Crepes Suzettes Recipe

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4th East's long-passed-down Crepes Suzette recipe & instructions

Crepes Suzette

Sept. 6, 1983

Dear Future 4th Easters,

As I will not be around next year or thereafter, I am writing down the instructions on how to make crepes suzette, which were originally made R/O year 1981 by Kate Lambert. May I suggest you photocopy this so that you don't get goo all over it.

To begin with, this recipe made 220 crepes this year. 180 of these were eaten, but I'll leave the recipe for 220 and you can fiddle with it if you want.

A few other tips. If at all possible, don't serve them on paper plates. The sauce is immediately dissolved into the plate and it looks real ugly, and since the whole point of this is visual (eclairs taste better, after all) try to get normal plates (you might ask the present housemasters) or at least get coated paper plates.

Another thing -- I would suggest having this at night. In the daytime, nobody can see the flame and it's not all that impressive. I would suggest a few candles lighting the room, nothing else. Very atmospheric. If candles are too expensive or dangerous, get just a few dorm-room standing lamps. Whatever you do, keep the lights dim, else nobody will see the flame.

Here is the recipe for crepe batter:

  * 7 1/2 cups pre-sifted flour
  * 5 tablespoons (1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon) sugar
  * 2 1/2 tablespoons (7 1/2 teaspoons, or 2 tbsp + 1 1/2 tsp) salt
  * 15 cups (1 gallon minus 1 cup) milk
  * 5 dozen (60) eggs
  * 2 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon (45 tablespoons, or 5 sticks + 5 tbsp)  butter or margarine

Melt the butter in a saucepan - set aside to cool. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add the eggs and half the milk (you've never seen anything as disgustingly funny as sixty egg yolks swimming around in mucousy white stuff). At this point I should warn you that you should either have a really, really big bowl to do this in (borrow one of those big metal punch bowls from the Talbot kitchen) or you should divide the recipe up. Anyways, if you have a mixer, use it. If not, use a manual mixer thingie (I don't know the name), a wire whisk, or even just a spoon. Stir, stir, stir -- it's going to take a while. Try to break up the flour clumps. They'll never entirely go away, but at least you can get them down to a pinhead size or so. Add the rest of the milk and the butter, and stir some more.

At this point, the batter should be pretty soupy. Cover the bowl(s) and set it (them) in the refrigerator for at least several hours, or better yet, overnight.

At this point you will need skillets, preferably shallow, around 7.5 inches in diameter. Teflon-coated works best. Pour in about 1 tablespoon cooking oil and spread around the pan. Put on heat. After a while, drop a few drops of water on the pan -- if it sputters, the pan is hot enough.

Get out the batter and stir it up. I found it good to have two measuring cups, one "1-cup" and one "2-cup", the "2-cup" with a handle and indentation for better pouring. Use whatever you want. When filling the batter into the "2-cup", I stirred the batter in the big bowl, dunked in the "1-cup", and poured into the "2-cup". This keeps the "2-cup" relatively clean. Don't try pouring directly from the big bowl to the "2-cup" or whatever you're using -- you'll waste half the batter on the floor.

Anyways, take the hot, greasy pan and either pour out the excess oil or _lightly_ blot with a paper towel. This should be enough to last through all the crepes. If you find, however, that the crepes are sticking to the pan, you'll need to add more oil.

Take the "2-cup", with batter, in your left hand and the pan in your right (assuming you're right-handed). Pour a good blob (say, 1/8 to 1/4 cup -- but don't go measuring it) into the pan. Quickly swirl around the bottom so the whole bottom of the pan is coated. Then, pour the excess batter back into the cup. Do this fast, but don't panic! You've got a good 5 to 10 seconds. With practice, you'll get it down right. Put the pan on a medium-hot burner. Let it cook. It should take somewhere in the 30 second order of magnitude. First, you'll notice the surface turn from wet batter to dry (though some condensation will remain). Then, the edges will turn a very light brown and come away from the pan a bit -- but nothing really spectacular. At that point, you'll know you're almost done. You are done when you can see dots of light brown appearing from patches under the surface. At first, you won't be able to recognize this well, but with practice you will. You'll probably have to burn a few before you get the feel for it.

Lift up the pan, turn it over, and shake it to loose the crepe onto a plate. You may need a spatula, particularly for the area where you poured out the exc4ess, but probably not. Immediately take the pan and pour more atter into it and start the process over again. Then go back to the plate, straighten the crepe, and put a paper towel over it to separate it from the next crepe. This will mean you'll probably need:

  * 2 rolls (220 sheets) paper towels

When you first start out, you might want to examine the crepe you've made. Ideally, it is flat with no bubbles. (With all the pouring back and forth between cup and pan, some small blobs of previously-cooked crepe may end up in a new crepe. Don't be alarmed -- it looks disgusting, but it's normal.) The crepe should be very thin, nothing like a pancake. The cooked side should have small patches of light brown.

Hold the crepe up to the light, uncooked side towards you. See the brown patches? Put your hand under the crepe -- still see the way the brown patches look, from the uncooked side? That is how the crepe should look when it is done in the pan. Look for those light brown patches.

After a few crepes, you'll be able to judge whether the pan is too hot. If you pour the batter in, it makes a loud noise and makes lots of air bubbles, the pan is too hot -- turn down the heat. If you pour the batter in and it makes virtually no sound and forms a film the size of a soap bubble, the pan is too cold -- turn up the heat. If you've reached the point where you can't turn the heat any higher but the pan is too cool, let the empty pan sit on the heat a bit before pouring in any more batter. Similarly, if the pan is too hot and you can't turn down the flame any more, let the pan cool down a bit between crepes.

In the end, you should have several platefuls of crepes, all with paper towels separating them. Store in the fridge until use. They'll keep for 3 or 4 days.

I do recommend making the crepes the day before, or at least the morning before you serve them. Don't try to make them as you serve them -- it's too much of a hassle.

But since you'll need to make the batter earlier, this may mean starting at least 2 days before serving time.

Onto Crepes Suzette! You'll need to but:

  * 10 cups butter or margarine
  * 10 cups sugar
  * 20 tsp grated orange peel (just get a bottle in the spices  section)
  * 10 cups (2 1/2 quarts) orange juice
  * 5 cups (1 liter) orange liqueur (Triple Sec or Countreau)
  * 5 cups (1 liter) brandy

Here is the arrangement we used. Out in the serving area, set up a hot plate with a nice non-teflon skillet. In the kitchen, in a saucepan, dump in 1 cup butter, 1 cup sugar, and 2 tsp orange peel. Stir and melt. Add 1 cup orange juice and heat a bit more. Take the saucepan out to the serving skillet, pour the mixture into the skillet. (Medium heat). Keep making the orange mixture in the kitchen -- from time to time you'll need to pour more into the skillet. The skillet should be heated just enough to keep the mixture warm.

Take some crepes, fold in half, fold in half again. Put about 6 to 10 of these in the skillet. In a separate saucepan, warm 1/4 cup orange liqueur and 1/4 cup brandy (either in the kitchen or serving area).

Now you have a choice. You can pour the alcohol into the crepe skillet and light the skillet with a match. However, I think it's more dramatic to light the alcohol in the saucepan and pour the flaming stuff onto the crepes. Try it both ways.

You can either let the flame die on its own or you can cover the skillet. Then serve the crepes, spooning a little sauce on each one.

Repeat this process many times.

To go with this, we got four jugs of cheap wine. This was plenty. I think we also had ice tea for the non-drinkers.

Well, that should do it. I wish you all successful future R/O weeks. May 4th East always be the most subscribed floor in E.C.

Good luck,

Marla Mathias