Today is Kees’ birthday. I asked him what he’d like to eat for his birthday. He said: “Pannenkoeken!” (Dutch for pancakes.) This is the same answer that most Dutch children will provide by the way 😉 Dutch pancakes are thinner than American pancakes and thicker than French crêpes. Dutch pancakes are not usually eaten for breakfast, but for dinner (for children) or lunch or dessert. They are most simply served with dark syrup (molasses) or plain sugar, with apple and cinnamon, or for a hearty lunch they are also made with bacon and/or cheese.
As a coincidence (or perhaps not) I had pancakes at the pancake restaurant of the Zaanse Schans yesterday together with EmmyCooks and her family, who I was showing around. I told Emmy that homemade Dutch pancakes are so much better than the ones served there. I just realised how much better exactly when I tasted one of the stack I prepared for Kees.
Pancake batter is made of flour, milk, eggs, and a pinch of salt. I suspect the reason why the pancakes at the Zaanse Schans were of a lesser quality is that they are skimpy on the eggs and/or milk (using water instead). In supermarkets in the Netherlands one can buy pancake batter in a bottle (shake before use), or instant pancake batter that only requires the addition of water. I don’t see the point, as making the batter is the easy part. The more difficult parts are temperature control (to obtain golden pancakes that are cooked through before they burn) and flipping the pancakes. Both will need a bit of practise, but if there are any children around (at whatever age; Kees turned 48 today…) I’m sure they won’t mind eating your trial runs 🙂
250 grams (1 1/2 cups) flour
500 ml (2 cups) milk
pinch of salt
butter for frying them
thinly sliced bacon (or pancetta!)
To put on the pancakes
dark syrup (molasses)
sugar and cinnamon (on apple pancakes)
It is time to turn the pancake if the top starts to get dry and smoke starts to trickle from underneath. You can peek underneath using a wooden spatula, the pancake should be golden brown before you flip it.
For the next pancake, start again with butter. The first is always the hardest, although it helps to preheat the pan.
Two years ago I did not provide a recipe, but a guide on how to shop for sea scallops. In the shell, out of the shell, or frozen? Sea scallops are one of my favorite foods, and if they are available to you in different manners it pays off to follow these tips.