My mother-in-law’s Swedish Pancakes are legendary. This dish has long been in her arsenal of recipes, since before she even met her part-Swedish husband and became a mom to my beloved part-Swedish hubby. These are like crêpes, but moister and spongier than any other I’ve had. You can top them or fill them with whatever you’d like: fresh berries, powdered sugar, honey, lemon juice, cinnamon, jam, nutella, bananas, whipped cream, chocolate, syrup, or a combination of these. For a savory dish, you can even omit the sugar and vanilla and top with ham and cheese, egg, or a dressed salad. I’ve made a clementine sauce for this version, which is mostly sweet but just a touch bitter and sour, an interesting blend of flavors to refresh your palate and complement a strong brew of coffee in the morning!
With thanks to Charlotte, I’m happy to share this family favorite:
Charlotte’s Swedish Pancakes
(Makes about 6 large or 8 small pancakes; serves about 3 people)
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups milk
- 1 1/4 cups flour (a little at a time)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- butter for greasing pan
- Sweet clementine sauce (recipe follows below*) or topping of choice
- powdered sugar
- Beat the eggs with a hand egg-beater, add the milk and mix. Add the flour a little at a time and whisk until incorporated. Add vanilla and sugar and whisk together. Let the batter rest for 15-30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make sweet clementine sauce* or prepare alternate toppings.
- Grease a skillet with butter and heat over medium heat.
- With a large ladle or measuring cup, pour the thin batter into the center of the heated, greased skillet, swirling to form a round shape (you can also gently use the back of a ladle to even out the batter a bit, but some swirling is necessary). Aim for a thin layer that spatters and bubbles a bit. When ready to flip, after about 2 minutes, the underside should have some golden brown spots. Use a rubber spatula to lift a corner and then flip; cook for about another minute on the second side.
- Transfer cooked pancake to a plate, sprinkle with powdered sugar through a strainer and roll up. Top with spooned-over sweet clementine sauce (or other garnishes) and another liberal sprinkle of powdered sugar. Repeat for subsequent pancakes.
* * * * * *
Laura’s Field Notes:
- Don’t worry if batter looks thin; it’s supposed to be this way.
- A small, 10-inch skillet works best here to ensure evenly round pancakes, using 1 large ladleful (about 1/2 cup) batter for each pancake. However, I’ve also used a 12-inch skillet with 1 1/2 ladlefuls of batter (3/4 cup) per pancake; you just have to swirl it around more vigorously to get a nice rounded shape.
- Make sure the skillet is placed in the center of the flame/burner to cook evenly.
- When you pour the batter in the skillet, you need to work fast to swirl it into a round shape. It’s a bit tricky to get the hang of it at first — I recommend a cup of coffee before starting!
- The first pancake of the batch usually doesn’t come out perfectly; just use it as a tester and adjust amount of heat/butter according to results.
- Especially when using a larger skillet, I’ve had them turn out less-than-perfectly round. Okay, sort of octopus-shaped, when some of those stubborn rivulets of batter refuse to merge and create a rounded edge. No matter: that’s the beauty of rolling them! Just tuck those imperfections in as you roll; they will be just as delicious, I assure you :).
- I think these are best straight from the skillet, but you can also keep them warm on a foil-lined baking sheet or platter at a low temp in the oven while you cook the remaining pancakes.
- No one makes these quite like Charlotte, but they are still a fabulous way to start the morning.
*Sweet Clementine Sauce
- 3 clementines (seedless, or with seeds removed)
- 2 Tablespoons plus one teaspoon powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- Blitz the peeled, de-seeded clementines in a blender; strain out the pulp (it should make about 1/2 cup juice after straining pulp out).
- Mix the sugar in the juice until well blended; add the cornstarch and mix well until all is dissolved.
- Heat the mixture over medium-low heat in a small pot, stirring constantly, for two to three minutes, until it thickens. Stir vigorously toward the end, to ensure no lumps form; if mixture is bubbling too fiercely, turn heat down to avoid burning it. (Note: mixture should be thickened so that when you lift the spatula out, it falls down in blops instead of drizzles; err on the thinner side, since it will thicken up some upon cooling).
- Remove from heat and set aside until the pancakes are ready to roll. Happy morning!