Suzette once, in a post about dishes named for famous - or not-so-famous -
origins are disputed. One story tells of an assistant waiter at Le Maître at Monte Carlo de Paris.
According to his account, he accidentally set the dish aflame, but the Prince
liked it, and asked its name: "Crêpes Princesse," the waiter said. To which the Prince
replied that it should be named for the young and beautiful French girl,
Suzette, at his table.
version is that it is named for Suzanne Reichenberg, a French actress in the
Francaise, who worked under the nom de théâtre Suzette. In a particular show, she had to make crêpes on stage, and Monsieur
Joseph, owner of Restaurant Marivaux, provided the crêpes. He opted to flambé them to attract the attention
of the audience. (Source: the actual Wikipedia, not Markipedia...)
did you first hear of this wonderful dish, always prepared table-side?
it was the theme song from The Patty Duke Show. And it referred to her cousin,
Cathy, who "adores a minuet, the Ballet Russe and Crêpes Suzette," while
"Patty love to Rock n' Roll, a hot dog makes her lose control..."
never had them in a restaurant - or at home - until Mark and I were at dinner for
our 20th anniversary. We went to Le Rendezvous, a very traditional French
restaurant here in Tucson. And I have to say, theirs were way too sweet for us, and way
it's hard to believe I ever uttered/typed those words, but there you have it.
often the case when I am disappointed in a restaurant dish, I take things into
my own hands and kitchen.
tells us that the traditional cordials used for Crêpes Suzette are Grand Marnier
or orange Curaçao. I
went astray and opted to use cognac. And less sugar and less butter.
I was not
disappointed. I fact, I love this dessert now. And it pairs so well with an eau de vie - one of my favorites is from Domaines Ott: Vieux Marc Rosé. You can read about it HERE, and my review and pairing notes are also on the Provence WineZine.
about the pyrotechnics... Some alcohols flame more than others. Just like
people. Be very careful. Cognac really flares up and actually hit our ceiling. Next
time I might cook the alcohol off a bit more before flambéing.
By the way, the flambéing is important to caramelize
the sugars properly, so don't skip it. Just be careful. I also suggest using a
stick lighter or long match, rather than trying to catch a flame from your gas
burner. For a novice, that is just a conflagration waiting to happen.
tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
tablespoons light oil
1 teaspoon melted butter, for the pan 6
tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
tablespoon finely grated orange zest
juiced (about 1/3 cup)
the flour, eggs, 1/4 cup of the milk, the tablespoon of melted butter, salt, and
sugar in a bowl and mix well with a whisk. Add the remaining milk, the
cold water, and the oil. Stir well.
7-inch nonstick skillet and butter it lightly (for the first crêpe only) with the
teaspoon of butter. Pour about 3 tablespoons of the batter into one side
of the skillet and immediately tilt the skillet, shaking it at the same time, to
make it coat the entire bottom of the pan. Cook over medium high heat for
about 30-45 seconds, until lightly browned. To flip, lift up an edge of
with your fingers or a fork, grab it between your thumb and
forefinger and turn it over. Cook for about 15-30 seconds on the other side and
transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining batter, stacking the crêpes golden side up (you should
have 9). These may be made in advance.
sauce, place the butter, sugar, zest, and juice in a skillet. Cook over medium-high
heat until the sauce begins to caramelize, about 4 minutes; the foaming
will stop, and large, glossy bubbles will appear. Pour in the Cognac and
carefully ignite with a long match. While the alcohol burns off, fold the crêpes into quarters, golden side
out, to create a fan shape. Dip into the orange butter
sauce and serve 3 per person, with a couple of spoonfuls of sauce. If there is
too much sauce, resist the temptation use it up; smothering the crepes is not
an improvement. Eat it later when no one is looking.