This recipe is a classic from The Gretta Anna Recipes, and an old family favourite. Greta Anna explains that crepes originated in Brittany. "All over France there are little villages with Creperies serving savoury and dessert creepers. For my part, I prefer them as a dessert or an elegant first course, rather than a mere carry-all for their fillings, to be eaten by hand on the run," she says.
She prefers a cast-iron pan for making crepes and stresses that it should be very hot and wiped over with butter to seal the surface (whereas I prefer a teflon-coated pan).
The sauce can be prepared ahead of time. Crepes warmed in the sauce can be made the day before as long as they are kept airtight in foil in the refrigerator until required.
If you don't have time to make the sauce, simply serve the crepes with lemon juice and sugar: delicious!
- Prep Time : 30 minutes
- Cook Time : 10 minutes
- Yield : 6
- free range or organic eggs - 2
- milk - 300ml
- water - 300ml
- plain flour - 12 rounded tablespoons
- vanilla extract - 2 teaspoons
- brandy - 60ml - 80ml (3 - 4 tablespoons)
- Vanessa Sauce
- oranges - 3, finely grated zest (plus juice)
- oranges - 3, peeled rind (plus juice)
- sugar - 6 tablespoons
- brandy - 185ml (3/4cup)
- cream - 300ml
To make the batter for the crepes: beat together all the ingredients in a mixmaster or in a blender. Pour batter into a jug.
Heat a crepe pan until hot and brush with a little butter. Turn heat down to moderate. Pour a little of the mixture into the pan. Pick up the handle of the pan and move the mixture around the pan and then back into the jug so that only the thinnest layer adheres to the pan to make the crepe paper thin. When the crepe is delicately brown and comes away easily, turn over and cook the other side until lightly browned. Remove crepes from pan and place on a piece of foil, piling one crepe on top of the other. Before they cool, make the foil into air-tight parcel. Makes approx. 20 -24 crepes.
To make the Vanessa Sauce: combine grated orange zest, peeled rind, orange juice, sugar and brandy in a medium saucepan. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer until reduced by half. Remove from heat and cool. Using tongs, remove the pieces of peel. Add the cream and stir well.
To Assemble: make 14-16 paper thin crepes. Remove each one from the foil parcel, fold into four like a pocket handkerchief and place them neatly in overlapping lines in a large copper sautéing pan. Pour the the Vanessa Sauce carefully over the crepes and heat slowly. When thoroughly hot, warm 3 -4 tablespoons brandy in a small saucepan, set it alight and pour the flaming brandy over the crepes.
Serve with cold whipped cream.