Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Pancake Day Recipe: Dutch Pannenkoeken

I don't celebrate Shrove Tuesday back home, but any excuse to make a home-made batch of pancakes. The traditional pancakes in the UK are either American-style (quite small and thick) or crepes topped with lemon and sugar. For a twist on the classic Shrove Tuesday fare, why not try Dutch-style pannenkoeken? For toppings you can go either sweet (jam, nutella, etc.) or savoury (cheese, bacon, etc). My favourite is the cheese pancakes, which I made for this post, but this recipe is easily adaptable for different toppings and I provide some other ideas below as well.


Dutch-style pancakes with cheese

For 2-3 people, double the ingredients for a family (this recipe makes 10-12 pancakes depending on the size of your pan and the thickness of the pancakes) // Prep-time: 5 minutes // Cooking time: 30 minutes

What you need:
  • Big bowl
  • Whisk
  • Ladle
  • Non-stick frying pan
  • Paper towel

Ingredients:
  • 200gr plain flour
  • 400ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 1 large egg
  • Pinch of salt
  • Small piece of hard butter for greasing the pan
  • Cheese (Gouda recommended) / jam / any toppings of your choice


Instructions:

1. Put the flour, salt, milk and egg in a bowl and whisk it until you have a runny batter with little bubbles in it and without any lumps left.



2. Turn on the heat. I keep it on a low to medium height but you can change it as you're cooking if you feel the pancakes bake too fast or slow. You know the pan is ready when you flick drops of water into the pan with your fingers and they sizzle and jump up.

3. Fold the butter in a sheet of paper kitchen towel and use this to lightly grease the pan (just enough to make sure the pancake won't stick, but it won't seep into the batter).

4. Use a ladle such as a gravy or soup one to put the batter in the pan (I use 3/4ths of a soup ladle for each pancake), and swirl the pan to make sure the batter is evenly distributed, filling the pan and forming an even round shape. You can also shake it to distribute the batter.



4. Optional for cheese pancakes: immediately add cheese to the top (raw side) of the batter, and smear some batter on top of it with the bottom of the ladle to ensure it won't stick to the pan once flipped over. You can do the same with other toppings, such as fruit and bacon.



5. Shake the pan lightly and if the pancake is loose, it's ready to be turned over. You can flip it by throwing it in the air or, if you're not confident to do this (it's fun though, definitely try it!), the edges of the pancake should've turned up and become crispy, so carefully use the tips of your fingers to lift it up at the edges and turn over the pancake that way instead. You can also use a spatula and carefully flip it over, but because the pancake is very thin it might sag, so I recommend flipping by throwing it in the air or using your fingers.

6. If you shake the pan and the pancake is loose, it's ready! If the bottom is on the light side you can decide to flip it once more. The pancake is ready to eat straight away and my favourite topping is making the cheese ones and adding a berry jam on top (yes, really, don't diss it before you try it)!

7. If you make some extra, it's the perfect lunch to take to school/work the next day. Put your toppings on the pancake in the morning, roll it up and fold it in aluminum foil to prevent leakage.



Topping alternatives:

A traditional Dutch pancake is made with apple slices baked in (similar to the way I did the cheese above) and topped with icing sugar and cinnamon once plated. Another classic is the pancake with spek (bacon) baked in and topped with stroop (apple butter).

You can of course also make plain pancakes and add ANYTHING on top. Think Nutella, syrup, icing sugar, jam, fresh fruit, and even ice cream. Or why not try a savoury one with peppers, mushrooms and Italian herbs? Yum.



And that's it, happy Pancake Day everyone!
Let me know your favourite pancake toppings below. 


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