Crepes Suzette is probably the most famous crepe dish in the world. In a restaurant, a classic Crepe Suzette is often prepared in a chafing dish in full view of the guests. The crepes are served hot with a sauce of sugar, orange juice, and liqueur (usually Grand Marnier). Brandy is poured over the crepes and then lit.
Crepes suzette were made famous in elegant Parisian restaurants at the turn of the twentieth century and have become standard French dessert fare
History of Crepes Suzette:
The dish was created out of a mistake made by a fourteen year-old assistant waiter Henri Carpentier (1880-1961) in 1895 at the Maitre at Monte Carlo’s Cafde Paris. He was preparing a dessert for the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII (1841-1910) of England.
According to Henri Charpentier, in own words from Life A La Henri – Being The Memories of Henri Charpentier:
“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 every 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.”
Source: Life A La Henri – Being The Memories of Henri Charpentier, by Henri Charpentier and Boyden Sparkes, The Modern Library, New York, 2001 Paperback Edition. Originally published in 1934 by Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Crepes Suzette Recipe:
I adapted the original recipe from the book Life A La Henri – Being The Memories of Henri Charpentier, by Henri Charpentier and Boyden Sparkes.