Sunday, May 31, 2009
Swedish Pancakes (pannkakor)
There is nothing more comforting than Swedish Pancakes. Breakfast? Lunch? Dinner? I'll eat them anytime. These were one of my favorite meals growing up and I practice little restraint when it comes to them.
So what's the difference between Swedish Pancakes and crepes? While the two are often considered interchangeable, I consider a crepe to be just a touch thinner and taste more "eggy." Also, growing up my mother always used half whole-wheat flour in the Swedish Pancakes which gives them a more robust slightly nutty flavor. Without that whole-wheat flour they taste just a little flat to me - but that's a personal thing. If you're looking more for a traditional Swedish Pancake feel free to just use all-purpose flour.
So if you've got a skillet and some milk, eggs, and flour (& a little butter) in your kitchen - you're set. So why not break out of that breakfast rut and try these next weekend?
Start by cracking two eggs into a large bowl & whisk them together.
Add 1.5 dl whole-wheat flour and 1.5 dl all-purpose (white) flour. If you're using US measurements, that's a heaping half cup of each type of flour. You can go ahead and use all white flour if you'd prefer.
Add 6 dl of milk (2.5 cups). Now whisk it all together. You don't need to worry about getting every little lump out. If you're a perfectionist, you could use a blender. I don't.
Now heat up a non-stick (or really well seasoned cast iron) over medium heat. Add a pat of butter and swirl to coat the pan. Don't skip this step between pancakes. While they won't stick to the nonstick pan, they won't get that beautiful lacey appearance that you're going for.
Add 1 dl (~1/2 cup) of batter to the pan and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Do this fairly quickly as the pancake will begin to cook almost immediately.
Don't worry if you don't get it right the first time, you've got plenty of batter. Plus, sometimes the first few pancakes don't look as perfect because the pan isn't quite hot enough yet. It's okay - people will still be fighting over who gets to eat them.
Let the pancake cook for a minute or so until you can feasibly flip it over with a spatula and they look a lovely speckled brown. They only need to cook for about 30 seconds on this second side. Then I just fold them in half and in half again and stick them in a warming bowl within easy reach of the stove (or onto your hungry friends plates). Repeat with the remaining pancakes. This might take about 20 minutes or so to go through the whole bowl of batter. If you're talented and up for the challenge, you can get two pans going at once to speed up the process.
There are endless toppings you could put on your Swedish Pancakes but I usually go for jam (and whipped cream, if I'm going all out).
Today I tried whipping cream with a fork while making the pancakes. How is it that I always forget how long that takes to whip by hand? Sigh. We decided to use the half-whipped yet still pourable cream because we were too hungry to wait any longer. It was delicious!
Now just fold up your pancake and you're ready to eat! Other favorite toppings include: butter & sugar, lemon juice & powdered sugar, and of course nutella. These Swedish pancakes also work particularly well with savory fillings (creamed spinach or mushrooms, etc.).
Sit back. Relax. And Enjoy!
This makes about 10 pancakes (I forgot to keep count) and serves roughly 3 hungry adults.
Here are those ingredients again:
1.5 dl (heaping 1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
1.5 dl whole wheat flour (or more all-purpose)
6 dl (2.5 cups) milk
Mix it all together. Heat up buttered skillet. Add 1 dl (1/2 cup) batter to pan and swirl to coat. Cook for 1 minute. Flip. Cook for 30 seconds. Repeat with remaining batter (buttering skillet in between each pancake). Serve with desired toppings.