So after yesterday's crêpe making binge I decided to try making Crêpes Suzette for dessert for my friends tonight, I've never tried it - but orange, butter, sugar, grand marnier and cognac - how bad can it be? I have to put it out there that I've never flambéed anything, and it kind of scared me. . . especially since my father and brother just built me the kitchen of my dreams - I really don't want to burn it down. When I touched the torch to the hot alcohol it flamed instantly and stopped everyone in mid-sentence. . . and it burned a few minutes, but it wasn't scary or out of control. . . I did remember to turn the exhaust off so as not to suck the flames up. . .I would definately not be afraid of flambéeing anything in the future now that I've done it - so I'm confident that you can do it too.
When I started looking for the recipe I began by looking in La Bonne Cuisine Français. I couldn't find my old French copy from when I was an exchange student in the 80's - this was the cookbook that all the French mothers used - and they could cook! I had to pull out the new English Translation, la Bonne Cuisine de Mme. E. Saint-Ange, which unlike my old French one has no pictures and a much less appealing layout. The recipe was there allright. . . and began by asking me to violate an orange with a sugar cube in a way that made me say: "next recipe." So this recipe is basically Julia Child's recipe. Here you use a food processor instead of a sugar cube to get the essential oils out of the orange zest.
I took this out just in case. . .
orange zest and sugar in the food processor
after a few minutes in the food processor
the orange butter
The finished product
12 crêpes (for my recipe click here) already made.
1 orange, zested with a vegetable peeler
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1/3 -1/2 cup fresh orange juice (from 2 oranges)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup cognac
1/4 cup orange liqueur
1.For orange butter, pulse orange zest and sugar in a food processor, to extract the zest oils. You want the sugar to be orange and crumbly when you're done, it takes a minute. Add the butter and orange juice and blend until smooth. Put it in a bowl and refrigerate it if you're using it in the future.
1.For Suzette, have your crepes on a plate, and the alcohols measured and mixed.
2.Place a large sauté pan over medium heat and melt orange butter – let it bubble for up to 5 minutes – it will thicken and become syrupy. Reduce heat to low and lay in a crêpe, flipping it over to coat both sides. Fold the crepe into quarters using tongs and move to the serving platter (having it warmed would have been great. . .). Repeat with remaining crepes.
3.Sprinkle sugar over completed crêpes. Turn off the burner and pour in the alcohol. Turn it on again and bring it almost to the boil. Carefully tilt the pan toward the flame (if you wish) to ignite – take care to keep back as the flames can come up quickly. I did this step with a butand torch I bought for crème brûlée. Let the alcohol burn for a minute or two, then pour it over the crepes while it's still flaming. Serve the crepes, 2 per person and spoon sauce over.