Remember a few months back when I said that I really should learn how to make Crêpes Suzette as I do love to eat them? This blog round-up seemed like the perfect opportunity to get me motivated to attempt this recipe. The timing seemed even better as I'd recently brought back to New York the two-volume set of Julia Child's (and company's) "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" from Virginia, where they'd been in storage at my parents' house, along with my other cookbooks.
This also gave me an excuse to use the crêpe pan that my youngest sister had given me as a present many years ago - something else that came out of storage recently (not my sister, the pan). Even though I'd made crêpes several times before under the watchful eye of my mother, this time I didn't feel as though I was really getting the hang of it, as tries #1 and #2 show.
Not the most beautiful things, but still edible
By attempt #4, things seemed to be working better (see below). One trick is to get enough, but not too much batter coating the surface of the pan. Much like making waffles (sorry if that sounds insulting to Ms. Child), one has to get just the right amount. Too much and they are gooey and undercooked, and too little and they are crunchy thin and overdone.
See what I mean about the waffle analogy?
The other trick is in the wrist. This was probably the harder part for me. I had to wait until just that point where I could guess how done the one side of the crêpe would be and then work quickly to get the spatula underneath it to flip it without having the sides curl underneath. I lost a few earlier attempts by messing up that part of the process. "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" had a great tip - shake the crêpe to loosen it from the pan before trying to flip it. Once I got the hang of that, it went much more easily and with greater success.
Of course, once it did start to come easily, I was about three crêpes away from being done with the batter. Still, now that I know the tips and tricks, I think the next time I try it, it will go much better. To finish, I added the orange butter sauce and liqueur, lit a match to flambée it, and dessert was sûr la table. Despite the fact that these tasted fine and looked o.k. in the end, I realize, I have a long way to go before I can even come close to touching the art of French cooking, much less trying to master it.
Zesting the orange
Ready to plate and ready for me to eat!