Swedish Pancakes

Swedish Pancakes

I know you probably woke up this morning thinking I want an amazing breakfast…but I don’t want to go out…and I’m not into eating spongy pancakes…SWEDISH PANCAKES IT IS…but I don’t know how to make them.  Your first thought of the morning might not have been exactly that *sarcasm*, but if you put this recipe together I promise you won’t be disappointed.  You may never make a regular pancake again…yes they’re that good.



These pancakes are very different from standard pancakes.  They are waaaay more thin, and resemble a crepe more than a pancake.  The types of toppings do a better job of differentiating these from a crepe than the pancakes themselves.  Generally, crepes are served with more savory fillings/toppings and Swedish pancakes are usually served with sweeter toppings.  The most iconic Swedish topping would have to be lingonberries.  You’ll find these berries in a jar, and they resemble preserves more than berries. This delicious topping has a very similar taste to cranberries without the tartness and significantly sweeter.



A list of ingredients that you already have sitting in your pantry and fridge make these easy to put together on short notice.  The one ingredient I don’t always have is whole milk, but I’ve made this with 1% and 2% milk, and I can hardly notice a difference.

While you can make these in any pan, there is one best choice…a cast iron griddle.  One of the challenges of this recipe is heat management.  Getting your pan to the perfect temperature and keeping it there is no easy task.  One of the major advantages of using cast iron cookware is it’s heat retention.  Once you’ve dialed in on the perfect temperature, a cast iron pan will stay there with very light adjustments.



Another piece of kitchen gear this recipe benefits from is a long icing spatula.  If there isn’t one in your kitchen tool box, I’d recommend this one.  Using this spatula will allow you to get underneath these delicate pancakes to flip and transfer them.

This recipe is near and dear to my heart, since it was passed down through my family.  It reminds me of a strong part of my ancestry, and sends me back to times of my childhood, listening to my great grandmother and catching one out of every five words through her thick accent. My straight-from-Sweden great grandmother made these for my grandmother.  My grandmother made these for my father.  My father made them for me.  Now I get to make these for my family and friends, telling stories of the past and remind them of where I/we’ve come from.

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • butter

Process:

  • Set your oven to the lowest setting and place an oven safe plate inside.
  • Heat a 10 inch cast iron griddle over medium heat.
  • Lightly beat the eggs in a large bowl.
  • Add the milk and salt to the bowl and use a whisk to combine.
  • Slowly add the flour, constantly mixing it with your whisk.  See tip #1 below.
  • Transfer a portion of the batter into something that will allow you to accurately pour it onto the pan.  See tip #2 below.
  • Take your butter and place it against the hot pat to fully coat the surface.
  • While holding your pan (using an oven mitt or towel if you’re using cast iron), pour a small amount of batter into the center of the pan, then move the angle of the pan to evenly coat the surface with a thin coat of batter.  See tip #3 below.
  • Once the top of the batter appear dry and holes have formed (see picture below), flip the pancake using your icing spatula.  This should be a minute and a half, depending on your pan heat.  See tip #4 below.
  • Allow the other side of the pancake to cook, which should take approximately one minute, then transfer the pancake onto the plate in your oven.
  • Repeat until all the pancake batter has be transformed into delicious Swedish pancakes, then serve.

Topping Suggestions:

  • Maple Syrup – spend the money on the real stuff.  I know, I know…it’s expensive…but also worth it.
  • Ligonberries – if you’ve ready what I’ve said up to this point, you’ll know this is what I’d classify as the traditional topping.
  • Nutella – to transform Nutella from a spread into a topping, add nearly as much butter as the amount of Nutella to a small saucepan, then warm over low heat while stirring to combine.
  • Butter – who doesn’t love pancakes slathered in butter.


Tips:

  1. The trick to this step is to evenly combine the flour into the mixture.  The flour will tend to collect into clumps if it’s added to the batter to quickly.  Even if you spend an eternity adding the flour, you may still end up with dots of flour in the batter.  Keep lightly mixing it until you can’t see any dots of flour balls in your batter.
  2. To pour the batter onto my griddle, I usually use a 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup.  It has a nice spout which makes putting the batter where you want it a breeze.  This is one of those tools you’ll use on a regular basis, it’ll withstand any abuse short of throwing it into a granite counter top, and the glass cleans up fantastically.
  3. This step takes some practice.  Getting the amount of batter perfect is not something you’re going to get right on the first pancake.  It’s better to start out with too little than too much.  If you find that your pan has too little batter, you can add a bit more quickly to fill in the gaps.
  4. Knowing when to flip your pancakes takes some practice.  As I mentioned in the process step, the two visual things I look for are the well formed holes in the pancake, as well as the surface to no longer look wet.  If you try to flip too early you’ll tear the pancake, and if you flip it too late you’ll end up with something more like a cracker than a pancake.

Serve with:

  • Breakfast meat – Bacon, sausage links, smoked sausage.
  • Fruit
  • Eggs

Place these on a plate next to breakfast meats, such as smoked sausage or bacon, and some fresh fruit, and you can’t go wrong.  You’ll find your family and friends getting creative by doing things like wrapping a slice of bacon drenched in maple syrup in one of your delicious pancakes.



Putting this post together has reinforced my desire to make sure I visit my relatives in Sweden.  Family (and friends) are everything, and any opportunity to strengthen those bonds is worth pursuing, whether it’s making dishes that have been passed down and talking to your kids about them, or booking a trip across the world the meet family you’ve never had the opportunity to interact with.  Live life as well as you can and avoid regrets as much as possible.