“Swedish” pancakes

Today is Thursday, and on such an occasion the traditional Swedish food to be had is pea soup and pancakes (if possible accompanied by a glass of punsch). It's not a very strictly observed tradition, but sometimes it's nice to have it. As pea soup is a fairly time consuming dish, we tend to stay with just the pancakes, so that will be today's recipe.

In Sweden we have two different kinds of pancakes, neither of which looks like the American ones. The one we made for dinner today is the thin ones (the thick ones aren't really traditional Thursday's food). The reason I'm writing the story is that pancakes are sort of my territory... once upon a time when we hadn't know each other for very long, I proposed that we have pancakes for dinner, Jenny, having grown up on school cafeteria pancakes, was understandably reluctant. I offered to make them the way it's been handed down to me from my father (in my world, making pancakes is a curiously masculine activity), and she agreed (having abstained from pancakes for a long time, she thought it time to give it a try). Long story short, I made pancakes, Jenny now likes pancakes (at least the ones I make), and we're married (although that hopefully doesn't have much to do with the pancakes).

So, to make the pancakes you need, for every egg:
1 dl flour
2 dl milk
~5-10 g butter

To serve two, use three eggs if you're not really hungry and four if you are. The butter usually amounts to a hefty dollop, so I'm just guessing on the weight of it.

Start by heating up a frying pan and put the butter in it to melt (some will stay in the pan, so again, the exact amount of butter is iffy). Beat all the flour and half the milk into a thick, smooth batter (add some more of the milk if it's too heavy to beat). Add the eggs and the melted butter. Beat it smooth. Add the rest of the milk and salt and whisk it.

Pour the batter into the pan so it covers about ½ of the pan's area. Swivel and turn the pan until it's evenly coated, or until the batter sets (whichever comes first, the batter sets fast). Keep an eye on it until the underside is a lovely light leathery tan, and/or small craters start to appear on the surface. Flip it and let it get some color on the other side as well. Repeat until out of batter.

Stack of thin pancakes

Since it takes a long time to make these (I spent more than ½ an hour today making four eggs worth of pancakes), you can entertain yourself by learning how to flip them without a turner. It's entirely possible to throw them into the air from the pan and catch them with their bellies up, and fun too!

The first one is usually quite unhealthy, having soaked up all the excess butter in the pan, but I really like it anyway, and consider it chef's privilege. The second one is good for gauging the salinity. Add some salt if necessary, the rest of the batch is still to be made.

The traditional condiments for pancakes is whipped cream and jam, but maple syrup, fresh berries, fruit and honey works as well. just pour some in the middle and roll it up like a crepe. Come to think of it, they probably have more in common with crepes than pancakes... but the Swedish word “pannkaka” literally translates into pancake, so I'm going to stay with it. If there's leftovers you can use them as crepes. Just make some nice filling, roll them up and bake them in the oven with some grated cheese on top.

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