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My Amaretto sauce serves two purposes. Save two tablespoons of it for my Amaretto cake (next recipe post).

For now, though, enjoy it over crêpes. Easy to make when you haven’t much else in the house!

It’s also simple to make when you need a ‘plate to pass’ for a family gathering or a potluck supper. I keep my sauce in a sterilised glass jar with a lid (larger mayonnaise jars work well). Glass enhances the flavour of any sauce and washes up more easily than plastic.

Disclaimer: I have no personal or financial interest in the two drinks brands connected with this recipe. They are the products which have worked best for me over the years.

My thanks to Dr Gregory Jackson of Ichabod for the graphic.

Churchmouse’s Amaretto sauce

(4-6 servings — save the leftover two tablespoons; 10 – 15 minutes total — preparation and cooking time)

Ingredients:

8 oz. (230 g) brown sugar

4 oz. (110 g) white sugar

1 medium orange or 2 clementines, sectioned and roughly broken into pieces — no pulp or rind

1/4 – 1/3  cup (60 – 80 ml) Amaretto

1 tsp almond essence

4 oz. (110 g) butter

Method:

1/ Combine all ingredients into a saucepan (preferably with a lip for easier pouring) and place on medium heat, bringing mixture to a boil.

2/ DO NOT STIR!

3/ Once up to a boil, let it boil for six or seven minutes until sugar granules are completely dissolved. At this point, you can stir. If the mixture scrapes in the pan or sounds gritty, continue to boil for another minute or two.

4/ When mixture is smooth and no longer grainy, turn the heat off and remove pan from the heat.

5/ Save as a sauce for the crêpes.

Churchmouse says: Some readers might be concerned about alcohol. The content should burn off completely, leaving only an intense almond flavour, however — if or when in doubt, don’t!

VARIATION: If you don’t have Amaretto but have some old Southern Comfort in the back of the drinks cabinet, use that with vanilla essence instead of almond flavouring. As it ages, Southern Comfort acquires a wonderfully syrupy flavour and texture — perfect for crêpes.

Crêpes

(6 servings of two pancakes each; 60 to 90 minutes total — preparation and cooking time)

Ingredients:

8 oz. (230 g) plain flour

1 tbsp sugar

Pinch of salt

4 eggs

14 oz. (400 ml) milk combined with 6 oz. (177 ml) water

2 tbsp butter + another teaspoon or two to refresh the pan later

You will need a good whisk, a 4 oz. soup ladle, a heavy-bottomed 10″ (25 cm) diameter crepe pan, a long metal spatula and aluminium foil for best results.

Method:

1/ Preheat crêpe pan over medium heat. This might take several minutes. Meanwhile, you can make the crêpe batter.

2/ Combine flour, sugar and salt into a large bowl and make a well.

3/ Break the two eggs into the well.

4/ Whisk the eggs with the dry ingredients slowly at first, then more quickly to get any larger lumps out of the batter.

5/ Add the milk and water mixture a little at a time. Keep whisking to get as many smaller lumps out as you can. A few smaller lumps at the end are all right. These will cook out as you fry the crêpes.

6/ Add the butter to the crêpe pan and let it melt completely.

7/ Pour the 2 tbsp of butter into the crêpe batter and whisk well until combined.

8/ Take your soup ladle and fill it most of the way up so that it has approximately 3 oz. of batter in it. In other words, leave a 1/2″ (1.3 cm) rim at the top.

9/ Pour the ladleful of batter carefully into the crêpe pan. Start from the centre and ladle the rest around it. Swirl the batter around the pan slowly until it reaches the edges.

Churchmouse says: The first crêpe takes the longest to cook. Be prepared for a three- to four-minute cooking time.

10/ In the meantime, get a large plate and your aluminium foil. You will need 12 sheets.

11/ The crêpe is ready to turn over when several lumps (about the size of a chocolate chip) begin appearing at the bottom of the pan and the edge of the crêpe has a lot of tiny bubbles which have burst. Carefully stick the edge of the spatula underneath part of the edge. If the crêpe pulls away from the pan easily, you can carefully but quickly flip the crêpe to the other side for another minute or so to finish cooking.

12/ The other side of the crêpe is finished when it also gets small lumps in the middle. When you think it is done, carefully insert the spatula under the crêpe and lift it. If it is a golden brown, it is finished.

13/ You should be able to slide the crêpe off the pan onto the plate easily. Cover it completely with a sheet of aluminium foil, wrapping any foil edges underneath the plate.

14/ Repeat steps 8 – 13 for subsequent crêpes. These will take less and less time to cook, so stand by and be ready to flip crêpes and remove them to the plate as necessary.

15/ If you need to regrease the pan, do so after every third or fourth crêpe by adding a small amount of butter — 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon — and swirling it around the pan until melted. Pour any excess back into the batter.

16/ Always cover the last crêpe with aluminium foil. They will stay warm for a dinner party or you can leave them on the countertop overnight to refrigerate the next day. Crêpes will stay fresh for at least three days if you keep them refrigerated after the first several hours.

17/ Serve two crêpes per person, folding into quarters (into half, then half again), topping them with a tablespoon or two of Amaretto sauce and whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Alternatively, you can fill with ice cream and fold them lengthwise like the French do and top with sauce and whipped cream or ice cream.

18/ If you need to reheat them, put them in a slow oven for 10 minutes and serve. You can reheat the jar of sauce in the microwave — with the lid off — at 20 second bursts until warmed through.

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