History of Crêpes Suzette
The story of Crêpes Suzette is steeped in culinary legend, with its origin tracing back to the late 19th century. One popular tale attributes the creation of this dish to a young French chef, Henri Charpentier, who was said to have accidentally set fire to a sauce while preparing crêpes for the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII. The flambéed sauce, with its delightful caramelized citrus flavor, was an instant hit, and the prince reportedly named it after a guest, Suzette.
This delightful dessert quickly became a symbol of sophisticated French cuisine and was a staple in upscale Parisian restaurants. Over time, Crêpes Suzette gained international fame, becoming a favorite in high-end dining establishments worldwide. The theatrical aspect of flambéing the crêpes at the table added to its allure, making it a showstopper dish that was as much about the spectacle as it was about the taste.
Today, Crêpes Suzette remains a beloved classic in French cuisine, embodying the elegance and flair of traditional French cooking. While the original recipe has been adapted in various ways, the essence of the dish – delicate crêpes served with a zesty orange sauce – remains unchanged. Whether flambéed at the table or prepared in the kitchen, Crêpes Suzette continues to be a dish that evokes nostalgia and captivates the taste buds of dessert lovers around the world.
Crepe vs. Crepe Suzette
The difference between a crêpe and Crêpes Suzette lies in the preparation, presentation, and especially the sauce used to flavor the dish.
- A crêpe is a type of very thin pancake that is made from flour, eggs, milk, butter, and a pinch of salt, crêpes are versatile and can be filled with a variety of sweet or savory ingredients.
- They can be filled with anything from simple sugar, jam, chocolate spread, fruits, whipped cream for sweet versions, to cheese, eggs, ham, and various meats and vegetables for savory crêpes.
- Typically, crêpes are served simply, with the focus being on the fillings or toppings rather than the crêpe itself. They are enjoyed as part of breakfast, brunch, or even as a snack.
- Crêpes Suzette is a classic French dessert consisting of crêpes with a sauce of caramelized sugar, butter, citrus juice (usually orange), zest, and Grand Marnier, Curaçao liqueur, or orange Cointreau.
- The sauce for Crêpes Suzette is prepared separately and is used to bathe the crêpes. Often, the dish is prepared in a dramatic presentation where the sauce is flambéed, adding a unique caramelized flavor.
- Crêpes Suzette is known for its rich, buttery orange sauce which imparts a distinct and sophisticated flavor to the delicate crêpes. The flambéing process not only creates an impressive presentation but also enhances the flavor.
In summary, while a crêpe is a simple, thin pancake that can be served with a variety of fillings or toppings, Crêpes Suzette refers specifically to crêpes served with a luxurious orange and liqueur-based sauce, often flambéed for dramatic effect. Crêpes Suzette is considered a more elegant and complex dish compared to the humble crêpe due to its rich sauce and the culinary skill involved in its preparation.
What To Serve with Crepes Suzette?
Crêpes Suzette should be served immediately after preparation to enjoy the full flavor and texture. The warmth of the crêpes coupled with the hot sauce is integral to the dish's appeal. If you've flambéed the sauce, serve the crêpes while the sauce is still bubbling for an impressive presentation. Arrange the crêpes neatly on a plate, and spoon over the sauce generously.
While Crêpes Suzette is a complete dessert on its own, you can pair it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of lightly whipped cream for an added indulgence. Pair Crêpes Suzette with a dessert wine, like a Muscat or Sauternes, or a cup of freshly brewed coffee or espresso to balance the sweetness.
Here are our delicious recipes that you can serve with Crepes Suzette:
- Americano Coffee
- Cappuccino Coffee
- Homemade Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
- Vanilla Ice Cream
- Homemade Chocolate Sauce
How To Store Crepes Suzette?
Crêpes Suzette is best enjoyed fresh, and it's not typically a dish that you store for later consumption due to the nature of the sauce and the delicate texture of the crêpes. However, if you have leftovers or need to prepare in advance:
Storing Crêpes: If you have extra crêpes, store them in the refrigerator. Place parchment paper between each crêpe to prevent sticking, and wrap them in plastic wrap or store in an airtight container. They can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.
Storing the Sauce: Store any leftover sauce in a separate airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Reheating: To reheat, gently warm the crêpes in a pan over low heat or in the microwave. Warm the sauce separately in a saucepan until it's heated through and pour it over the crêpes just before serving.
Freezing: Freezing is not recommended for Crêpes Suzette, as the texture of the crêpes and the consistency of the sauce may be adversely affected.