When Morgan and I first were dating, he won me over with his Swedish Chef impersonation (my all-time favorite Muppet) and rock-star ability to make perfect pannkakor (Swedish pancakes). I soon learned that Swedish pancakes were the absolute only thing he knew how to make, however; but I married him anyway. He’s very good at washing dishes and cleaning up after I destroy the kitchen, so it all works out.
He learned to make pannkakor from his mom, who moved to the U.S. from Sweden when she was 18, so I think they’re pretty authentic. We spent a week in Sweden in 2009, but I didn’t eat any pancakes, so I can’t tell you if they taste the same in Seattle as they do in Stockholm. What I can tell you is that Morgan’s version are super delicious and I don’t get them nearly as often as I would like. They are similar to crepes, but a bit thicker and more “eggy.”
We like them a few different ways — traditionally, with lingonberry jam or fresh berries and whipped cream; German-style (my personal favorite), with powdered sugar and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice; and Lucas’s all-American favorite, with butter and maple syrup. So when Morgan wakes up on a weekend morning and busts out his skillet, we know we’re in for a treat. I hope you enjoy these as much we do!
Here are a few tips from my personal Swedish Chef. “Orn desh, dee born desh, de umn bork! bork! bork!”:
- The #1 rule: Your skillet must not be too hot!! Medium heat works best, and you need to give your pancakes time to cook. They will take about two minutes per side.
- Ignore your first pancake. It inevitably will turn out crappy and only is your litmus test for a good skillet temperature. Be prepared to trash it and move on.
- Your pancake is ready to flip when it appears slightly dry on top and the edges lift easily from the side of the skillet.
- Use the thinnest spatula you own for flipping, preferably thinner than the pancake itself (which you probably won’t find in the plastic variety). According to Morgan, metal spatulas always trump plastic for pannkakor. I think I bought him 27 spatulas as gifts before this one from OXO became his favorite.
- Don’t use too much batter. You’ll want just enough to cover the bottom of your skillet; around 1/2 cup per pancake. (You may need a little more or less batter, depending on the size of your skillet.) You can use a regular or non-stick frying pan, but a flat cast-iron griddle is definitely the way to go for the perfect pancake.
Smaklig måltid (the Swedish equivalent of bon appétit — enjoy your meal)!
Pannkakor (Swedish Pancakes)
(Makes 8-10 pancakes)
- 3 eggs
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 3 1/3 cups milk
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla or almond extract, if desired (We like to mix it up and sometimes use this, sometimes don’t.)
- Butter for your skillet (We usually have a softened stick available for this.)
- Set aside a cookie sheet and preheat your oven to its lowest setting to keep your pancakes warm as you cook.
- Whisk the eggs and milk together until well incorporated. Slowly whisk in the flour, sugar, salt and vanilla or almond extract. Your batter will be very runny — this is normal, don’t worry.
- Warm your skillet (we use a 10.5-inch pan) over medium heat. Add a small pat of butter to grease the pan, and swirl around to coat your cooking surface.
- Pour in the batter, around a 1/2 cup per pancake, tilting the pan in a circular motion to cover the surface with batter. You may need a little more or less batter, depending on the size of your skillet.
- Now, leave your pancake alone for about two minutes. No, really, don’t touch it (but watch it carefully)!
- Your pancake is ready to flip when it appears slightly dry on top and the edges lift easily from the side of the pan.
- Flip your pancake and cook on the second side for an additional two minutes (approximately). The second side also will be done when the edges are browned and lift easily from the side of the pan.
- Remove your pancake from the skillet and keep warm on a cookie sheet in the oven until serving time.
- Stir batter in between each pancake to make sure it remains well incorporated, and re-grease the pan with another pat of butter for every pancake.