Friday, October 19, 2012

Pannukakku (Finnish Pancake)

I was so proud of my hubby a few months back when he came downstairs with a printed recipe he wanted to try.  The name alone was crazy enough for me to love it immediately. Pannukakku.  Go ahead, try and say it now.  Just rolls off the tongue I tell you.  This amazing Finnish pancake is a wonder to behold. In what other dish can you feed a room full of people with only four eggs?. Not to mention it impressively puffs up like a 3rd grade science experiment gone awry, only to collapse into a creamy tasty treat the whole family will love. No longer do you have to stand and flip endless pancakes and be the last one to eat!  Just pour this extremely simple batter in a hot buttered pan and 30 minutes later you can all sit down to breakfast together.  Genius.

Pannukakku - Try making a Finnish pancake today!!
The texture of Pannukakku is very interesting.  It's like a custard, a crepe, french toast, and a pancake had a baby.  Creamy, dense, and yet light and fluffy at the same time.  The thing with Pannukakku is that it is made with the most basic of ingredients.  Eggs, milk, flour and sugar.  Everybody and their grandma seems to have a slightly different variation.  We've done you a favor by making a few different recipes over that last few months, and have narrowed it down to our most favorite. You will need: (Full printable recipe at the end of the post)

4 Eggs
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups milk
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
4 Tablespoons butter

Heat oven to 400º

Crack the four eggs into a mixing bowl

What did we all do before Kitchen-aid mixers??

Blend until the eggs are combined

Egg action shot my hubby was very proud of

By the way, while you are mixing these ingredients together, place the 4 Tablespoons of butter in the bottom of a 9x13 (or a 10x15 for a thinner version) pan and place in the 400º oven.  The butter will melt while you mix the rest of the ingredients.  Be extremely careful at this step.  Do not leave the kitchen or leave the melting butter unattended.  My sister in law caught her entire kitchen on fire this exact way while making cornbread.  (It's a really good cornbread recipe by the way, I will share it with you soon)

Melting butter... delicious but please KEEP an eye on it
After the eggs are blended, mix the 3/4 tsp of salt, the 2 1/2 cups of milk, 1 cup of flour, and 1/4 cup of sugar.

Blend until you have a smooth thin batter

Pannukakku batter is very thin and not like a regular pancake batter
Keep checking on your butter.  By now it should be melted and bubbling slightly.

No need to grease the pan with delicious bubbling butter around
Gently pour your batter into the hot pan.  Pour very slowly, it's 400º and butter splashes would hurt.

Pannukakku batter pouring into the buttery pan
Now it is ready to be placed in the oven. Set the timer for 30 minutes.  At first it will look like absolutely nothing is happening...

But suddenly stuff happens.... It starts growing.  Like it's trying to get out of the pan.  Bring the kids over and turn on the oven light.  It's like breakfast and a SHOW I tell you...

It's fun to watch your breakfast try and get away
After 30 minutes (check it at 25 minutes as oven times vary) it should be very puffy, and golden brown.

Warning, taking this out of the oven in front of guests will garner "oooo's and ahhh's" from all those assembled.
Once you gently pull this out of the oven and place on the stove top, some people (okay, people like us) were told to sprinkle a bit more sugar over the top, to get that tasty brule' effect. The sugar will melt into the hot pancake.  The funny thing is, once this thing hits room temperature air, it will start to collapse.  I have a hard time not thinking of the Wicked Witch of the West's dramatic line "I'm melting" as it sinks down in the pan.  The edges will still stay poofy and golden though (my favorite part).  Now you have some pretty hard decisions to make in the next few minutes.  How to you serve and EAT your pannukakku? It's a tough job, but someone has to do it!  Well there is the easy and traditional method very close to it's American pancake cousin, with butter and syrup!

You can serve it with fruit compote, jelly and whipped cream:

This was apricot pineapple jelly, a recent discovery that I fell in love with
One time we rolled them up more like a crepe and put our garden strawberries and homemade strawberry jelly and whipped cream on them.  That gave it a nice ultra fancy touch.

Pannukakku the baked custard pancake.
So needless to say, this easy little recipe has become a quick family favorite on the weekends.  Comes together in just a few minutes and my favorite part is that you can sit down at the same time and enjoy it with your whole family.  I'm sure you are thinking to yourself, hey I have FOUR eggs in my fridge right now... I could surprise my family tomorrow and dazzle them with something new!  Let me know how it turns out and what you guys like to put on your Pannukakku! 

Full printable recipe found here.


Archie said...

Jen, this recipe is amazing! I hate that your stove is so clean that you can take flash photos inside the oven!

Bay Area Kid said...

Having a grandmother from the Old Country of Finland, I’m fairly familiar with Pannukakku. It’s SO good! Yes, you can fudge on the ingredients, but you have the main ones down and it’s the butter which kick this dish into high gear! As you and all others on the Internet, I’ve always cooked this on a glass pan in the oven...

Has anyone tried cooking pannukakku in the Instant Pot or any other pressure cooker? I wonder how it would work, as the dishes which will fit in a pressure cooker are much smaller and deeper.

Also, be sure to sprinkle cinnamon on top of the dish, right before it is put in to bake! Yum!!

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