May 6th is National Crêpes Suzette Day. If you know classic French cuisine, you’ve likely familiar with Crêpes Suzette.
Crêpes Suzette are sweet crêpes made with a sauce of butter, sugar, orange juice, orange zest and an orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier. You can serve then for breakfast, brunch or dessert.
Crêpe is the French word for pancake, and in France the pancakes/crêpes are light and paper-thin. They can be made from plain or sweetened batter. Savory recipes are almost as popular as sweet ones.
In the U.S., in the fine French restaurants of yore*, the mâitre d’hotel or captain would make them at tableside. They were typically ignited and, thanks to the flame-inducing liqueur, made for a dramatic presentation.
Who was Suzette?
There are different stories, but the most popular concerns the Café de Paris in Monte Carlo. The story goes that in 1895, a 14-year-old Henri Charpentier, a young kitchen apprentice who later become chef to John D. Rockefeller, created a dessert for the Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VII, eldest son of Queen Victoria).
Based on their royal association, Crêpes Suzette quickly became a classic French dessert.
1. BEAT the Bisquick mix, milk and eggs in small bowl with a whisk, until blended. Lightly butter an 8-inch skillet; heat over medium heat until the butter is bubbly. For each crepe…
2. POUR 2 tablespoons of batter into the skillet; immediately rotate the skillet until the batter covers the bottom. Cook until golden brown. Run a wide spatula around the edge to loosen; turn and cook other side until golden brown. Stack the crêpes, placing waxed paper between each; keep covered for warmth.
3. HEAT the butter, the orange peel, the orange juice and the sugar to boiling in 10-inch skillet, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. HEAT the liqueur in 1-quart saucepan, but do not boil.
5. FOLD the crepês into fourths (see photo #1). Place them in the skillet, in the hot orange sauce, and turn once. Arrange the crêpes around the edge of the skillet. Pour the warm liqueur into center of skillet and carefully ignite with a long match. After the flame dies, place 2 crêpes on each dessert plate; spoon the warm sauce onto the crêpes, and serve.
*For example, Cointreau, Curaçao, Grand Marnier, Gran Gala, Triple Sec.