Monday, March 25, 2013

My Grandma's Pancakes

Swedish pancakes, crepes, Grandpa's pancakes. It doesn't matter what you call them so long as you call them breakfast sometime very soon. It's a long weekend coming up. Perfect for spending a little extra time making something special for breakfast.

As kids we would go up to my Grandparents house on the lake almost every weekend. Us kids- my brother, cousins, and I- would get up early on Saturday and go with Grandpa on his morning walk to the "treat store" (when the grand kids weren't there I'm pretty sure he just called it the store where he got the newspaper). If you weren't up by the time Grandpa left for his walk you were left behind. We would get home and have some "crepes" that Grandma had started making at the butt-crack of dawn in order to feed the hordes.

I use quotations on "crepes" because these are not your dainty French crepes that are not to brown when cooking. These are big, spotty Swedish pancakes. Only Grandma is Estonian. They're not pancakes- those are fluffy and you put maple syrup on them- so we just called them crepes. We would get home from the treat store with our candy that we were not to eat until after breakfast and sit down to stuff our faces with crepes.

In hindsight, I'm not sure why we had to wait to eat our candy. Now that I think about it, the crepes probably weren't much better on the healthy scale. We always ate them with strawberries and whipped cream or applesauce with cinnamon sugar. When I was a bit older I also started to eat them with lemon juice (from a bottle but now I'm a snob and use fresh) and sugar. The crunch of the sugar with the tartness of the lemon is my favourite. Jam is good too. Or you could eat them like Grandma- standing at the counter after everyone had finished eating, holding a crepe smeared with lingonberry jam in one hand and a cigarette in the other.

I wish I could say that this is Grandma's recipe, but she doesn't have a recipe. She's been making crepes so long that she just mixes stuff together, tastes the result, and tweaks it if needed. Perhaps one day I'll get there, but even recipes I know off by heart I still look up just to be sure. So I cobbled together a recipe from a bunch of different recipes for Swedish pancakes online. These are very close to Grandma's. If you're really good you can work two pans at once in order to crank them out faster like Grandma used to.

PS I wish I had taken made the crepe in the lead photo look nicer, like the one below. Or used a smaller plate at least. But I am digging the breakfast table setting so I went with that one. I guess I don't do my best food styling at 7:30 am. My apologies. 

One Year Ago: Mystery Box Dinner and The Reveal
Three Years Ago: n/a

Serves 8 (2 crepes per person, although members of my family have been known to eat 5 in one sitting)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, divided (to grease the pan)
  • Applesauce and cinnamon
  • Jam
  • Berries- thawed from frozen are good, then you get some nice berry juice
  • Lemon and sugar
Heat an 8 to 10 inch skillet over medium high heat. Whisk together milk and eggs in a large bowl. Add flour, sugar, salt and whisk until mostly smooth.

Once pan is heated add a small pat of butter and spread around the pan to coat. Add a soup ladle of batter while turning pan so that batter coats it evenly. You'll get a feel for how much batter to add for the next one on this first crepe- you don't want your crepe too thin or too thick. Even if they're not perfect, they'll be rolled up so don't sweat it. Flip once the crepe is golden on the bottom, about 45 seconds to a minute. Cook until browned on second side.

Transfer to a plate, stacking subsequent crepes on top. If crepes cool before eaten, warm one at a time (i.e. the one you're about to eat) in the microwave for 15 seconds. Spread desired filling all over the crepe or just down the middle- everyone has their preference- and roll up.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Amy
    Great post on GRANDMA'S CREPES! Please e-mail me at It’s about wine of course :)