recipe: simple crepes suzette

Pancake day is upon us and every year I wonder why I don’t eat pancakes more often. They’re simple, cheap and delicious which frankly is the holy trinity when it comes to food. Douse them in lemon and sugar, cover every inch in Nutella or experiment with pretty much anything sweet and they make a great dessert.

This recipe makes pancakes just that little bit more special and perfect for a treat if you are trying to impress someone special on Valentine’s day. Flambeing sounds scary but as long as you don’t stand too close to the pan, you’ll be just fine.

Ingredients – makes 8 pancakes

For the crepes:

  • 125g plain flour
  • pinch salt
  • 1 egg
  • 300ml milk
  • 1/2 tsp of orange blossom water (optional)
  • butter for cooking

For the sauce:

  • 50g butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • zest of 1 orange sliced into thin strips (I use a vegetable peeler to take wide strips off then finely slice them into strips)
  • juice of 2 oranges
  • 3 tbsp of rum, brandy, Armagnac or Cointreau

Method

1. Combine all the pancake ingredients except for the butter in a blender and blend into a batter. If you don’t have a blender then place the flour and salt in a bowl, make a well and crack in the egg. Mix and then slowly whisk in the milk and orange blossom water ensuring that you get rid of any lumps. If you can, leave the batter to rest for half an hour.

2. Heat a frying pan (a lighter pan will make pancake tossing much easier) on a relatively high heat and add a small knob of butter. Add a small ladleful of batter, pick up the pan and immediately rotate your wrist to ensure that the batter covers the entire surface of the pan in one thin layer.

3. Once the pancake begins to brown at the sides, shake the pan and if the underneath is cooked it should move easily. Toss your pancake (or flip it with a palette knife). Cook the other side of the pancake for a minute or so then remove from the pan and place on a wooden chopping board or plate.

4. Repeat the above process until you have cooked all of the pancakes.

5. As you are cooking the final pancakes, take a large frying pan and add all of the sauce ingredients apart from the alcohol. Heat gently so that the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Allow the sauce to simmer and thicken slightly, whisking to help the ingredients incorporate.

6. Once the sauce has thickened and coats the back of a spoon, fold the pancakes into triangles and add them to the pan to reheat. Add the alcohol to the pan and immediately set it alight with a match.

7. Allow the flames to burn until they naturally die down, this will burn off much of the alcohol but leave the flavour behind. Then serve and enjoy!

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