Let’s get one thing out of the way first: Is there anything cuter than a toddler in long johns? Where we’ve been for the last week or so—in upstate New York and then in my hometown, Rockford, IL, it’s snowed for days on end, so Greta has practically lived in hers (you can buy these cute polka dot numbers here). As useful as long johns are under snow pants, paired with an apron, they also make a great post-snow-romp pancake-making uniform.
These days in our house, there's only one kind of pancake: Swedish pancakes. In Rockford, where every third person is a Johnson, Swanson or Larson, Swedish pancakes are near-obligatory weekend fare. We ate them every Sunday after church for as long as I can remember, tucked into a booth at Stockholm Inn where my dad would make the rounds from table to table, visiting all his patients (mostly Johnsons, Swansons and Larsson) while we waited for our short stacks served with ligonberries, hash browns and a side of poached eggs.
Back in New York, where we are today, there is no Stockholm Inn. Since András Swedish pancake devotion treads on dissidence (after all, Hungarians have their own beloved palicsinta), Greta and I rely on the recipe Paul Norman contributed to my third-grade-class cookbook many moons ago (thank you Paul, wherever you are). A slightly tweaked version appeared in my new cookbook, Feast, and has inspired our post snow-romp, pre-church Swedish pancake fever three weeks running. We can’t stop.
Expect more reasons to don long johns and aprons yourself later this week (hint: almond croissants), but for now, happy Sunday.
SWEDISH PANCAKES | SERVES 4
2 cups/480 ml milk
5 tablespoons/75 ml melted butter, plus for cooking
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch fine sea salt
1 cup/125 g sifted all purpose flour
Combine milk, eggs, melted butter, vanilla and salt in a blender and pulse until smooth. Add the flour, a little at a time and blend to a smooth batter, about the consistency of heavy cream.
Preheat a crepe pan or a flat griddle pan over medium heat. (When the water dropped onto the griddle sizzles, it is ready). Brush the griddle lightly with butter.
Pour the batter into thin pancakes, twirling a crepe pan to coat with a thin layer of batter (or, if you’re using a griddle pan, use an offset spatula to quickly smooth into a thin, even layer). Cook until the batter turns dull and slightly brown on one side, about 3 minutes. Use a fork or the offset spatula to roll each pancake into a cylinder and transfer to the plate to hold. (if you prefer, let the rolled pancakes sit on the griddle to brown slightly on both sides before removing to a plate). Serve warm with butter and maple syrup, or lingonberry jam.
REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM Feast: Generous Vegetarian Meals for Any Eater and Every Appetite
Swedish pancakes can be round, if you have a non-stick or cast-iron crepe pan with a thin lip, or square, if you’re using a flat grill pan. What’s important is to use a well-seasoned, non stick pan since these tear easily (unlike French crepes, which can often be flipped without tearing).