Swedish pancakes (pannkakor) are something I’ve been eating since I can remember. Grandma Wallin (my dad’s mom, 100% Swedish) would make them, complete with lots of butter and granulated sugar. I think I remember her even stacking them with whipped cream and sugar and making a cake out of them some of the time. My dad will have to clarify that point! Even though Parkinson’s makes every dish in the kitchen a labor of love, Grandma Blomquist (my mom’s mom, 50% Swedish) still makes Swedish pancakes for us every time we visit.
We always loved it when my mom would make them growing up. But they weren’t a frequent occurrence…and now that I’m a mom I know why. They take forever to make! They aren’t difficult, just time-consuming. When Grandma Blomquist makes them, she actually has two pans going, which is super smart if you can juggle it! I just make sure to get an episode of This American Life playing while I cook and I’m good. Just like me, my girls absolutely love it when I make these, and since it happens pretty rarely, it is a real treat.
I’ve wanted to write about Swedish pancakes for ages and share Grandma Blomquist’s recipe with you. And last night I finally grabbed my camera while I was throwing them together and the post is finally here! Swedish pancakes are a lot like crepes, in case you’ve never had them. I think the texture and flavor is a bit different even though they are very similar. If you look up pancakes on Wikipedia, you’ll discover that many countries lay claim to super flat pancakes!
The first time I tried to make Swedish pancakes things got a little hairy. So I thought I would take a minute to share a few tips I’ve discovered. The printable recipe will be at the end of the post.
The batter is very runny. And that’s the way it’s supposed to be. No panicking.
Use a non-stick pan to keep things easy, but butter the pan before you cook each pancake. It helps the pancakes to brown and it just plain tastes better. I keep a hunk of butter in its original paper and spread a bit around between each pancake.
Knowing that it takes a while to cook all the pancakes, I always keep an oven-safe plate in a 200-degree oven and put the pancakes in there until all they are all done. They taste just the same whether hot out of the pan or warmed in the oven, and then everyone can eat at once.
And now for the flip. This is where I had trouble the first time I made them. If you try to flip them too early, they are nearly impossible to flip over. You wait until the top looks dry, there will be some bubbling, and the edges look like they might be browning. First flip over one little edge to see if the pancakes is browning on the underside. If it is, you’re ready to go. Tuck your spatula under that edge, then flip the edge back flat, then FLIP! I didn’t have one mishap last night when I followed my own rules and everything flipped over perfectly!
One more quick note regarding the heat of the pan. You’ll mostly likely need to adjust the temperature while you’re cooking, but generally the pan will be medium heat, give or take depending on your stove. You want it hot enough that they brown and don’t take years to cook, but not so hot that you’re going to burn them. You’ll figure it out, I promise.
I think that’s it! On to the recipe…
- 3 cups milk
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Put the milk and eggs in a large bowl and hand whisk until well-blended. Add the flour, sugar and salt and whisk again until well-blended. Batter will be smooth and runny.
- Heat a 10-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, coat the pan with butter (I keep my butter in it's original paper so it's easy to hold and spread around). Pour ¼ cup of batter into the pan and tip pan to coat evenly with the batter. (If you use a different sized skillet, you'll need to adjust the amount of batter accordingly - you want the batter to coat the entire pan and not be super thin or too thick.)
- Cook pancake on first side until the top is dried out, the pancake is starting to bubble and the underside is starting to brown. Flip one little edge over onto itself, stick your spatula under that edge, unfold the edge back flat, then flip! Cook until the second side has browned. Repeat process, remembering to add a bit of butter to the pan each time.
- Keep completed pancakes on a warmed plate in a 200-degree oven until all the pancakes have been cooked. Serve with butter (yes, more butter), granulated sugar, powdered sugar, berries, jam, or whatever floats your boat!
- With a 10-inch skillet, this recipe yields about 20 pancakes. We usually eat 3-5 pancakes each. Leftovers can be refrigerated and heated up in the microwave...and they are yummy!