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.)
Cheat's Crêpes Suzette
Prepares: 4–6 servings
- Preparation time: About 30 minutes
- Standing time: 20 minutes
- Cooking time: About 25 minutes
- For the crêpes
- 115g (4 oz) plain/all-purpose flour (1 cup less 2 tbsp)
- pinch salt
- 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.
Updated: February 25, 2019