I call these Cheat’s Crêpes Suzette because they aren’t flambéed just before serving. The crêpes with orange segments in orange sauce flavoured with Cointreau still make them sublime. (To flambé them, just follow the last steps of the method.)
115g (4 oz) plain/all-purpose flour (1 cup less 2 tbsp)
2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
240ml (8 fl oz) semi-skimmed/2% milk (1 cup) mixed with 60ml (2 fl oz) water (¼ cup)
55g (2 oz) butter (¼ cup, or ½ stick)
For the orange sauce
55g (2 oz) icing/powdered sugar (½ cup)
3 small oranges
85g (3 oz) butter (3 tbsp, or ³⁄₈ stick)
1 tbsp Grand Marnier or Cointreau
You will also need a 25cm (10 inch) heavy gauge aluminium frying pan/skillet.
Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.
Make a well in the centre of the flour and break in the eggs. Using an electric whisk or a balloon whisk, whisk the eggs into the flour, gradually adding the milk and incorporating the flour from around the edge of the bowl. Scrape any remaining flour down from the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and whisk again until all the mixture is smooth. It should be the consistency of thin cream. Set aside for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile prepare the sauce. Squeeze the juice from one orange into a small pan and add the icing sugar. Stir to dissolve and then add the butter. Gently heat to melt the butter and then simmer for 2 minutes. The mixture will thicken slightly. Set the pan to one side.
Then zest the two remaining oranges and put the zest to one side.
Now remove all the pith from the 2 oranges, separate into their segments and remove any pips. Cut each segment in half.
Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F) (gas 2) and place five plates in the oven to warm.
To prepare for cooking the crêpes: Melt the butter in the pan/skillet. Spoon 2 tablespoons into the batter and whisk it in. Pour the remainder into a small bowl and use it to smear the pan/skillet between cooking each pancake using a wodge of kitchen paper.
Get the pan really hot, then turn the heat down to a medium–hot setting.
Use about 3 tablespoons of batter for each crêpe. It is easier to measure this into a ladle or measuring cup first and use this to tip the batter into the pan/skillet in one go. Using the ladle or cup, hold it so that the base is very close to the bottom of the pan/skillet in the centre and then pour it in. As soon as the batter hits the hot pan/skillet, lift the pan/skillet and tip it around from side to side to get the base evenly coated with the batter. If there are any holes, just fill them in with extra batter using a teaspoon. It will take less than a minute to cook. Lift the edge with a palette knife to check the underside is golden.
Now flip the crêpe over. The other side will need less time to cook. Then slide it out of the pan onto a warmed plate.
Continue until there are 12 crêpes. Overlap them on the warmed plate as you go, keeping them warm in the oven, covered loosely with foil.
Pour the sauce into the pan/skillet and warm through. Add the zest and 1 tablespoon of the liqueur.
Then fold the crêpes into quarters, placing a few orange segments in each one. Add the crêpes to the pan along with any remaining orange segments.
Cook for 2 minutes to heat the crêpes through.
If you want to flambé the crêpes just follow the steps below.
To flambé the crêpes
This is done just before serving the crêpes. First mix together 3 tablespoons of Grand Marnier and 3 tablespoons of brandy. Then pour them into the pan and set the sauce alight. This has to be done very quickly or the alcohol will evaporate and won’t light. Carefully swirl the pan around so that the sauce flames evenly. Serve when the flames have extinguished. Be very careful when doing this.
A large glass serving bowl or 4 individual glass dishes
4 medium juicy oranges
110g/4 oz caster sugar/fine white sugar
15ml/1 tbsp Grand Marnier or Cointreau
Thinly pare the rind from one orange and cut into very thin julienne strips. Place in a small saucepan and cover with water. Cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes until tender. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.
Remove the pith from the orange and peel the remainder oranges. Make sure all the pith has been removed. Slice the oranges into rounds, reserving any juice and discarding pips. Arrange in the serving bowl or individual dishes.
Place the sugar and 150ml/5 fl oz water in a saucepan and heat gently stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and continue boiling until the syrup is a light caramel colour.
Remove the pan from the heat and carefully stir in 25ml/1½ tbsp water and return to a low heat. Then stir in the reserved orange juice and the liqueur.
Leave the syrup to cool for 10 minutes and then pour over the oranges. Top with the julienne strips.
4 yolks, from large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.) eggs
110g/4 oz caster sugar/fine white sugar
3 tbsp Cointreau
6 x 150ml ramekins
Preheat the oven to 150°C/300F/°gas mark 2.
For the crème caramel
Pour the milk in to a pan and add the zest from one of the oranges. Bring to the boil and then set aside to infuse.
Put the granulated sugar and water in a heavy-based pan. On a low heat stir until the sugar has dissolved. It needs to be a low heat so the water does not evaporate. Once the sugar has dissolved, turn the heat up and let the syrup bubble away until it is a golden caramel colour. Don’t stir. Divide between the ramekins.
Lightly whisk the eggs and yolks with the caster sugar. Mix in the infused milk to form a custard. Strain into a jug and set aside for 15 minutes.
Line a deep tin (a roasting tin is ideal) with paper towelling and put the ramekins in the tin. The paper will stop the dishes moving about. Skim any froth from the custard and then pour an equal amount into each ramekin. Add enough boiling water to come half way up the side of the ramekins. Bake for 30 minutes until just set. If they are still a bit wobbly leave for a further 5 minutes in the tin of water but out of the oven. Remove and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
For the oranges
Meanwhile, peel the oranges and cut away any pith. Divide into the segments. Slice out the segments from their casings and put in to a bowl. This is rather fiddly but worth it. Pour the Cointreau over and set aside.
Dip the base of each ramekin in hot water for 10 seconds. and run a knife round the edge of each one. Put a plate over the top and invert. Divide the oranges between the six servings.
Cut the top and bottom off the oranges. Remove all the peel and white pith. Cut the flesh into thin rounds, reserving any juice. Either put the oranges in one large glass bowl or four individual ones and pour over the reserved juice. Add 2 tbsp of the Cointreau evenly over the oranges. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
Whip the cream until it is just thick. Stir in the remaining Cointreau, three-quarters of the orange zest and the icing sugar.
For those oranges in individual bowls, swirl a dollop of cream on the top. For the oranges in the larger bowl serve the cream as an aside. Scatter the remaining orange zest over the cream.