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While it might sound fancy, you don’t need to go to a fancy brunch place to get delicious crepes suzette. The perfect concoction of butter, sugar, orange, and fire can be made simply at home. Worried about the flame? Check out the tips below to help manage your expectations and maximize safety.
What are Crepes Suzette?
Crepes Suzette is a preparation of crepes in a beurre Suzette, a butter sauce made with caramelized sugar and orange liqueur often finished tableside en flambe (on fire).
My Approach to Crepes Suzette
In today’s recipe, I’ll be making this as simple as possible to give you a basic understanding of the ingredients and process for making crepes suzette. As always, I will provide you with some alternative ingredients and add-ons should you want to personalize or expand upon this approach.
What Makes a Good Crepe Suzette
Browned butter I think makes all the difference with crepes suzette. When you cook the butter down a bit you get some wonderful earthy and nutty flavors that complement well with the brown sugar.
The Challenge with Crepes Suzette
Let’s talk about the flambe portion of crepes suzette. You do not need to flambé anything for this dish to work. You can cook the alcohol off slowly without any fire. That said, if you want the REAL version of this you are going to want to be as safe as possible.
Tips to Make Flambe Safer
There is no fully safe to do anything with fire. That said, I can take significant precautions to improve my safety when cooking foods flambé.
- Always have a fire extinguisher on hand and ready to go should you need it (this goes for cooking in general but is even more important with flame).
- Next, use a pan you have a lid for so you can smother the flame if needed.
- Very important, it is the fumes that ignite, not the liquid. This means it will ignite by being NEAR fire not touching it and the fumes are outside and above the pan.
- That longer you wait the more potential there is for a larger flare up as the vapors will spread. Wait too long and you won’t have any flames at all.
- Make sure you have several feet of clearance above you should the flame jump up (or just do this outside).
- When it comes to alcohol, flambe works most reliably with alcohol 40% (80 proof or higher). 1 shot of alcohol can easily make a 1 foot flame.
- When you want to add alcohol to flambe, turn OFF the stove, this will prevent any premature flare up.
- Next, use a long fireplace match or lighter to ignite. The alcohol should burn off in a few seconds, if it doesn’t cover with the lid.
Developing Flavors in Crepe Suzette
The number one thing that will make this recipe better is fresh orange juice and zest. If you have a fresh orange give it a squeeze in and add some zest to finish. It is also very common to see crepes suzette topped with orange slices, this is really more for presentation and to let you know it is orange flavored.
What Pairs with Crepe Suzette?
Even though it is a brunch food, I do not recommend dry champagne with Crepe Suzette. Instead you want something sweet and ideally with orange blossom flavors. Think moscato d’asti or asti spumante (haha yes I do like Italian sparkling wines with my french crepes).
To make crepes suzette you will need a non-stick pan (with lid), spatula, measuring spoons, shot glass, and a long fireplace match or lighter.
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon orange liqueur
- Mix together eggs, milk, flour, salt, oil, and water
- Heat non-stick pan on medium
- Pour 1/4 cup of batter into the pan per crepe
- Rotate pan to coat thinly
- Flip when solid (about 2 minutes)
- Cook until the second side is solidified (roughly another 2 minutes)
- Place crepe off to the side and cook all 4 before moving to the next step
- Add butter to pan on medium and brown
- Add sugar to pan and let it melt
- Fold 4 crepes into triangles
- Add 4 crepes to pan
- Turn off stove and immediately add liqueur and light
- Cook down for 2 minutes