Put the flour, sugar and a pinch of salt in a large bowl.
Make a well in the centre, add the eggs, oil and 2 tbsp
of the milk, and beat together with a wooden spoon until
smooth. Slowly start to pour in a little milk, mixing as you
pour, to keep the batter smooth. Pour in the rest of the
milk, a bit more quickly now, until it looks like single
cream. Finally, add the beer.
Heat a 15cm/6in crêpe pan. Measure 21⁄2 tbsp of the batter
into a jug, then pour into the pan, moving it around so the
mixture swirls and fits the bottom of the pan. When the
crêpe is golden underneath (in about 15 seconds if pan is
the right temperature), turn and cook for a further 30
seconds, until spotted brown.
Slide the crêpe on to a plate. Wipe the pan with oiled
kitchen paper and continue frying until all the batter is
used, stacking the crêpes on top of each other as you cook
them. You can freeze the pancakes at this stage, wrapped
in cling film and foil. Or make a day ahead, wrap and keep
in the fridge. To reheat, put on an ovenproof plate, cover
with foil and warm in a 180C/Gas 4/fan oven 160C for
10-15 minutes. (If using for Crêpes Suzette, warm through
in the sauce.)
TO MAKE CRÊPES SUZETTE - Make the crêpes as above.
For the sauce, heat the butter and sugar in a deep frying pan
(about 25cm/10in) over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until
the sugar begins to dissolve; turn up the heat and bubble
quite fast, until the mixture just starts to go brown and
caramelise (about 4 minutes), stirring only towards the end.
Pour in the orange juice (see left); add the orange and lemonzests, letting the mixture bubble for 3-4 minutes to thicken
slightly. Add the Grand Marnier and cognac, heat for a few
seconds and lower the heat.
Put one crêpe into the juices and, holding it with a fork,
coat it well in the mixture. Fold it into quarters and push
to one side of the pan. Continue the coating and folding
with the remaining pancakes. Serve 2-3 crêpes per person
with the sauce.