This classic French recipe — delicate crêpes with a luscious sauce made of butter, fresh orange, and orange liqueur — is surprisingly easy to assemble. The crêpes may be made ahead of time and refrigerated for several days, or frozen for up to two months. The piquant sauce is easily prepared right before serving, and the dish presented and “flamed” right in its pan for dramatic presentation.
For the most tender, delicate texture, look for Italian-style 00 flour for the cake batter. For the sauce, be sure to use freshly squeezed orange juice for flavor that is simply sublime.
- Servings 4 to 6
For the crêpes:
- 156 grams (1 cup) Italian-style 00 flour or all-purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
- 308 ml (1 1/3 cups) milk
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 15 ml (1 tablespoon) orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier, Cointreau, or Triple Sec
- 1 large egg
For the orange sauce:
- 237 ml (1 cup) freshly squeezed orange juice
- Finely grated zest of 1 orange
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 67 grams (1/3 cup) sugar
- 118 ml (1/2 cup) orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier, Cointreau, or Triple Sec
- For the crêpes: In a medium bowl, mix together the flour and salt. In a small bowl, mix together the milk, butter, and orange liqueur.
- Make a well in the flour, add the egg, and stir to blend. Add the milk mixture and whisk until the batter is smooth. Set the batter aside at room temperature until slightly thickened, about 30 minutes.
- Place a medium (20-24 cm/8-9 1/2 inches) dry nonstick fry pan over medium-low heat for about 2 minutes. Whisk the thickened batter and pour about 59 ml (1/4 cup) into the center of the pan, then quickly tilt the pan so that the batter makes a thin layer across the bottom. When the surface is covered with small bubbles, after about 20 seconds, the underside should be dry and very light brown. Use a spatula to flip the crêpe. Allow to brown again for about 20 seconds, then transfer to a plate. Continue until all the batter is used, layering the crepes with waxed paper or parchment paper.
- The crêpes may be used immediately, or placed in a sealed container and refrigerated for up to four days, or frozen for up to two months.
- For the orange sauce: In a small fry pan or sauce pan, combine the orange juice and zest, butter, and sugar. Place over medium heat and simmer until the mixture is syrupy, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm.
- To assemble: Fold the crêpes into quarters and arrange them in the pan they were cooked in an overlapping circle. Pour the warm orange sauce over the crêpes. Pour the liqueur over the sauce and immediately touch a flame to the surface; use caution as the flame may be low and difficult to see. Serve immediately.