Swedish Pancakes paired with unlikely partners

If you’re Swedish, look away. Really, just close this window, because I’ve done something of which I’m sure you won’t approve. But, if you come with an open mind and a sense of adventure, then, please, read on. I love having you stop by for a visit. And, you’ll be leaving with a recipe for the most wonderful Swedish pancakes in the world.

If you’ve been reading my weekly newspaper column and my blog for a while, you know I’ve got lots of Hungarian blood running through my veins. And, since my mom was 100% Hungarian, I grew up eating and learning to prepare lots of delicious Hungarian dishes. When my friend, Cathy, invited us over to her house many years ago for some of her Swedish pancakes, she was confident we would love them at least as much as Hungarian palacsinta. I was not so sure of that.

On the day I was introduced to Swedish pancakes, Cathy’s kitchen smelled sweet, as if vanilla cupcakes were baking in the oven. But, there was an underlying aroma of eggs frying in a pan. The fragrance reminded me of the thin pancakes my German father-in-law would always make when we stopped by for breakfast.

Cathy rolled each thin, fluffy Swedish pancake right in the pan and lined a large plate with the soft, golden breakfast cakes. When we make the pancakes, we cook both sides, then fold each pancake into quarters, creating triangles.

As any Swede will tell you, these thin pancakes, rich with eggs and butter, are best served with lingonberry preserves. I’m pretty sure that’s what Cathy had on the table, along with some syrup, if I remember right.

My friend’s Swedish breakfast treat had won my heart. I left Cathy’s house that day with her recipe for Swedish pancakes tucked safely in my purse.

Every once in a while, when we feel like splurging on breakfast, we make these pancakes. And this time, we really got extravagant. I had some Honey-Roasted Pears in the refrigerator. The recipe for those pears is in my column this week. They are quite delicious with a knob of goat cheese and walnuts. But, wow, they are so right when they are nestled up to warm Swedish pancakes. Drizzled with a ribbon of sweet and tart 18 year aged balsamic vinegar.

Almost as thick as syrup, the balsamic vinegar that I used comes from a relatively new specialty shop in Minneapolis. Vinaigrette, at 50th & Xerxes, is one of those trendy new stores selling imported balsamic vinegars and olive oils, all held in stainless steel containers, ready to be tasted. I used the fig balsamic vinegar from Vinaigrette when I made the Honey-Roasted Pears. I bought some of the orange infused olive oil (oranges crushed with olives to make this olive oil) to mix with the fig balsamic vinegar for drizzling over a salad of fresh greens. And, the 18 year aged balsamic was drizzled over my Swedish pancakes for breakfast.

I know some Swedes would say honey-roasted pears and balsamic vinegar on Swedish pancakes is downright sacrilegious. But, once they tried it, they’d discover their lovely pancakes become divine with these unlikely partners.

Oh, what an enchanting Valentine’s Day breakfast this would be.

Cathy’s Swedish Pancakes

  • 4 eggs
  • Dash of salt
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup melted butter

Mix ingredients in order given. Heat 10- to 12-inch shallow non-stick pan over medium heat. Pour just enough batter into the pan to create a thin pancake. Swirl pan to spread the batter evenly. When there is no trace of liquid, begin at one side and roll the pancake. Transfer to plate. Mix the pancake batter between each pouring, as the butter tends to separate.

P.S. When we make Cathy’s Swedish Pancakes, we cook both sides of each pancake before transferring to a plate. We like the golden specks of color on both sides of the pancake.

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