Dad's Swedish Pancakes
If there was a singular breakfast that captures my childhood: it's this one. Waking up on a Saturday morning, this was usually the one thing my sister and I would request my dad make, even though we knew they were a once-in-a-while kinda deal. Not because they are difficult to make, although you're basically babysitting the griddle for a good half hour. But we had to try. I think he knew if he said yes to us too often, they'd lose their luster and magic. Either that or he just didn't feel like standing over the stove all morning.
But lemme back up. My mom is usually, happily the meal-maker in the family. With two exceptions: the barbecue and breakfast. Those are dad's domain. Classic fried eggs and bacon, French toast, buttermilk pancakes, omelettes Julia Child-style. You name it, the dude would make it for us. While these pancakes were a special occasion, once-in-a-while sort of request my dad was always sure to whip them up for sleepovers for our friends. They have a way of dazzling people despite their humble simplicity.
It should also be noted that we are not a Swedish family. That I know of, anyway... And I'm not even sure if this is an authentic Swedish recipe. Probably not. When I was putting this post together the other day, I FaceTimed my dad and asked him where he'd gotten the recipe. He told me one of his childhood friend's mom would make it for them when he spent the night. They weren't Swedish, either, by the way. I love that he loved them so much, he asked for the recipe and would later make them for his own kid's sleepovers. He also noted that he's never once written the recipe down. "It's all up here", as he pointed to his brain. Classic dad.
You may be thinking "aren't these just basically crepes?". Not exactly. They are much less eggy and the batter is a lot thicker than a traditional crepe batter as well. The thicker batter results in a more freeform rustic shape and a slightly thicker pancake than a crepe. They are every bit as delicious though, I can vouch for that. We like to eat them two ways: with both variations you start by spreading a generous schmear of butter on the surface, then you can either top with jam or jelly of your choice (we like raspberry) or cinnamon sugar. My sister has grown accustomed to doing both but I'm a purist so I like them both equally, but one at a time. Kinda like how I like to dip a corndog in ketchup and mustard, but I'd never dream of mixing the two together, you know?
What kind of breakfasts did you grow up eating? Who was the breakfast king (or queen) in your home?
Dad's Swedish Pancakes
makes about 10 pancakes
1 c all purpose flour
1 c whole milk
3 T unsalted butter, melted
3 T organic cane sugar
cinnamon sugar (recipe below)
1/2 c organic cane sugar
1 T cinnamon
pinch of salt
Stir together the sugar, cinnamon, and salt and set aside. Heat a nonstick griddle or large skillet over medium-low heat. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and butter. Slowly whisk in the flour and sugar until batter is smooth. Pour about a quarter cup of the batter into the center of the griddle and spread the batter out in a concentric circle with a large spoon by starting in the center and swirling outward until the pancake is about the size of a dinner plate. This is easier to do on a griddle or a skillet with low sides so you can keep the spoon almost parallel with the pan as you spread out the batter. Cook for about 3 minutes until lightly golden then flip over and cook about another minute or two until other side is lightly golden.
These are best warm so as soon as they come off the griddle, spread with butter and top with jam or cinnamon sugar, your choice! Roll up like you would an enchilada. Eat with your hands, no fork required.