For a touch of indulgence, try the classic – but very easy – French dessert crêpes Suzette. The aim with crêpes is to get them thin, this comes with practice and a good pan. Start with a heavy based, low-sided frying pan reserved just for crêpes and pancakes. Clean it thoroughly, then season it by heating some oil in it until quite hot, wiping it out with paper towel and repeating this two or three times. Never wash it, just wipe thoroughly with a wad of paper towel after using, and your crêpes should never stick. Until you’re confident, use a lower heat and lift the pan off the heat when pouring in the batter, this gives you more time to swirl it around the pan before it sets. Timing will depend greatly on your pan and the cooking temperature, but this recipe makes plenty of batter, so you’ll have enough to practice with – and even misshapen crêpes taste good! Microplane graters have virtually replaced old-fashioned citrus zesters, but I prefer long thin strips of orange zest in my crêpes Suzette sauce; zesting the oranges over the pan means you collect all the aromatic oil from the skin as well as the zest. Try a slightly sweet, lightly sparkling moscato, such as Michele Chiarlo Nivole Moscato d’Asti, for a great wine match.
- 3 oranges
- 100g butter
- ⅓ cup castor sugar
- 20ml cognac
- 45ml curacao
- ¾ cup plain flour
- Pinch salt
- 1½ cups milk
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 50g butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
- Make Crêpe Batter: sift flour and salt into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Combine milk and eggs and slowly pour into the well, whisking to incorporate the flour; stop whisking as soon as all the flour is incorporated. Stir in butter and strain into a jug.
- Heat a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat and grease with very little butter.
- Stir the batter, pour in just enough to coat the pan, swirling quickly to cover the base evenly.
- Cook for 1-2 minutes, until the edges begin to curl and the base is golden brown.
- Loosen the edges with a silicon spatula, then use your fingers to turn the crêpe and cook for a further 30 seconds or so, until golden and dry.
- Slide out of the pan onto a clean plate.
- Repeat with remaining batter, stirring before each crêpe and stacking cooked crêpes on top of one another.
- Zest the oranges into a frying pan, then juice 2 of them and segment the remaining one. Set juice aside (you’ll need about 1/2 cup) and cut segments into 3 or 4 pieces.
- Add butter and sugar to the frying pan and cook over medium heat for a minute or 2, stirring frequently, until frothy.
- Stir in orange juice, cognac and curacao. Increase heat and boil for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until it forms a syrup.
- Reduce heat to low. One at a time, dip 8 crepes into the syrup. Using your fingers or 2 spoons, fold each crêpe into quarters and move it to one side to make room for the next crêpe.
- Add orange segments, spoon the sauce over and serve.