Crêpes Suzette

published Apr 29, 2022
summer
Crêpes Suzette Recipe

Crêpes cooked in mixture of butter, orange juice, zest, and orange liqueuer that is flambéed.

Serves4-6

Makes12

Prep5 minutes

Cook10 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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crepes suzette on a plate
Credit: Amelia Rampe

If you’re an avid watcher of the Great British Bake Off, if you’ve ever wanted to impress your friends and family with a showstopper dessert, or if you just really love crêpes, you’re going to want to make crêpes Suzette. Sure, crêpes are impressive and delicious on their own — add a little fruit compote and a bit of whipped cream and you have a tasty treat — but nothing quite leaves an impression the way crêpes Suzette does.

What’s the Difference Between Crêpes and Crêpes Suzette?

Crêpes are often described as very thin French-style pancakes. They use many of the same ingredients as pancakes — flour, milk, eggs, sugar — but they’re flat rather fluffy. They’re also usually stuffed or folded and filled or topped with sweet and savory add-ons.

Crêpes Suzette takes your basic crêpes, adds buerre d’orange (butter, sugar, orange juice and zest), orange liqueur, and then sets it all on fire — literally. It’s often served in restaurants, tableside, because the effect is so dramatic. And really, who isn’t impressed with a flambé?  

What’s the Origin Story of Crêpes Suzette? 

There are many theories about the origins of crêpes Suzette. Some say it was a dish accidentally made by a 14-year old waiter for the Prince of Wales in 1895. Others say it was named after the French actress Suzanne Reichenberg (known by her stage name, Suzette) who served crêpes in the production of Comédie-Française in 1897. Some even say it started as an English dish, not a French one. Whatever the actual story, we are thankful crêpes Suzette exist.

How Do You Flambé Crepes Suzette?

For starters, you’ll want to make sure you’re using a flame-proof skillet. Once your crêpes are made and sauced, add 2 ounces of an orange liqueur such as Gran Marnier, Cointreau, or Triple sec. Then, depending on what type of burner you have, you can flambé in two ways. If you are using a gas burner, gently tip the skillet into the flame until the skillet ignites. Or if you are using an electric burner, use a stick lighter to ignite the flames. 

Be sure to keep your head back because initially the flame will be around a foot tall but will quickly die down as the alcohol burns away. Once the flame disappears and the sauce has thickened into a syrup, you are ready to serve.

Can You Make Crêpes Suzette in Advance? 

While crêpes Suzette may seem like a complicated recipe, you can do quite a bit of the legwork in advance. Both the crepe batter and the crepes can be made one day in advance to save time, although I do not recommend making the sauce in advance. It only take minutes to come together and you wouldn’t want the sauce to over-reduce.

Crêpes Suzette Recipe

Crêpes cooked in mixture of butter, orange juice, zest, and orange liqueuer that is flambéed.

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 10 minutes

Makes 12

Serves 4-6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 12

    crepes

  • 3

    oranges

  • 8 tablespoon

    unsalted butter

  • 1/4 cup

    granulated sugar

  • Pinch kosher salt

  • 1/4 cup

    2 ounces orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier or Cointreau

Instructions

  1. Make 12 crepes according to recipe instructions. Fold crepes into quarters, so they resemble a rounded triangle. Prepare the orange syrup.

  2. Finely grate the zest of medium orange, about 1 tablespoon directly into a large 12” stainless flameproof skillet. Juice 3 oranges until you have 3/4 cup juice. Add the juice to the skillet, along with 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1/4 cup granulated sugar and a pinch of salt and stir. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium simmer. Cook until slightly thickened and just beginning to turn syrupy, about 4 minutes. Remove pan from heat.

  3. Working one crepe at a time, pick up the crepe on the corner that keeps the crepe fold sealed and dip both sides into the orange mixture. Place the crepe into the skillet, placing the corner you are pinching toward the center of the skillet and pointy side pointed into the next shingle. Repeat dipping and placing, evenly shingling the crepes around the of the skillet, spacing the outer corners about 2 inches apart. Return the skillet to low heat and warm the crepes until the mixture is bubbling, about 2 minutes.

  4. Pour 2 ounces orange liqueur into a ladle. Pour the liquor around the crepes toward the edge of the skillet. If using a gas burner, gently tip the skillet, away from you, in the flame over your gas burner, until the liquor ignites and flames. Let the flames cook until they disappear, about 1 minute. Serve crepes with a little syrup spooned over. If using an electric burner, light the syrup and liqueur with a stick lighter, until it ignites and flames.