Monday, May 23rd, 2016
May 29th was Crepe Suzette Day and this version of the classic dish will raise your blood sugar 50mg. These crepes don’t have a filling, they are cooked in an orange sauce, so I like to make a thicker crepe to absorb as much as the sweet orange and Grand Marnier sauce as possible. Even my batter is sweet.
We associate crepes with French cuisine but all over the world cooks fill both savory and sweet goodies inside thin pancakes. Sweedish pancakes serve with powdered sugar and preserves, On the lower Eastside you got your blintzes filled with sweet cheese or fruit and topped with sour cream. The Chinese roll savory items inside thin pancakes like moo shu pork and Peking duck. A tortilla is basically a crepe made without the egg.
MAKING THE BATTER:
I use a blender but you can use a whisk if you prefer. Since this is a desert crepe I’m adding sugar, Grand Marnier and vanilla to the batter. For savory crepes you can add different herbs to complement your filling. You’ll need:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups milk have another 1/2 cup milk to add later if the batter is too thick.
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/2 cup clarified butter
Add the dry ingredients to a blender and mix. Add the milk and eggs and blend. While the blender is going add the Grand Marnier, vanilla, orange zest and the clarified butter. Blend on high for a couple of minutes. Place the batter in the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes to overnight. This gets rid of the bubbles and allows the flower to absorb all the other ingredients.If your batter is too thick, add additional milk to get your desired consistency. You may have to make a couple of crepes to find the proper consistency.
MAKING THE CREPES:
Heat an 8-inch crepe pan or skillet over medium heat for about 1 minute. Pour or wipe the pan with a small amount of clarified butter until it gets sizzling hot.Ladle some batter into the middle of the crepe pan and immediately start swirling the pan to distribute the batter over the surface. You’ll notice in the video I use a thicker coating on the pan making a thicker crepe. The thicker crepe absorbs more of the sauce. YUM!Cook until the edges start to turn brown and you can peel the crepe up. Turn it over and cook for another 30-45 seconds. Remove to a plate and repeat with the remaining batter. This is more batter than you need for 2 or even 4 people getting 2 crepes each but you can make the crepes in advance and you can even freeze them for a later time.
MAKING THE SAUCE:
1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice. This really does make a difference
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or orange liqueur
While you’re cooking the crepes, you can start the sauce. In a large skillet over high heat, bring the orange juice to a boil. Add the sugar and zest, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook until the sugar has melted and the mixture is slightly reduced, about 5-8 minutes.Gently place a crepe into the pan spooning some sauce over the top. Fold in half and fold in half again. Repeat with 3 more crepes.
Add warmed Grand Marnier and lite. My Grand Marnier had been sitting out and the alcohol must have evaporated and it didn’t ignite. So I added a small amount of cognac and put the fire to it. Cognac has a much higher alcohol content so be careful. Serve 2 crepes per person and if you want to get really indulgent top with vanilla ice cream.
NOTE ON CLARIFIED BUTTER:
To make clarified butter simply melt butter and bring just to a boil. The whey protein will float to the top and the milk solids will sink to the bottom leaving all the buttery goodness in the middle. Skim the whey off the top and slowly pour the clarified butter in a container being careful not to pour the milk solids out. Another method after skimming the top is to put the melted butter into the refrigerator. The butter will harden and the milk will remain liquid. Poke a hole in the top of the clarified butter and pour the milk out. You can now use the butter at a much higher temperature without burning.