If you’ve ever wondered why the famous pancake with orange sauce is called Crepe Suzette, well you have a choice of legends.
Many tell the story of how, in 1896 of a young pastry chef called Henri Charpentier, working at the Café de Paris in Monte Carlo, dropped alcohol on hot pancakes he was preparing for the Prince of Wales, future King Edward VII. Unable to salvage them, he served them anyway. Luckily for him, the dish was a great success. When the prince asked him the name of this dessert, the wily Chef said he had invented it especially for the Prince and would call the pancake after him. The Prince however, asked that the name of the young woman who was dining with him be given the honour. And you guessed it: her name was Suzette.
Others attribute the creation of crepes Suzette to the legendary Auguste Escoffier, creator of the Peach Melba, under whom Henri Charpentier served as an apprentice. The recipe is even included in Escoffier’s Guide Culinaire, released in 1903. But the ingredients are somewhat different. The orange juice is replaced with mandarin juice and doesn’t mention the classic Grand Marnier but Curacao.
Yet another tale mentions Joseph Marivaux. A restaurant owner in Paris, it’s claimed he invented the dessert for Suzanne Reichenberg, an actress at the French Comedy. Her stage name was Suzette.
Nobody will ever truly know the origin of this dish, but one thing never changes – it’s truly scrumptious!
Easy and Luscious Crepes Suzette Recipe
First make the most delicious French crepes: just click here: how to make the perfect pancake to see the instructions for this absolutely delicious, works-every-time recipe. Once you’ve made your pancakes, keep them to one side ready to reheat with the sauce.
Then make the sauce:
Juice of 2 oranges
Juice of 2 lemons
50 g of icing (confectioners) sugar (1/4 cup)
15 cl Grand Marnier
125 g butter (cut into 9 pieces) (1/2 cup)
2. Squeeze the oranges and lemons.
3. Add the orange juice to the sugar and stir to blend.
4. Bring to the boil and when it is caramelised add the lemon juice.
5. Reduce the juice for a few minutes and then add the butter and mix until all is blended.
6. Add the Grand Marnier, bring to the boil and then carefully flambé the mixture.
7. Place a pancake in the pan, turn it over and drench in the juice. Fold it in half then in half again and pop onto a plate.
Repeat for all the pancakes, pouring over some of the juice on the plate.
Here’s how to make your own orange liqueur!