Finnish Crepe Pancakes

Traditional Finnish crepe pancakes are thin and moist. Fry them up the size of your palm, or as large as a standard size frying pan.

Tasty tip: After hiking in the woods you feel hungry and you make an open fire. This dessert meal tastes great after preparing it over an open fire in a special pan lättypannu. Make batter beforehand and bring it with you on your hiking trip.

Finnish crepe pancakes normally contain wheat flour. For those seeking a wheat-free alternative here is our recipe using barley flour. You may need to play around with mixture ratios, depending on where you live.

Texture of the pancake crepe

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Ingredients:

  • 8 dl water
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 dl skimmed milk powder
  • 5dl wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1-3 tbsp. sugar
  • 4-5 tbsp. oil, or butter (do not use Olive oil)
  • We are using 2,5 dl barley flour and 2,5 dl dark gluten free flour with seeds. As you see this recipe also works with wheat flour.

Directions:

1. Melt the butter and let it cool.

2. Mix everything together: butter, water, eggs, flour (you may want to gradually add the flour while stirring), salt and sugar (optional). Beat the eggs and whisk together in a bowl.

Test the batter since you may want to add milk to thin out the mixture.
Let the batter sit for 15 - 20 minutes.

3. Heat up a large frying pan. Get it real hot! After the pan is hot enough, throw on some butter or oil. Sizzle! Since we are using an iron pan, getting an optimal temperature is tricky. You may need a bit more butter at first.

Buttering the pan

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4. Pour on a .75 dl ladle-full helping into the pan to fry the crepe. Sizzle!

The first pancake

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The first pancake may not turn out right. Look at the edges of the batter. Bubbles immediately start forming on the surface, usually starting at the sides. See the small bubbles near the sides below?

Holes indicate it is time to flip our Finnish crepe

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Spread the batter thinly and evenly over the pan. The same way French crepes are fried.

Tilt the frying pan to help spread the batter evenly across the iron surface.

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5. Once the surface bubbles are visible, flip the crepe over. Make sure the batter is firm before flipping, otherwise you get this...

Our first one

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Ooops! Do not worry...there is plenty more batter...and this is just our first one. Stir the batter occasionally for de-clumping. If the frying pan is too cool, bubbles may not appear, sometimes 1 centimeter to 3 centimeter bubbles form as trapped air under the pancake. If this occurs, turn up the heat.

Hint: If you want to use less butter/oil, use a non-stick pan. A healthy option is to use a Duramic pan.

6. Fry until golden brown, then flip ‘em over.

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If the side lifts off, but it looks like the center of crepe is going to tear, then add butter on the sides... Lift the sides up and let the butter melt into the center of the pan. Then try lifting again, well-browned on both sides. Yep, they’re done!

Savory or zesty? Add carrots, spinach, or nettles. Finely graded raw carrots give Finnish crepe pancakes a more savory taste. For spinach, buy ready frozen spinach. Let it thaw to use in the batter.

For nettles: If you like the color of the nettles in your Finnish crepe pancakes – boil the leaves and then drain the water. Repeat twice. Collect the nettles before mid-summer since after this the leaves are tough and have less minerals. Store the nettles in the freezer and use them again later. Or... if you prefer making the nettles invisible, but present in the batter, allow the leaves to dry. Hand-crumble them into batter before frying it up.

How to eat Finnish crepe pancakes?

Serve them immediately since they cool off fast. Strawberry or apple jelly makes them into a sweet dessert. Sprinkle sugar on top. Spread your choice topping over the Finnish crepe pancakes. Consider adding ice-cream, too. Roll them up and dip them in melted chocolate. Enjoy these crepes like American pancakes: stack them, serving them with syrup or molasses on top.

This is what it looks like

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Ours...We ate our Finnish crepe pancakes for a sweet evening snack, with a glass of cold milk.