Holiday Entertaining 2002

See Also
  CrÍpes Suzette

The Chef
Erik Blauberg of '21' Club and the Upstairs At '21'

Serves 6

2 cups whole milk
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
5 small eggs
3/4 tablespoon canola oil
2 and 1/4 teaspoons granulated sugar
3/8 teaspoon salt
Vegetable-oil spray

3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, strained
2 cups fresh tangerine juice, strained (orange can be substituted)
Zest of 2 tangerines, and 1/4 cup segments, roughly chopped
2 cinnamon sticks, halved
6 cloves
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 cup Grand Marnier
5 tablespoons skinned and coarsely chopped hazelnuts
1/2 cup cognac
6 sprigs mint

Cooking Instructions
CrÍpes: Place all ingredients except vegetable-oil spray in a bowl and whisk together until smooth. Set aside to rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Heat a small crÍpe pan over medium heat, lightly coat the pan with vegetable-oil spray, and heat for 15 seconds. Pour a scant 1/4 cup batter into the pan, lifting and tilting the pan as you do so to allow the batter to form an even, thin layer. Cook until the crÍpe is lightly brown on the bottom and the top is set; flip over with a spatula or tongs and cook until the second side is golden. Remove the crÍpe from the pan and place on parchment paper. Repeat the procedure with the remaining batter, stacking the crÍpes between parchment paper. There should be 18 in all. When the crÍpes are cool, cover with a damp towel to prevent them from drying out. (The crÍpes can be made a day ahead; just set the stack on a plate, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and keep in the refrigerator.)

Sauce: Heat a large sautť pan over medium heat, add the sugar and lemon juice, and stir until the sugar starts to caramelize. Add the tangerine juice, zest, cinnamon, and cloves, and cook for 1 minute, stirring until the sauce is smooth and the caramel has been incorporated. Add the butter in chunks and stir until melted, followed by the Grand Marnier, and continue stirring for 1 to 2 minutes, until the sauce has slightly thickened.

Reduce heat to low and add 1 crÍpe to the pan, coat it with the sauce, and sprinkle it with 1/2 teaspoon hazelnuts. Using tongs, fold into quarters. Move the crÍpe to one side of the pan and repeat the procedure with the remaining crÍpes, stacking them. (If the pan becomes too crowded, transfer some of the crÍpes to a warm platter.) Heat the liquid in the open side of the pan for 15 to 20 seconds, then remove from the burner, add the cognac, and -- standing as far back as possible -- tilt the pan toward the flame to ignite the alcohol. (Use a match if the cognac does not ignite.) Let it burn itself out. Arrange all the crÍpes around the pan. Add the tangerine segments, increase the heat to high, and reduce the sauce for 20 seconds, until it reaches a light, syrupy consistency. (If the sauce thickens too much, add 1 tablespoon water.)

To serve, remove the cinnamon and cloves. Arrange 3 crÍpes on each plate, spoon the sauce over them, and sprinkle with remaining hazelnuts. Garnish with mint leaves.

Photograph by William Meppem