The second time was with a French friend of my brother, he taught me how to flip them.
The third time was with a French colleague who insisted we needed to ferment the batter to make the crêpes lighter, she was right.
I remember ordering Suzettes just to have them made by the table, I loved the theatricality of the bubbly syrup, butter sizzling as the freshly squeezed orange juice cooked and then, the blue and orange flames of the flambé.
This recipe is from “The Skinny French Kitchen” and the author did go to a lot of trouble to make a lighter version, she even made the sacrifice to use vegetable oil instead of butter. However, I will make some annotations to the recipe in case you want to try the classic version.
Makes 6 big crêpes “plus 2 ugly ones”.
For the crêpes:
125g white flour
2 tbsp Grand Manier
pinch of salt
vegetable oil for frying (or half a teaspoon of butter for each)
For the syrup:
250ml freshly squeezed orange juice
zest of and orange
75ml Grand Manier
1tbsp caster sugar
To make the crêpes:
In a bowl mix all the ingredients and whisk vigorously until you have a perfectly incorporated frothy batter. Cover and let rest in the fridge for 15 minutes. A trick I learned is to add a pinch of baking powder to make them lighter.
Preheat your pan at a medium heat, after a couple of minutes oil or toss some butter and with a silicone spatula spread it evenly. Using a soup serving spoon pour some batter with one hand and with the other move the pan in an undulating circular motion to help the batter spread as thinly and evenly as possible covering the pan’s surface. Let it cook for a couple of minutes and start shaking gently until it moves easily, use a spatula to flip it and cook for a minute on the other side.
You actually want a slightly pale colour but you need to make sure the crêpe is cooked.
Transfer to a flat plate and continue with the same procedure to make the rest of the crêpes.
For the syrup:
Simmer the orange juice and the sugar for about 3 minutes, then add the butter, Grand Manier and whisk. Let it cook slightly.
To serve pour some syrup on a pan and heat it up, take one crêpe at the time and place it in the pan, then rapidly turn it and fold in half then in quarters, transfer to a plate and drizzle some syrup.
Decorate with the zest and sprinkle more sugar to add texture, serve as hot as possible.
For the traditional method which involves flaming, you can use pretty much any alcohol of your preference I like to use brandy or whiskey. Once you’ve folded the crêpe add about 3 tbsp of alcohol to the pan and light with a lightener or tilt the pan so it catches fire with the hob’s flame.