Pancakes

Pannkakor

Pancakes with strawberry jam and whipped cream

Swedes adore pancakes. One of the most popular main courses for lunches in schools in Sweden is pancakes with jam, which is served on Thursdays. Yes really, a main course. Sometimes it is preceeded by ärtsoppa (pea soup), but in some schools they know what the children like so they just serve pannkakor med sylt (pancakes with jam)!

Not only do Swedes love their pancakes, they make really good pancakes. And so they should, because they have had lots of practice. They've been making them since at least 1538 (that's when the first written record of pancakes in Sweden appeared). We don't really know what pancakes look liked then, but these days two types of pancake have become popular:

Small Swedish pancakes in a plättpanna

Plättar (small pancakes) cooked in a special pan called a plättpanna, as shown above,
Pannkakor (pancakes), sometimes called tunna pannkakor (thin pancakes), as shown at the top of the page.

Both pannkakor and plättar are normally served with jam and whipped cream, although in the summer the jam is sometimes replaced by fresh berries.

The batter used for Swedish pancakes, especially pannkakor, is quite runny. This makes them quite fragile, so checkout our tips below if you are cooking pannkakor for the first time.

Pannkakstårta (pancake torte) is a showy pancake stack! It's great fun to make with kids as they pinch the fruit, dip their fingers in the cream and demolish the odd pancake before the tårta is assembled. Naturally, when the glorious tårta is finally finished they scoff the whole lot in seconds. Still fun though. John Duxbury

Summary

Tips

• Always allow the batter to stand (swell) for at least 30 minutes before using.
• If you want pancakes for breakfast, make the batter the night before and keep it in the fridge overnight.

A brush, ladle and whisk used for cooking pancakes

• Each time you make a pancake, give the batter another whisk before adding it to the pan as the flour falls to the bottom of the bowl quite quickly.

A plate of pancakes

• Swedish pancakes tear easily if they turned before the underside is cooked properly, so use a timer: cook the underside for 2 minutes and then toss (flip) the pancake and cook the other side for 1 minute.
• Adjust the heat, rather than the cooking time, if the pancakes are not coloured to your liking.
• Do NOT have a peep to see whether the underside is cooked as you will probably tear the pancake.
• Toss (flip) the pancake; don't try and turn it with a fish slice or a spatula.
• The pancakes for a pannkakstårta can be made in advance, even a day or two in advance if necessary, and kept in a fridge covered with clingfilm (food wrap).

Ingredients for tunna pannkakor

125 g (1 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
½ tsp   salt
600 ml (2½ cups) milk
3   eggs
4 tbsp   sparkling mineral water, optional
3 tbsp   butter

Method for tunna pannkakor

1. Mix the flour and salt in a bowl. Whisk in half the milk until well blended. Whisk in the rest of the milk and the eggs. Set aside to rest for at least 30 minutes.

2. Put a good heavy, non-stick frying pan with a base about 18 cm (7”) in diameter on a medium heat for five minutes.

3. Whilst the pan is heating up, add the sparkling mineral water (optional) to the batter and whisk it thoroughly.

4. After five minutes turn up the heat to medium-high, add a teaspoon of butter to the pan and brush it over the base of the pan. Pour sufficient batter into the pan to cover the base of the pan completely when the pan is tilted from side to side. Cook the first side for 2 minutes, then toss (flip) the pancake over and cook the underside for a further minute. Transfer to a plate and keep warm if serving hot or leave to cool if making a pannkakstårta.

5. Repeat step 4 with the rest of the batter, remembering to whisk the batter again each time before you add it to the pan. (You will probably end up with about 12 pancakes although you will only need about 8 for a pannkakstårta.)

Pancakes with jam

Pancakes with jam and whipped cream

Pannkakor are normally served with sylt (runny jam) and vispgrädde (whipped cream). Jordgubbssylt (strawberry jam) is the most popular, but my personal favourite is hallon och björbärssylt (raspberry and blackberry jam).

Pancakes with chocolate and raspberry jam

Pancakes with raspberry and chocolate jam

If you like chocolate, spread one half of a pancake with some delicious homemade hallon- och chokladmarmelad (raspberry and chocolate jam), fold it over and then fold again as shown above.

Pancakes with chocolate are best served warm, so heat them through gently in a pan, a warm oven (covered with foil) or a microwave. When warm, grate some dark chocolate over the pancakes. Serve with lightly whipped cream.

Pannkakstårta

A pancake torte garnished with fresh fruit

6-8   thin pancakes
300 ml (1¼ cups) whipping cream
450 g (1 lb) fresh berries, including strawberries
200 g (¾ cup) strawberry jam, preferably lightly set
    icing sugar (powder sugar), to decorate


1. Fry 6 (or 8) pancakes for your tårta.

2. Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks.

3. Hull and slice some of the strawberries keeping some of your best lookers for decorating the top.

4. Place a pancake on a serving plate. Spread a layer of jam over the pancake, then some whipped cream and some fruit. Repeat until you have as many layers as you want.

5. Finish with a layer of whipped cream and fruit. Dust with icing (powder) sugar before serving.

Small pancakes

Plättar (small pancakes) are normally made from a thicker batter and are fried in a plättpanna (see the top of the page). They are not easy to make in an ordinary frying pan, as they may lose their shape and end up too thin, although they will still taste pretty good!

3   eggs
120 ml (½ cup) cold water
1 tsp   caster (superfine) sugar
¼ tsp   salt
90 g (10 tbsp) plain (all-purpose) flour
 180 ml  (¾ cup) milk
 100 ml  (7 tbsp) whipping cream
 3 tbsp   butter


1. Whisk the eggs and water and add, little by little, sugar, salt and flour.

2. Whisk in the milk and cream. Let the batter stand for at least 10 minutes.

3. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and use the melted butter to brush your frying pan or plättpanna for the first batch. Pour the remaining butter into the batter.

4. Fry the pancakes so that they are about 5-8 cm (2-3") diameter. 

Downloads

The downloads are only for the pannkakstårta.

  printer version.pdf

  phone & tablet version.pdf

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John Duxbury
Editor and Founder