Sparkle Kitchen
sparkle kitchen: crepes suzette

2014-05-07
sparkle kitchen: crepes suzette

In this week’s At Home with Martin and Sylvia story "Eating Out", the family goes out to eat at a nice restaurant to celebrate Daddy’s big news. A French mother and her three children, who are also dining at the restaurant, invite the family to join tables and experience a proper French meal. A wonderful evening of slowly tasting several courses of food ensues!

While a multi-course French meal might be difficult to make at home, if you can make pancakes, you can make crepes.

That’s because crepes are, essentially, just very thin pancakes. While they’re just as often served with savory filling — think cheese, ham, or mushrooms — I prefer my crepes with sweet toppings like strawberries or a drizzle of lemon juice and honey.

But if you’re feeling adventurous, why not try lighting your crepes on fire?

Crepes Suzette is a traditional French dish, wherein orange flavored crepes are doused in a splash of alcohol and lit on fire — or flambeed — at the very end to produce a delicious, caramelized sugar crust. It only takes a little skill to pull off, but it’s completely impressive to any small ones who may be in your kitchen audience. (And, don’t worry, the alcohol burns away!)

Cooking the crepes individually does take some time, so this is best done as a slow weekend breakfast.

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Crepes Suzette

(makes 12 crepes)


Ingredients

For the crepes

1 cup flour

¼ tsp salt

1 cup milk (plus a little extra in case the batter needs thinning)

3 eggs

2 Tbls melted butter


For the orange butter

½ cup butter

¼ cup sugar

zest of 1 orange


For cooking the crepes

1/3 cup clarified butter or ghee

about 10 ounces Grand Marnier liqueur (you can also substitute a less expensive brandy, but the orange flavor won’t be quite the same)

extra oranges (optional, for garnish)

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Directions

In a large mixing bowl, gently whisk together the flour, salt, and half the milk. Add the eggs, melted butter, and the remaining milk, being careful not to over mix. Cover and set aside at room temperature for an hour. Once the batter has rested, check the consistency; you want it to be about the thickness of freshly mixed paint, so add a little more milk if necessary.

While the batter is resting, make the orange butter. In a small bowl or in a food processor, mix the butter, orange zest, and sugar until well incorporated. Set aside.

Next, heat a small non-stick or well-seasoned cast iron skillet over medium heat, and brush it liberally with the clarified butter. When a drop of water sizzles in the center, add about 1/3 cup of the crepe batter to the pan. Quickly tip and turn the pan so that the batter spreads out to make a thin pancake. Allow the crepe to cook until the edges are barely brown, then use a spatula to carefully flip it.

When both sides are cooked, remove the crepe to a plate, spread some of the orange butter on it, and place a clean tea towel over the top to keep it warm. Keep cooking crepes in this manner until you run out of batter. Stack the crepes on top of each other, continuing to spread a few lumps of orange butter between each layer.

When all the batter has been turned into crepes, add a few more tablespoons of clarified butter to the pan. Then, add a crepe with the orange butter side down. Let it cook for about 30 seconds, then fold it in half, and in half again to make a little triangle. Leaving the crepes in the pan as you go, do the same thing to three more crepes, so that you have four folded crepes in your pan.

Now it’s fire time!

To be safe, get your pan well away from any heat source — like your stove! — that could catch the alcohol on fire before you’re ready (don’t do it like we did in the photo!). Then, douse the crepes in 2-3 tablespoons of Grand Marnier and carefully use a match to light it.

Once the fire burns out, plate up the crepes with an extra drizzle of orange juice or some orange zest. Finish the cooking the rest of the crepes the same way in batches of four.

Bon Appetit!


Download the recipe HERE

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About the Author

Meryl Carver-Allmond

Sparkle Kitchen & Craft Blogger

The Sparkle Kitchen Series is created by Meryl Carver-Allmond.

Meryl lives in a hundred year old house near the prairie with her sweet husband, two pre-schoolers, one puppy, one gecko, and about ten chickens. While she's been writing since she could pick up a pen, in recent years she's discovered the joy of photography, too. She feels lucky to be able to combine those skills, along with a third passion--showing people that cooking for themselves can be healthy and fun--in her weekly Sparkle Kitchen posts.

When Meryl isn't writing for Sparkle Kitchen, you can find her on her personal blog, My Bit of Earth, where she writes about chickens, babies, knitting, gardening, food, photography, and whatever else tickles her fancy on any given day.

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