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This delicious and impressive French dessert was actually an accident. Created out of a mistake made by a fourteen year-old assistant waiter Henri Carpentier (1880-1961) in 1895 at the Maitre at Monte Carlo's Café de Paris. He was preparing a dessert for the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII (1841-1910) of England. Preparing the meal, the chafing dish of cordials caught fire. No time to start over, he tasted the dish and found the flavor delightful --- the flame was just the thing to bring all the flavors perfectly together ... the Prince and guests were impressed and Henri named the dish after the Princess. Times do not reflect time to make vanilla sugar or orange & lemon zests. (note: vanilla sugar may also be purchased)
- 4 eggs
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 tablespoons butter
- orange zest, thin strips, for garnish
Vanilla Sugar Ingredients (use 2 tablespoons)
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 piece orange zest, cut very thinly (optional)
- 1 piece lemon zest, cut very thinly (optional)
- 5 ounces of blended favorite liqueurs (curacao, triple sec, Cointreau, Grand Marnier, cognac, kirsch, etc.)
- 1⁄4 lb butter
- (Optional orange & lemon zests for sauce)At least a day or two before making Crepes suzette, slice a thin piece form the outer rind of an orange, large enough to cover the ball of your thumb, and a smaller piece of lemon rind. Cut both into thin strips, add to 2 tablespoons of vanilla sugar, cover and put away until the sugar absorbs the flavoring oils.
- To make the vanilla sugar:.
- In a glass container, place the sugar and the vanilla bean, cover the container tightly. Set mixture aside (the sugar will be sufficiently scented with vanilla to be used in a week or so). Vanilla sugar will keep indefinitely in an airtight container at room temperature (do not need refrigerate). Replenish sugar as it is used. The vanilla bean is good as long as it is fragrant.
- To make the crepes:.
- Stir the eggs, flour, milk, salt, and water to the consistency of olive oil, or until it will pour back silently and smoothly from a foot or more above the mixing bowl (batter which should have the consistency of light cream, just thick enough to coat a wooden spoon). NOTE: A blender or food processor may also be used for the mixing.
- Heat in a frying pan or crepe pan with 2 tablespoons of butter.
- Pour in enough batter to cover the bottom of the pan. Move the pan to spread the batter thinly, and keep it moving.
- After one minute, turn the pancake upside down, then turn it again, until it is nicely browned.
- Fold the crepe in half, and fold again to form a triangle.
- Proceed to make the remaining crepes, adding butter to the pan only if the crepes begin to stick.
- To make the sauce, melt the butter in a large frying pan.
- When it begins to bubble, pour in 3 ounces of the blended liqueurs.
- When the mixture is warm, carefully flame the liqueurs.
- When the fire goes out, add the vanilla sugar mixture (sugar, lemon, and orange peel).
- Plunge the folded crepes/pancakes into the warm sauce.
- Turn them, and add the remaining 2 ounces of blended liqueurs.
- When the fire dies down again, they are ready to serve.
- Garnish with thin strips of orange zest.
- Serve three crepes per portion. Spoon a little of the remaining sauce over each serving.