The Ritz's Crêpe Suzette

 The Ritz's crêpe suzette has been an item on the menu of the world-famous hotel restaurant for more than a century – evidence of its popularity and celebrity status. These pancakes should be flambéd at the end for maximum culinary theatrics

Makes 10

Preparation time 20 minutes

Cooking time 2.5 hours

There are few desserts that have such regal beginnings, but the crêpe suzette happens to be one. What started as a mistake turned into a legendary dish, created by Henri Charpentier in 1895 while preparing a dessert for the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII of England. As Henri worked in front of a chafing dish, the liquor on the crêpe accidentally caught fire. Ironically the accidental flame was exactly what the dish needed, and so the crêpe  suzette was born.

The Ritz’s crêpe suzette has been an item on the menu of the world-famous hotel restaurant for more than a century – evidence of its popularity and celebrity status. As a bastion of old-school grandeur and glamour, The Ritz restaurant in London has been serving up crêpes, alongside other fine French cuisine, since 1907. It has played host to many historic events over its lifetime, from hosting the wedding breakfast for Prince Charles and Lady Di, to acting as a base for military operations during the Second World War. To this day The Ritz remains iconic, a throwback to the allure of classic French cuisine, impeccable table service and gilded chandeliers.

One of the hallmarks of the Ritz Restaurant is its theatrics and dedication to the art of tableside service. The guéridon style of service used for the Arts de la Table dishes, including the famous crêpe suzette, showcase the very highest level of technical expertise from the service team, and their harmony with the kitchen brigade. Here the crêpe is laid on a silver platter, doused in Grand Marnier and flambéd at the table to create a spectacle.

While making the dish in the traditional black and white Ritz uniforms is optional, a good non-stick pan is essential for delicate and uniform crêpes.

Ingredients

For the crêpes

  • 100g plain flour
  • 25g sugar
  • 1g salt
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 200g milk
  • 35g beurre noisette (browned butter)

For the confit orange

  • 350g water
  • 280g sugar
  • 4 oranges

To assemble

  • Butter
  • 25ml brandy
  • 25ml Grand Marnier
  • Vanilla ice cream

Method

  1. First, make the confit orange. Peel four oranges with a peeler, trying not to take off any of the white pith of the orange skin, into very fine Julienne. Blanch in boiling water for 15 seconds and then plunge into cold water to chill and drain the zest in between. 
  2. Mix the sugar and water and bring to the boil to dissolve. Add the blanched zest and cook on a gentle heat for 1-2 hours or until the zest is translucent.
  3. To make the crêpes, mix flour, salt and sugar, then add and whisk in whole eggs and yolks and mix thoroughly. Next add the milk, then beurre noisette. Pass through a sieve to ensure there are no lumps.
  4. Heat the pan lightly then brush with oil. Once it is quite hot, add a small ladle of the pancake mix and swirl the pan so the batter covers the base of the pan as thinly as possible. Cook for a minute or so. As soon as you are able to move the pancake, turn the pancake over and cook for a further minute, then remove from the pan and place on to a plate, stacking the pancakes on top of one another.
  5. To assemble the crêpes, warm up a non-stick pan, at The Ritz they use a copper one, and add 1 tbsp of sugar. As soon as this caramelises, add a knob of butter butter. Then add the orange and lemon zest solution and the fresh orange and lemon juice. Allow to simmer until it starts to thicken and is silky and shiny. Then add your crêpes. Unfold them and refold them in the sauce, so that it fully absorbs into the crêpes. 
  6. Ensure the pan is hot, then add the Brandy and Grand Marnier to flambé. Allow the sauce to thicken and they are ready to serve with vanilla ice cream.

theritzlondon.com

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