- 4 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup sugar
- Juice of 6 oranges; zest from one
- Extra whole orange for garnish
- 3 tablespoons of orange liqueur (We use Patrón Orange Liquer)
- 3 tablespoons cognac (optional)
Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the sugar, zest, juice, and liqueur. Stirring constantly, reduce sauce to ⅔ cup.
FOR EXTRA SWEET CREPES: Very delicately add each crepe to the pan—one at a time—and coat it in the sauce. (I use a chopstick and for this) Fold each one in quarters, and arrange three on each plate, repeating until each crepe has been dipped and plated.
FOR NORMAL SWEETNESS: Fold crepes in quarters and then put into pan to coat with sauce.
Scrap up the extra bits of orange zest and add orange slices as your garnish. (Whipped cream on vanilla ice cream is divine too!)
Adults only: If you wish to flambé the sauce, reserve two tablespoons and add three more of brandy. Stir together and remove the pan from the heat. Ignite with a match and pour the flaming sauce over the crepes. Important Note: You should only ignite the sauce using a metal pan; do not use a non-stick pan. Serve immediately.
The dish was created out of a mistake made by a fourteen year-old assistant waiter Henri Charpentier 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 of England, and his companion whose first name was Suzette.
This is told by Henri Charpentier himself in Life a la Henri, his autobiography.
“It was quite by accident as I worked in front of a chafing dish that the cordials caught fire. I thought I was ruined. The Prince and his friends were waiting. How could I begin all over? I tasted it. It was, I thought, the most delicious melody of sweet flavors I had ever tasted. I still think so. That accident of the flame was precisely what was needed to bring all those various instruments into one harmony of taste . . . He ate the pancakes with a fork; but he used a spoon to capture the remaining syrup. He asked me the name of that which he had eaten with so much relish. I told him it was to be called Crepes Princesse. He recognized that the pancake controlled the gender and that this was a compliment designed for him; but he protested with mock ferocity that there was a lady present. She was alert and rose to her feet and holding her little shirt wide with her hands she made him a curtsey. ‘Will you,’ said His Majesty, ‘change Crepes Princesse to Crepes Suzette?’ Thus was born and baptized this confection, one taste of which, I really believe, would reform a cannibal into a civilized gentleman. The next day I received a present from the Prince, a jeweled ring, a panama hat and a cane.”