Crêpes Suzette – the flamboyant flambé to celebrate Shrove Tuesday in style!

At Tante Marie Culinary Academy, we are constantly devising, testing and refining new recipes to add to our – and our students’ – repertoires.

However, every now and then we like to revisit some of the old classics – and Crêpes Suzette is a classic example. Deceptively simple to make, it entails delicious thin pancakes, smothered with an orange-flavoured alcoholic, buttery, sweet glaze. Of course the thing that everyone remembers is the theatrics: igniting of the alcohol at the table. With care, (as in being vigilant with naked flames) this is a special-event dessert – with spectacular complements to come. Oo la la!

For the crêpes (pancakes):

  • 150g flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 300ml milk
  • 1tbsp oil, extra for frying

For the Grand Marnier sauce:

  • 1 orange
  • 50g sugar
  • 50g butter
  • 1-2tbsp Grand Marnier

For the flambé:

  • 2tbsp brandy
  • a little icing sugar

To make the crêpes:

Sift the flour into a bowl, make a well in the centre and add the egg, egg yolk and oil. Beat in half of the milk, stirring rapidly at first, then more slowly mixing the flour from the sides of the bowl. Stir in the remaining milk.

Using a small, strong iron pan with a flat base (4-5 inches/11-15cms in diameter), heat the pan until it is very hot, pour in a little oil and tilt the pan so that the oil runs all over the surface. Pour off the excess oil.

Pour in a little batter and tilt the pan so that the batter makes a very thin coating on the base. Cook until the surface looks dry, loosen the edges with a thin bladed knife, turn the pancake over and cook the other side.

The side cooked first is always the right side of the pancake. One quantity of batter will make approximately 10-15 pancakes according to the size of the pan used.

Tip: the best way to keep pancakes hot is to place them as they are cooked on a reversed saucer on a plate over a pan of hot water. Cover with a large bowl to keep them warm.

To make the sauce:

Peel the zest from the orange and chop finely with some of the sugar.

Cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add the orange zest, the remaining sugar and the Grand Marnier.

Spread a layer of the filling on each pancake, fold into 4 and place in a hot buttered dish. Dust with icing sugar, warm the brandy in a small pan, pour over the pancakes and ‘flame’. Serve at once.

Take a look at some of our other recipe blogs to discover more culinary classics made the Tante Marie way!