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Crepes Flambeed with Grand Marnier (Crepes Suzette)

This is one of the most famous of all French desserts and its range of popularity is such that it can be found on the menu of the most elegant restaurants in the country–and yet it is also, traditionally, served from street stalls all over Paris. If you prefer, use all Grand Marnier rather than mixing it with brandy.

ingredients

serves 4 - 6
150 g (5 oz) 5/8 cup Crepe batter (sweet)
2 Medium oranges
4 Sugar cubes
50 g (2 oz) 1/4 cup Castor (super fine) sugar
175 g (6 oz) 12 Tbs Unsalted butter, softened
75 ml (3 fl oz) 3/8 cup Fresh orange juice
5 Tbs Grand Marnier
3 Tbs Brandy

method

1. Fry the crepes according to the instructions in the basic recipe. Keep hot.

2. Rub each orange all over with the sugar cubes to extract the zest from the rind. Put the sugar into a bowl and crush with the back of a wooden spoon. Peel the oranges, discarding any pith. Chop the rind very finely and add to the sugar. Stir in half the castor (superfine) sugar and the softened butter. Cream the mixture until it is light and fluffy. Stir in the orange juice, then 3 tablespoons of the Grand Marnier and beat until the mixture is well blended and creamy.

3. Melt the orange butter in a frying-pan. Holding the outer edges of a crepe with your fingertips, dip it into the butter mixture until it is well soaked. Carefully fold in half, then in quarters. Transfer to a warmed serving dish. Repeat until all the crepes have been well coated. Sprinkle over the remaining sugar and pour over any remaining melted butter.

4. Warm the remaining Grand Marnier and brandy together until they are hot. Pour over the crepes and ignite, shaking the dish gently and carefully. When the flames die away, serve at once.

for the crepe batter


225 g (8 oz) 2 cups Flour
4 Eggs
50 g (2 oz) 4 Tbs Butter, melted
250 ml (8 fl oz) 1 cup Milk
225 ml (7 fl oz) 7/8 cup Water
2 Tbs Vegetable oil

1. Sift the flour into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the eggs and melted butter. Gradually beat in the milk and water until the mixture forms a smooth batter. Strain the batter if necessary to get rid of any lumps. Cover and set aside in a cool place for 2 hours.

2. Brush a heavy frying-pan with a little of the oil. Place over moderate heat and heat the oil until it is very hot. Remove the pan from the heat and pour about 4 tablespoons of batter into the centre of the pan. Quickly tilt the pan in all directions to spread out the batter. Return the pan to the heat and cook the crepe for just over 1 minute. Shake the pan to loosen the crepe. To see if it is cooked, lift one edge of it with a spatula; it should be light golden underneath. If it is not, cook for a further 10 seconds.

3. Turn the crepe over by lifting it up and over. Brown the other side for 30 seconds. This side will be less evenly browned and is the side on which fillings should be spread.

4. Slide the crepe on to a warmed plate and keep hot while you cook the remaining crepes in the same way.

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