As traditional recipes poured out of family cookbooks over the holidays, I went on a quest for the “best” Swedish pancake recipe from my friends and their Swedish-American friends. I soon discovered that there are probably as many recipes as there are Swedish grandmothers — and grandfathers.
Growing up, I recall that my Grandma Ruth, a second-generation Swede, actually didn’t work from a formal recipe. “A little bit of this, a lot of that,” she’d say to me as I stood on a footstool by her side, carefully pouring milk into a wide bowl. A lot of “that” usually meant the melted butter that would blend smooth as silk into the batter.
I later learned the basic techniques for flipping the pancakes from my dad. Unlike the thicker American flapjack, a Swedish pancake is more like a French crepe, so flipping can be unwieldy at first.
Happily, my family and I have continued the tradition of making Swedish pancakes topped with bright-red lingonberry preserves and a dusting of confectioners’ sugar. A satisfying, easy meal for a lazy Saturday morning breakfast, or a casual weeknight supper.
Here’s my easy “best” recipe. Stir it up for your family and make it your own with a little of this — maple syrup on top? Or, that. How about some freshly sliced strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream?
Servings: 12 pancakes
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk, or 1 1/2 cups milk and 1/2 cup half and half (optional)
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled, plus butter for cooking.
In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients with a whisk until smooth. Do not overbeat.
For each pancake, lightly butter griddle or large skillet; heat over medium-high heat. When quite hot, pour 1/3 cup of the batter into skillet. Swirl it around so that it forms a thin 8- to 9-inch layer on the bottom of the pan.
Cook until the pancake is golden brown on the bottom — lift up a corner to check the color — and small bubbles are visible on the top. This happens quickly. Flip with a narrow spatula and lightly brown on the other side.
Set on a plate, and fold in half or quarters, if you wish. Serve hot with traditional lingonberry, strawberry or raspberry preserves. Top with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar.