Pancakes are, without a doubt, one of the most beloved dishes all over the world, including in my household.
However, I am always careful not to over-generalize when talking about this food since pancakes are a very wide term.
I’ve been experimenting with recipes from many countries and found that they can be very different in terms of flavor, texture, and ingredients.
I’ll be concentrating on a treat from the Nordic region today: Swedish pancakes.
You should be aware that they are soft, sweet, and incredibly fulfilling if you’ve never tried them.
Since we were exposed to them by our expat neighbor Anna, my family has fallen in love with them.
I will devote an entire essay to enlightening you and thoroughly demonstrating how to make Swedish pancakes in order to give this delectable delicacy justice.
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When Anna showed me the recipe, I loved it so much that I even did some research about the history of this food, and here is what I found out.
Swedish pancakes are a traditional recipe, and when I say traditional I mean it is centuries old.
The first written record of pancakes in Sweden appears in the 1400s. I’m not sure if this was the same dish as the modern pancake since there were no stovetops and non-stick pans back in the 15th century.
With the advent of wood stoves and frying pans in the later years, pancakes have become very popular and remain to be to this very day. Nowadays, in Sweden, they are usually eaten as a dessert after split pea soup, another traditional Swedish meal.
Swedish pancakes vs crepes
To the untrained eye, a Swedish pancake might look just like a crepe.
I do agree that visually there is little difference between the two, but their tastes and textures are very distinct from each other.
Both styles use almost the same ingredients but in different proportions.
- Crepes contain much more flour, fewer eggs, and no butter, which makes them dense and chewy.
- Swedish pancakes sacrifice the amount of sifted flour in exchange for more eggs while also adding heaps of butter, which makes them more airy, fluffy, and lightweight. Also, the Swedish pancake batter is a lot thicker than the crepe batter but is cooked in the exact same way.
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Combining wet and dry ingredients
One of the basic rules for preparing this dish is knowing when and how to combine the wet and dry ingredients that go into it. It might not seem like a big deal, but it can make the end result turn out way differently.
Here’s how it works:
- Take the wet ingredients and mix them in one bowl while placing all the dry ingredients in another.
- When they are both mixed well (independently), combine them. By doing this, you ensure the fluffy texture of the pancakes.
Choosing the right pan
When it comes to this factor, a crepe pan will do just fine.
It has a large diameter, and the surface is non-stick which is everything that you need to cook the pancakes properly.
Also, the lip of the pan is short, and this makes it a lot easier to flip the pancake.
Greasing the pan
Even though I recommend a non-stick pan, greasing it up with some butter might not be a bad idea. Keep in mind that this isn’t necessary since there is already butter in the pancake batter and it won’t stick to the pan’s surface, but it makes a difference regarding the flavor.
A buttered pan will give you much juicier pancakes, but in the end, this is a matter of preference.
Try cooking them with and without the added fat and see which result you like more.
Swedish pancakes are made with butter, eggs, flour, sugar, and milk; nothing too extravagant. As I’ve mentioned before, the thing that makes these pancakes stand out from the rest is the ratio of the ingredients.
So to give you a better understanding of this, here is a sample recipe:
- 3 eggs
- 50 grams of sugar
- A pinch of salt
- 250 milliliters of milk
- 100 grams of flour
- 3 tablespoons of melted butter
- A bit of butter for cooking
- Powdered sugar
- Jam of choice (optional)
- Berries (optional)
To make sure your first batch turns out well, let’s get into the cooking instructions. Follow the process step by step:
- Crack the eggs into a bowl, and pour the milk and melted butter over them. Mix well either using a hand whisk or an electric mixer. Do not mix more than necessary, since this might make the pancakes a bit tough.
- In another bowl add flour, sugar, and salt. Combine well.
- Add the dry ingredients gradually into the wet ingredients bowl all while mixing. Don’t worry if some lumps start to form; this is not a problem.
- Place the pan over high to medium heat, and grease it up with a bit of butter.
- After the pan heats up properly pour in some of the batters. For this recipe, we recommend half a cup of batter for one pancake. This should leave you with eight pancakes in total.
- When the pancake has browned on one side flip it with a thin silicone spatula. Make sure that it is well cooked before flipping because you might tear it otherwise.
- Allow it to cook for another minute or so and remove it from the pan.
Filling and serving are absolutely a matter of personal preference, but to give you an idea of what you can do I will show you three common ways of serving them.
The methods that I’m about to present all include fillings, but this is optional. It is perfectly fine to eat them by themselves with no additions if that suits you.
- This is my personal favorite. Rolled pancakes are usually filled with jam or berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc.) Spread some jam over the pancakes, roll them up, and serve alongside fresh fruits. Some whipped cream over on top of all that is not unusual. Yummy!
- If you like to make thick pancakes, similar to American ones, you can stack them on top of each other and eat them in this way. Pour with honey, confectioner’s sugar, jam, or serve with fresh berries.
Folded in triangles
- Spread some jam over the pancake, fold it in half and then fold it one more time so that it forms a triangle. Serve alongside fresh fruit or sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar.
There’s truly nothing better than sharing a delicious pancake breakfast with the family, especially during the colder seasons. If you are a fan of this dish and you wish to switch it up a little bit, then Swedish pancakes are a great place to start. 🙂
They’re quick and easy to prepare, can feed a lot of people, and if you have kids, I’m sure that they will love these fluffy and sweet creations.
However, bear in mind that these pancakes might not be the healthiest of meals, and my conscience is telling me to mention this fact.
It’s probably not the best idea to eat them every single day in large amounts, but having a few once in a while will not harm anyone.