This crêpe recipe is very nearly as good as those Crêpes Suzette they used to serve with a great flourish in posh restaurants when I was a child. These crêpes are half the bother and can be made for a fraction of the cost.
Serves 6 - makes 12 approximately
175g (6oz) white flour, preferably unbleached
a good pinch of salt
1 dessertspoon castor sugar
2 large eggs and 1 or 2 egg yolks, preferably free range
scant 450ml (15fl oz) milk, or for very crisp, light delicate pancakes, milk and water mixed
3-4 dessertspoons melted butter
175g (6oz) butter
3 teaspoons finely grated orange rind
175g (6oz) icing sugar
freshly squeezed juice of 5-6 oranges
20.5cm (8 inch) non-stick crêpe pan
Sieve the flour, salt, and sugar into a bowl, make a well in the centre and drop in the lightly beaten eggs. With a whisk or wooden spoon, starting in the centre, mix the egg and gradually bring in the flour. Add the liquid slowly and beat until the batter is covered with bubbles. (If they are to be served with sugar and lemon juice, stir in an extra tablespoon of castor sugar and the finely grated rind of half a lemon).
Let the batter stand in a cold place for an hour or so - longer will do no harm. Just before you cook the crêpes stir in 3-4 dessertspoons melted butter. This will make all the difference to the flavour and texture of the crêpes and will make it possible to cook them without greasing the pan each time.
Cream the butter with the finely grated orange rind. Then add the sifted icing sugar and beat until fluffy.
Make the crêpes in the usual way.
Heat the pan to very hot, pour in just enough batter to cover the base of the pan thinly.
* A small ladel can also be very useful for this, loosen the crêpes around the edge, flip over with a spatula or thin egg slice, cook for a second or two on the other side, and slide off the pan onto a plate. The crêpes may be stacked on top of each other and peeled apart later.
They will keep in the fridge for several days and also freeze perfectly. If they are to be frozen it’s probably a good idea to put a disc of silicone paper between each for extra safety.
Note: If you have several pans it is perfectly possible to keep 3 or 4 pans going in rotation. Only necessary if you need to feed the multitudes.
Melt a blob of the orange butter in the pan, add some freshly squeezed orange juice and toss the pancakes in the foaming butter. Fold in half and then in quarters (fan shapes). Serve 2 or 3 per person on warm plates. Spoon the buttery orange juices over the top. Repeat until all the pancakes and butter have been used.
Note: A tablespoon of orange liqueur eg. Grand Marnier or Orange Curacao is very good added to the orange butter if you are feeling very extravagant!
Copyright Ballymaloe Cookery School