter and to break up any lumps.
- Arrange the folded crepes in the skillet and turn to cover with sauce. Warm through.
- This is the point for flambeing the brandy. Pour it over the crepes and immediately light the brandy with a lighter. Keep a lid handy in case things get out of hand.
- Remove the Crepes Suzette to a platter for serving if you prefer.
- Scatter the orange slices over top and garnish with whipped cream.
I’ve never been able to get a dramatic flame when I’ve attempted to flambe. I’m a little intimidated by the process (I keep thinking of a scene from a bad sitcom where the entire kitchen goes up in flames) so I tend to cook the alcohol off instead of burning it off.
Rick and I wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day filled with the people you love.