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Guilty pleasures, Recipes

Craving Paris: Crêpes Suzette, mais oui

Crêpes Suzette may just be my dad’s favorite dessert, and a few years ago after living in Paris for a few months, I learned how to make them. He was feeling a bit under the weather yesterday so I made them for him in an attempt to make him feel better – and I think it worked!  Although crêpes may seem daunting to make (at least, they did to me), they’re actually easier than they look; the secret is a very wet batter and a very hot pan. It’s also a great winter recipe because it uses fresh oranges, which are in season this time of year.

You will need:

For the crêpes

  • 3 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (I use skimmed milk – no reason to use full-fat)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 1 tbsp Grand Marnier or other orange liquer (optional)

For the orange sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh orange juice
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Splash Grand Marnier or other orange liquer (optional)

I usually start with the sauce because I find that it takes longer to cook. In a large skillet over high heat, bring the orange juice to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the sugar and orange zest. Allow the mixture to simmer for 10-20 minutes (varies depending on water content of oranges) until mixture is reduced and becomes thick and syrupy. Remove from heat and add the orange liqueur to the syrup, then flambé by setting the pan alight using a match or lighter. Be VERY careful while doing this to avoid burns and singed eyebrows!!! Alternatively (if you’re feeling less adventurous) you can keep the pan on the heat when you add the liquer and let simmer for a few minutes so the alcohol burns off.

To make the crêpes, whisk eggs and sugar in a large bowl. Whisk in half the quantity of milk, then sift in half the flour, then add the rest of the milk followed by the rest of the flour. Add the salt, vanilla, orange zest and Grand Marnier (if using) and whisk until combined. If the mixture is too thick, you can add up to 1/2 a cup of extra milk to thin it to the right consistency. You are looking for a very watery batter.

The trick to successful, thin crêpes is a very wet batter

Heat an 8 or 9-inch pan or skillet over medium-high heat for about 1 minute, until the surface is very hot. Brush the surface of the pan with butter and wait until it sizzles. Using a large ladle, ladle some of the batter onto the middle of the pan and immediately swirl to distribute batter evenly over the surface. Cook about 45 seconds, until the underside of the crêpe can wiggle freely when the pan is moved (no longer sticks to the bottom of the pan). Flip over and cook the other side for 30 seconds. Remove to a plate and keep going with the remaining batter, adding fresh butter before each new crêpe.

Orange sauce simmering on the left, and crêpe forming in hot pan on the right

Fold crêpes in half and then fold halves in half again. Drizzle orange sauce generously over each one. Alternatively, you can serve them as cylinders. You can also serve them with orange sections, some orange zest, powdered sugar, chopped nuts, or vanilla ice cream. Bon appétit!

I definitely need to invest in a better camera to spruce up my food photos for this blog! (this one was taken with my BlackBerry)

In good health,


* Top image courtesy of BBC.



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January 2012
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