(Guest Blogger) Swedish Pancakes with the Swedish Chef

Yesterday, Joel schooled me in the joys of Swedish dessertery. Turns out, Swedes can flip a mean pancake!

My flipping skills could use a little work, but these pancakes are super easy and delicious.

Dispatch from the Swedish Chef:

This weekend I got an extra day by virtue of some failed brakes, and the trains to Indiana being down for construction. The thunderstorms had already come and gone, and although I think Chicago weather reported those storms to be coming from the east, in my limited experience the lighting I left behind in South Bend was only anomalously related to that of Chicago. I’m Swedish, and when I was a kid and caught inside all day, Swedish pancakes (pannkakor) made by my mom were worth waiting for even more than the storm’s pass.

Joel teaching his brother how it's done

swedish chef in training

Swedish Chef in training

In fact, the pancakes Kate and I made on Sunday just may have brought the sun with them. Since it’s still in the forties though, the old Swedish tradition of pea soup and pancakes (which, since the Middle Ages, have been eaten on Thursdays before the Friday fast- and are still served on that day in Swedish cafés, sans Catholicism) is perfect for taking the edge off whatever spring transition might have caught you unawares.

Our cooking was aided by the virtuoso pop dramatist Jens Lekman:

Swedish Pancakes
2 ägg (2 eggs)
6 dl mjölk (2 2/3 c. milk)
3 dl mjöl (1 1/3 c. flour)
1 msk smör (1 tbsp. butter)

3 dl = 1 1/3 cup

In a large mixing bowl crack 2 eggs, and add 1 1/3 cups milk. Whisk and then add 1 1/3 cups flour- whisk that in, and then add another 1 1/3 cups milk- whisk again. This can be made before the soup and put in the fridge. When you turn the frying pan on begin by melting one tablespoon of butter- add that to the batter.

The pan should be quite hot. Add enough batter so that when you twirl the pan it reaches to the edges. Swedish pancakes are slightly thicker than French crepes, but are by no means American pancakes. We did notice bubbles though, or little translucent areas in the middle. That’s good. After a couple minutes loosen the edges of the pancake with a spatula, until you find your way under it and flip! The loosening is the most difficult part, and expect it to take practice. The underside of the pancake should have brown rings or spots. Don’t use the spatula to even out the flipped pancake unless necessary, rather lift the pan up and shake the pancake flat. It shouldn’t take more than a minute on its second side. Then flip it onto a plate to stack. You can fold into quarter size in the pan first if you like. Or just feed it directly to whoever’s waiting. (My younger brother and I would shingle our pancake consumption as Mamma served us from the pan.)

Pannkakor can be sweetened with lemon juice and sugar, or your favorite jam, watered down a bit in a small bowl. (We used blackberry, and strawberry is classic.) Spread the topping down the middle of your pancake in a line and fold over there and then roll the same way you folded. It was a great pleasure as a child to just feed this tube into my mouth with bare hands, but now I get a comparable kick from the ruse of sophistication provided by knives and forks.


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About Kate Soto


6 responses to “(Guest Blogger) Swedish Pancakes with the Swedish Chef”

  1. Susanne says :

    Flipping a pannkaka is like bicycling –
    It takes practice, but the skill stays with you for life. Well done!

  2. John says :

    Beautifully done Joel! A really great journey through the pancake kingdom!

  3. hayley says :

    this is adorable! and it looks like joel is holding an ikea towel in some of the photos. how consistent 🙂
    i wish i could eat them!!!! bring them to me!!!!!!!
    love, h

  4. Ulla Johansson says :

    HAHA I´ts lovely to see the two boys from the 80`s! And pannkakor is the shit!!Love from Ulla.

  5. jduncan2 says :

    Just put on Jens and made these again, sort of for dinner. I just realized this post is almost exactly a year old. I have pretensions of making a Swedish pancake birthday cake at the end of the month!

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