Saturday, June 11, 2011

Swedish Pancakes with Lingonberry Butter

 
I can remember, a couple of decades back, the first time that I ate Swedish Pancakes.  It was at the International House of Pancakes (IHOP) in Lake Tahoe, California.   I remember how much I loved the tartness of the lingonberries, mixed with the whipped butter.  There is an IHOP in my hometown, but it's one that I avoid.  Suffice it to say that my few experiences at that location had more unpleasant memories of sticky seats, poor service and my germophobia kicked in to high gear. 


Last November, I discovered a restaurant across from the hotel where I stayed in San Francisco.  According to the reviews, their signature dish is their Swedish Pancakes.  My blogger friend, Monica, and I eagerly ordered a plate of the pancakes.
 
I was surprised to see them arrive like dollar pancakes-- only flatter.  They were good, but they just didn't pack that "wow" factor that I experienced in Lake Tahoe.  I've done a bit of internet research, to find out which version of Swedish pancakes are most authentic, and I'm still not sure. I've learned that a Swedish Plett pan is used to make the round versions, which I don't own and I don't plan to invest in one (my gadget shelve are overflowing, as it is).

The October 2010 issue of Cook's Country Magazine had a recipe for Swedish Pancakes, that resembled the IHOP version.  My mouth watered, at the mere memory of the crepe version of these pancakes.  I wanted to make them that very day, except I didn't have three of the key ingredients-- club soda, Wondra instant flour and lingonberry jam. After bookmarking the recipe, a few months passed before I spotted lingonberry jam at my local Cost Plus World Market.

 I was surprised that neither my husband nor son had tasted lingonberries jam before.  They remind me, a bit of cranberry relish.  The berries are a beautiful red color, and the jam is a perfect balance of tart and sweet.  The batter for the pancakes was actually quite simple to do:


Why use instant flour? According to Cook's Country, "To avoid a lengthy resting period, we used instant flour in the batter, which dissolves faster than regular flour and requires less whisking."  The reason for using club soda, "unlike American pancakes, Swedish pancakes contain no baking powder or baking soda. To get a little lift without breaking tradition, we added some club soda to the batter."

This recipes requires nine tablespoons of butter. Yes, nine. Four of the tablespoons butter are melted and cooled, and added to the batter. The remaining butter is used to brush the pan.  I decided to do a quick clarifying of the butter for the pan, but skimming off the milk solids (clarified butter doesn't burn as easily). Other ingredients includes eggs, and half and half. (Scroll to the end of this post for a printable recipe.)

I used two pans to make the crepes all at once.  Cook's Country uses a non-stick 9" pan. I also used a French crepe pan-- I wanted to compare which pan worked best. I had my "work station" close to the stove and the oven preheated on WARM.

The art of making crepes takes a bit of practice.  It's important to have the pan just hot enough that the butter sizzles when you brush it in the pan.

Using a 1/3 cup measurer, add the batter to the center of the pan and then tilt it so the batter spreads evenly. I use a silicone spatula to loosen the edges. Once the crepe has browned on the bottom, grab it and flip it over.
NOTE: This batter is so delicate, that it was more of a challenge to work with.  I couldn't flip these by tossing the pan.
On the left is my De Buyer Crepe Pan, and the non-stick is on the right.  Both pans worked well, though the crepe pan browned more in the middle.

I didn't bother covering the pancakes with foil, and they stayed quite warm in the oven.

On a whim, I decided to take a stick of softened butter and then I added about 4 Tablespoons of jam...


It was time to serve these delicate pancakes, but I wanted to take the first taste...

Photographing these proved to be a challenge-- I didn't want to eat cold pancakes, and I was really hungry! I had to work fast, so the photos are up to my personal standards of plating and lighting. 

The lingonberry butter has melted...

I eagerly take my first bite...

TASTING NOTE:   The crepe was delicate, almost velvety in my mouth.  I had notes of custard, butter, tart and sweet red berries.  Fond memories of Lake Tahoe came flooding back, with the first swallow.  Cook's Country did it!  There are moments when worries about fat grams need to be set aside.  This is one of them.  I fully admit that I ate six of these, and I enjoyed every single bite.  Both my husband and son really enjoyed these.  The club soda really does the trick, giving these pancakes a "lift".  Will I make these again?  You bet!  MAKE AHEAD Swedish pancakes can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month. Layer cooled pancakes between parchment paper, wrap in plastic, and transfer to zipper-lock bag. To serve, microwave stack of 3 pancakes on 50 percent power until heated through, 10 to 20 seconds. 

Now that I have leftover lingonberry jam, I'm on the search of a good Swedish Meatball recipe.  Lingonberry jam is a unexpected and delightful condiment to this comfort food.  Swedish meatballs in June?  Yes, if you live on my part of the Central Coast of California, you are experiencing overcast skies, cooler temps and even unexpected rain.  Me thinks my grilling season is going to be delayed until at least July!








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17 comments:

Big Dude said...

Wow Debbie - your panckes sound delicious and so so as well.

bellini said...

IHOP must be everywhere since we even have one here in our tourist town. I didn't get the opportunity to have the pancakes at Sears...maybe next time!

Kate said...

I know I would love these! Yum!

Simple Simon said...

These look so wonderful. I recently had my first Swedish pancakes with lingonberry butter made from a real Swedish cook who owned a doughnut shop on my town. These look exactly like his and I'm sure they taste as delicious too. Unfortunately he suddenly closed up his shop. I will have to try your recipe. Thanks!

ARLENE said...

I love Swedish pancakes, though I've never had them with lignonberry butter. I remember my burnt fingers after making them last year, but the delicious confection outweighs a bit of physical discomfort, lol. Your photos are wonderful.

Kay Heritage said...

oh, dear me, Debby! I fell in love with these pancakes and lingonberries a few months ago, but lingonberry butter sounds just too wonderful! What creative recipe! Thank you for sharing this!

Joanne said...

I'm pretty sure the IHOP near me does NOT serve swedish pancakes...that would be a little too classy :P Yours look fabulous! I'm sure I would find myself eating that butter with a spoon.

Cathy said...

Your tutorial is excellent, Debby. The crepes can sometimes be a little tricky to make so I usually make extra batter to replace the few I don't flip over right. Adding a little club soda and clarify the butter are two excellent suggestions for this recipe.

Lingonberries and butter make the perfect topping for this delicate pancakes. My son and I always order these pancakes when we go to the local breakfast place.

Laura Jeanne said...

these look dangerously good, yum :)
ahealthyjalapeno.com
Laura

Cheryl said...

One of my very favorite breakfasts and I also made it from that same magazine, I know we were seperated at birth! I have never seen those smaller sized pancakes referred to as Swedish before!

LadyJayPee said...

I had to "pin" this to my Food board on Pinterest so I don't lose track of it. It looks mouth-wateringly good! Thank you.

Patti said...

Hi Debbie! I've been looking for Swedish recipes (part of my heritage) and this is perfect! What a delicious dessert! I can't wait to try them!

Aarthi said...

so good

Monica H said...

YuM! I don't care what kind of pancakes I eat, I want that lingonberry butter! And hurry up and find a good recipe for those swedish meatballs so I can make 'em too!

PaulOinMA said...

Nice pictures. Swedish pancakes (plett) are usually small. Very easy to make with a plett pan (plattar). I have at least 8 vintage pans. Here are pictures of the pans: http://www.food.com/bb/viewtopic.zsp?t=285035. Chees!

Anonymous said...

Hello, I'd like to know what is exactly that "half and half" ingredient as I'm not from usa..
Thanks! It looks yummy

A Swedish Smorgasbord said...

This recipe sounds so good! Even if it seems to be very different from the one my Mamma used to serve when I grew up.
I have seen that Americans serve this with the lingonberries, while in Sweden we eat pancakes with strawberry jam or just caster sugar. The other big difference is that we never have 'our' pancakes for breakfast, always as dessert, mainly on Thursdays after soup (which for some reason always were yellow pea soup).
I l-o-v-e your blog! Thank you so much for sharing! I have just recently started my own food blog and are looking for inspiration all over and your blog is certainly a big one!

//mia