Food & Drink

Swedish pancakes will dress up a special breakfast

Swedish pancakes are like crepes. Sometimes they are folded up into triangles.
Swedish pancakes are like crepes. Sometimes they are folded up into triangles. TNS

I’m an outlier when it comes to pancakes. An extreme one.

Where others see fluffy, I see a platter of cakey dough. Never mind the claim of “tender.” Show me a stack of plate-size behemoths, and I have to avert my eyes.

I do favor one version of the egg-milk-flour combo above all others: the Swedish pancake. Almost the same name, but definitely not the same flavor or texture, despite the similar ingredients.

Swedish pancakes are to traditional pancakes as regular burgers are to veggie burgers. That is, they vaguely look alike (they are both round), but few diners would mistake one for the other.

The Swedish version appears as thin and delicate as a crepe, and could be mistaken for one. The traditional pancake is, well, the usual hot cake we see on the plate. And you know how I feel about that.

When my kids came along, Swedish pancakes were our Saturday morning pancakes, even though it was a lengthy process to get everyone fed. The batter for these is so thin that it’s best to make them one at a time, a challenge when everyone is hungry.


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Swedish Pancakes

Adapted from the 1968 edition of “Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook.” If you don’t have a sweet tooth, cut the sugar in half. This recipe is easily doubled. If there is extra batter, make the remaining pancakes and refrigerate them overnight or freeze them.

3 eggs

1 1/4 cups milk

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar (or less)

1/2 teaspoon salt

Vegetable oil

Beat eggs thoroughly and whisk in the milk.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt. With a whisk or hand mixer, beat dry ingredients into the eggs, mixing until smooth. The batter will be very thin.

Warm a heavy frying pan the size of the pancake you want over medium heat. (A flat griddle can also be used.) Add a drizzle of oil on the bottom of the pan and swirl around so the entire bottom is covered. With a frying pan, you will be making these pancakes one at a time; the batter spreads out considerably. If using a griddle, you will likely be limited to a few pancakes at a time, unless your batter is unexpectedly thicker.

Add batter to the pan to form a single pancake. Flip the pancake once it seems firm enough to turn (it will not bubble up as a regular pancake does). Also take a peek under the edge of the pancake to make sure it has brown spots on it (that’s a sign the pancake is ready to flip). Cook the second side until it has light brown spots, too.

Serve these immediately, or keep them covered in a warm oven until you have enough to serve all. These are often served flat, rolled into cylinders or folded into quarters. They are often topped with powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, fresh berries, jam (lingonberry is traditional) or whipped cream.

Yield: Varies by the size of pancakes.