Copper fastening our friendship. Cooking Crepe Suzette for the Don.

Copper potsA few posts ago, I mentioned that I would give you the background to my collection of beautiful Castle brand copper saucepans. They are no longer made and now have a scarcity value. Apart from their obvious brass handled beauty, they are excellent saucepans. Recently, the Wife’s uncle Don mentioned that he had a box of Castle brand pots languishing under the stairs. He offered them to me. With what, on reflection, was pretty blunt acceptance, I managed to get my greedy hands on the collection.

As is the way, a couple of days passed and guilt set in. I really had to do something to show my appreciation. There is a lovely saute pan in the set and I thought that perhaps cooking Crepe Suzette would be the thing to do. Invitations were dispatched and a meal was arranged. In the interim, I had another clandestine call from the Wicklow Hunter. This meant that to start, we would have slow roast leg of venison. Our desert was to be the French classic. I went online to search out the recipe. As is so often the way, I found numerous different variations on the theme. Most involved making a sticky sauce that could be poured over the crepes and then flambéed for show. Not being afraid of a good flambée, I decided to try this approach and see how I got along. I won’t bore you with the results. In short, a gloopy sauce, a waste of Grand Marnier and pathetically, no flames.

It was time to go back to basics. Back to Larousse Gastronomique. For many, Larousse Gastronomique is the definitive guide to cooking. I was amazed that their Crepe Suzette recipe was so totally different to pretty-well all the rest. I decided to give it a go.  First, my ingredients shot.

Crepe Suzette

I thought it best to stick the book in there too as it is their recipe anyway!

My version differs from theirs in that they suggest using Curaco as the spirit. I had spent the average industrial wage buying the Grand Marnier for the failed gloop attempt and was not prepared to let the family go hungry to buy the Curaco.

You will need for the pancakes

  • 250 grammes of plain flour
  • 3 free range eggs
  • 250 ml of milk
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of Curaco or Grand Marnier
  • Juice of a Clementine

You will need for the butter 

  • 50 grammes of butter
  • 30 grammes of caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of Curaco or Grand Marnier
  • Juice and zest of a clementine

First mix the eggs, milk and flour to make a batter.

Crepe Suzette

Beating the batter. There is very little work in creating this French classic.

Then add the Grand Marnier, olive oil and juice of a clementine  to the mix and beat in. Let this stand for two hours.

Crepe Suzette

It seemed very odd adding the extra ingredients to the batter but it worked.

To make the butter, mix the ingredients together and work them into a buttery mess (That’s what I did, not Larousse. They suggest combining the  ingredients. I could not get it all to bind).

Crepe Suzette butter

There was a fair bit of mixing and working to get this lot to blend together.

Heat a pan and fry thin crepes.

Crepe Suzette

You know it’s time to turn the crepe when lots of little holes appear.

When cooked, butter each one with the butter mix, fold into quarters and keep warm as you fry more. The pan does not need to be oiled. Wipe it clean between crepes with a paper towel.

Crepe Suzette

The crepes release a lovely aroma while frying. (Note the lovely pan.)

When you have enough to satisfy your hoard, you can quickly reheat them in the pan and serve them topped with a bit more of the butter.

Crepe Suzette

The finished dish ready to serve to the diners. Note my shot styling – Food, wine and a book!

This is a pretty special desert. I served mine with a bottle of Royal Tokaji, a top quality  Hungarian wine that has been hanging around the house for the past decade. A perfect partner for the crepes, even if the wine might have been at it’s best a year or so  ago.

Royal Tokaji

A pretty special bottle of this excellent wine. Perfect to celebrate with the Don.

I think we did this classic recipe justice on the evening. I know I will get many more evenings of pleasure using the copper and brass saucepans. The Don will be in my thoughts every time I do. Thanks Don.

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Latest comments
  • Delightful crepes, especially with the Tokaji. Shame the pans aren’t made anymore, they are lovely . I was discussing copper pans with my mum just last night and she told me she gave her set to a charity shop about 20 years ago during a house move. I could have cried 🙁 However, she did kindly give me her Le Creuset set 🙂

    • I love my Le Creuset too. Buy quality and you have it for life.

  • They look delicious! I’m surprised there are no flambee action shots… I feel there might be a story behind that…!

    • I promise no flames, no story. A pity because I had the camera ready too.

  • Beautiful orange crepes and beautiful copper pots. The crepes will only last a minute but your copper pots a lifetime.

    • Thanks Bam, the taste of the creps lasts in the memory too. Until the next time…

  • Lucky Conor. Beautiful crêpes.

    • Thanks Rosemary. I classify myself as very lucky in this instance.

  • I am verdegris with envy….

    • My apologies. I did not mean to raise any angst with this post.

  • Beautiful crepes. I’m sure they taste even better coming from that nifty pan.

    • She’s a beauty Adam, Just so long as I get to remember that the brass handles get very, very hot.

  • Lovely all round. Would love to have a set of pots and pans like that. And crepes Suzette is hard to beat.

    • The Larousse recipe is very easy and very tasty. I will be doing it again.

  • Slow-roasted venison followed by Crepe Suzette. Lucky Conor getting those pans, but also lucky Don. That’s what I’d call a copper-bottomed dinner party menu!

    • It worked very well. Don is great company and I think we all had a good evening. I had anyway!

  • Very nice pans, indeed. Copper is 2 mm thickness with a nickel-tin alloy lining so they are relatively lightweight, conduct heat quicker than anything else on the market, yet provide even heating across the surface. The nickel-tin alloy lining used in the Castle Cookware is much better than today’s stainless steel linings but the price of nickel forced manufacturers to substitute less expensive stainless steel. There is absolutely nothing better for making veal scallopini dishes or tournedos of beef both with minute sauces from the fond in the pan. Now that you have the set, I expect to see a scallopini dish in the near future. 🙂
    The only drawbacks to copper pans are 1) unless you are lucky enough for someone to give you a set, they are horribly expensive; & 2) the effort required to keep them clean. Outside of that, you simply cannot beat them. I’m not sure there is a better cooking set of pots and pans available.
    Also, nice looking crepe suzette and glad you decided to let the hen out for some air. Baby Lady was worried about her. 😉

    • Thanks Richard. I am still finding my way around the pots and pans. The heat distribution is the best I have experienced. I am looking forward to lots of time sweating over the hot stove with them. I think I will have to give scallopini a go very soon. On the cleaning end of things, I did a bit of research online and we found that rubbing them with a half lemon and a bit of salt keeps them in tip top condition.

      On the hen front, Baby Lady has nothing to worry about. Trust me on that…

      • I will tell her, Conor. As for the cleaning method, that is the best method of which I am aware. The problem is they tarnish rapidly but nothing cooks better. Now all you need is a portable burner and you can do tableside service and flambé for your guests. Just don’t set them (your guests) on fire. 😉

        • I have, occasionally, been tempted to do that to one or two of our guests. I need to be more forgiving.

    • My Demeyere pans have a layer of copper inside the multilayered materal, and they indeed have great conduction without the handle getting hot. They are not as pretty though…

      • There is an occasional price to be paid with the brass handles but, as you say, they are pretty.

  • That’s one beautiful set of pans, Conor. How very lucky for you and such a nice way to thank Uncle Don. Those crêpes and recipe look and sound delicious. I’m sure he was pleased.

    • Thanks John. We intend getting more value out of the pans and also out of Don. He is great company and we will be cooking for him more often.

  • Looks great. Thanks for the invite!!

    • Any time. You know that Gary.

      • Yeah thanks. And I particularly love the way you call me Gary 🙂

        • As they say, call me anything but don’t call me too early in the morning. I worked it out from the email address. Unless you are Jen?

  • You can’t beat Larousse and that’s a beautiful set of saucepans 🙂

    • Thanks MD. Certainly, for the classics, there is no better book. I particularly love their lack of instruction. They assume a certain level of competence. Often this is an assumption too far in my case.

  • It is indeed very nice set and crepes… I would better start with my batter now 🙂
    Another recipe…
    I have tested the recipe from Gary Mehigan from Masterchef of Australia (you can google it) and I liked it really a lot. A bit different method, a bit less effort with butter, more work with baking but altogether it worked nicely.

  • Those are some awfully beautiful pans (and crepes and wind too)! Who does the polishing, though?

    • Hmmm, winE. Not wind.

    • Me and the Wife with a lemon and salt. Easy enough if you do it regularly. If not – trouble.

  • I AM envious of those pans like everyone else reading your post! And I still reach for the Larousse on the top shelf at times to ‘simplify’ life: decades of trust in that one! I usually use Cointreau and some Cognac in my crepes sauce . . . have never had problems flaming: well, sometimes one has had to jump back for a second 😀 !

    • I suspect that the kitchen was too cold and I kind of hate wasting the booze…

      • So would I 😉 !

  • Copper pot shot is a real winner. Love it!

  • Oh, how envious I am of thee! What beautiful pots! And your crepes don’t look so bad either. 🙂

  • I’d kill for those pans. But don’t worry I can’t afford the air fare or the 30 years to life that would follow. I saw that Larousse book in Waterstones the other day. It was a great big massive hardback in a box and i did think about getting it. But I stopped myself!

    • Mine was procured in a second hand book store. 4 smallish books in a box. No frills but, I’m a no frills kind of guy.

  • Ooo la la, Conor. Très bon. Beautiful crepes.

  • Yumm crepes! *smacks lips again and casts envious eye towards copper pans* …

    • Thanks Sanjiv. I encourage you to try them. They are really easy and very, very tasty.

  • Beautiful copper pans! The crêpes are beautiful too! I agree on using Grand Marnier rather than Blue Curacao. Tokaji 5 puttonyos is also a good choice for a wine pairing. I bet uncle Don is now looking for more stuff to give to you so you will cook for him again. Copper pans are also good for beating egg whites btw 😉

  • An absolutely gorgeous set of cookware. Were they gifted in that clean of a state?
    Good call on the LG- it’s for sure my go to (along with the Joy of cooking believe it or not- the 1975 publication). cheers…wt

    • There was a lot of rubbing with lemon and salt to get them back to good nick. They had been pretty dull and stained before. However, not much extra work to keep them in good order.

  • Really envy! I only have two copper jam pans (its necessity) and LOVE them but the whole set is luxury!

    • Thanks. I love using them, even though I keep burning my hands on the brass handles.

  • I have my eye on a set of these pans, but the owner doesn’t know much about them. Are they lined with stainless steel? Thanks for any help you can give me!

    • Yes. Stainless steel pans with a copper exterior and brass handles. The brand is Castle Copper. They used to be manufactured in Tipperary. Grab them if you can.

      • I just did! I got a 10 piece set for $75!!!!! What a steal!

        • Wow. That is a bargain. Worth ten times that. Treat them well and you will enjoy them for a lifetime.

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