Friday, December 25, 2009

Dutch Pancakes (Pannekoeken)

Have you ever asked someone for a recipe and gotten a blank stare….because they don’t really follow a recipe? You know—an old family heirloom that is made without measurements, but always turns out perfect? Such is the case with my family’s Dutch pancakes. I've been making them for years after being taught how by my sister, who learned from our mother. It goes something like this:

6 eggs
12 spoons of flour
1 spoon of sugar
1 spoon of oil
1 dash of salt
Enough milk to make it all a buttermilk consistency

Dutch pancakes are very much like a slightly thicker, eggier crepe. They are great eaten hot with some fried apples and maple syrup or, in the rare case there are any leftover, cold with a little sugar or jam. We have them for breakfast or for dinner and, though I know that the pancake restaurants in Holland serve them wrapped around savory fillings as well as sweet, we always serve them sweet, with syrup and maybe some fruit. Today, they made a perfect Christmas breakfast.

Let’s see if I can translate the recipe into something workable.

First, whisk the eggs, flour, sugar, oil and salt in a large bowl.

When I say spoons, I mean regular soup spoons. Some spoons of flour will be big, and some smaller--you'll get the right consistency when the milk is added.

Then add the milk, whisking constantly, until you have a thin batter. Now let the batter sit for at least 30 minutes.

Next, heat a small, heavy pan over medium high heat. Melt a bit of butter in the hot pan, then add 1/4 cup pancake batter, swirling it around to coat the pan evenly.

When the top looks dry, flip it over.

After you flip it,  the pancake might curl slightly and that is OK, but if it curls too much, add a bit more milk to your batter. Sometimes the first pancake is kind of a dud. Just eat it and don't show it to anyone.

Go ahead and stack them on a plate. At this point, impatient people will try to snatch a few. Tell them to wait for the apples.

The fried apples are easy. Just melt a couple (or four!)  tablespoons of butter in a large frying pan and add of couple of sliced apples. I'm not sure what kind of apples these were, but they were a little dry. You can sprinkle a bit of sugar on them (I don't) and just fry them until they caramelize, about 20 minutes.

Whether you decide to have fruit or not, the way to serve Dutch pancakes is rolled up. They are best with real maple syrup, but my family has a strange preference for the stuff in a bottle that resembles corn syrup. For a real treat, serve up some very crispy bacon or some sausage for that sweet/savory combo.

Here, we rolled them up with some leftover fruit compote.

And here we've topped them with some orange-cranberry compound butter...Holy Yum!

Any way you serve them, they won't last long!


  1. oh Cathy, they look fabulous girl! thanks for describing your measuring "spoon" in detail LOL

  2. That looks so delicious! You can always make them for me!!! ;-)

  3. They look fantastic. Glad you explained the spoon, I kept thinking, I wonder if it is a teaspoon or more like a tablespoon? Hey, 4 tablespoons of butter is almost always better than 1.

  4. MMMMM Delicious! Don't ya just love those family recipes? without standard measurements? LOL Love it. I could go for a couple of those right now... :) Merry Christmas

  5. Oh wow. Those look wicked good. Have you ever submitted pictures to Foodgawker or Tastespotting? I bet they'd be accepted.

  6. Thanks, everyone! Bob--are you reading my mind? I just had my speculaas picture accepted! I'm very excited. I've seen some of your stuff up there--I never thought they would accept one of mine!

  7. oh how yummy! I'm lovin the one with the bacon wrapped in it. Do you have any leftover for me please?

  8. "my family has a strange preference for the stuff in a bottle that resembles corn syrup", if you refer to the Dutch sugar syrup which is called "suiker stroop" then you can place me in the strange category as well.

    I have never been able to find something similar in the supermarkets, and it is too expensive for me to buy them from an import website.

    My favorite pancake: bacon strips and apples pushed into the batter then baking the pancake.


  9. These look SOO SOO SOO good! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Honey that was the best recipe ever!lol
    hey maybe you could make some for me!! hahaha
    thanks for telling which spoon to use!
    ya see i would have used a tablespoon!LOL

  11. Are the soup spoons of flour heaping? I did some of heaping and some smaller, since I couldn't decide. My batter is sitting for 30 minutes now. Can't wait to taste them. :-)

  12. They were yummy! Put blueberry-lime jam and powdered sugar on them. :-)