Sunday, 25 January 2015

Fictional Food Adventure: Making Pippi Longstocking's Swedish Pancakes

One Sunday morning after a little lie-in I descended the stairs to our kitchen with thoughts of pancakes on my mind.

I had read Pippi Longstocking a few weeks ago, and made her Heart-shaped Ginger Snaps and her Cream Cake, so it was only her Swedish Pancakes that still beckoned. I knew from looking at the recipe in Turkish Delight and Treasure Hunts that these pancakes would be the thin kind we make for pancake day, rather than those plump, bubble-filled Canadian-style pancakes we'd eat with bacon and Maple Syrup for breakfast.

In our family (apparently we're weird), pancake day was a total pancake celebration. We didn't have some other silly meal followed by pancakes for pudding. Oh no!  Dinner WAS pancakes. So we'd start with a big bowl of tinned tuna and as each one of us received our first pancake we'd spoon the oily, flaky tuna onto our pancake and roll it up and cut off mouthfuls with our knife and fork. We'd usually have about 2 each of these, and I still love them now. I didn't realise at the time, but when Andy first encountered the Wrigley pancake day at my parents house, his world was rocked and he was a little sickened and horrified to see how we did things. He enjoys a tuna pancake too now, but I think it will always seem a tiny bit wrong to him! As the meal progressed we'd all branch out into our personal choice of favourite sweet filling. For years, my favourite was golden syrup. But we all liked sugar and lemon. I did once have a marmalade one. 

Anyway, I'd never considered this wonderful thin variety as a possibility for breakfast before, but this challenge is really encouraging me to try new things and a pancake is a pancake, whether it's thick, thin, round or oval. So I made the batter while Andy was still dozing and it was so so simple and quick that I think this might become a Sunday habit. 

We happened to have a lemon in the fruit basket so Andy, when he had trundled down to join me, squeezed it and made hot drinks. 

The batter was amazingly smooth and very liquid. I shall compare it to the recipe for our usual batter and see if the quantities differ at all, but the result seemed indistinguishable. 
Now, Mum always fried her pancakes in this lovely little cast iron skillet, with sloping sides, and I confess that pan really is the essence of pancakes to me. Oh, and her matt silver ladle with the wonderfully pouty pouring lip! It's such a part of home. She also usually had a little block of lard, which she'd dip her knife into and a tiny wedge would slide down the side of the pan and shine the hot surface ready for the batter. I usually use a bit of vegetable oil, but this recipe said to use butter. So I did because although the idea of frying in butter terrifies me utterly, it's all part of the adventure and I'm rising to the challenge. 

Now, having not fried things in butter much, (at all) I have no idea how much to use and the recipe didn't give any clue at all so I plopped a goodly nob in and hoped for the best. I think I used too much because when I tipped in a ladle full of batter the butter kind of rose up around the edges and got in the way. The edges bubbled quite a bit and made a rather nice crisp laciness all round, and the pattern of the surface was very unfamiliar when I flipped the pancake over. All in all, it felt very strange but it cooked fine and tasted fine but after 2 goes with the butter I reverted to oil and cooked the rest that way. The difference was really interesting. The under side was a completely different pattern and the edge, instead of being wavy was totally smooth. 

We ate about 3 each, all with the lovely fresh lemon juice and sugar, eating whilst standing and taking turns to fry. The recipe would have made 10-12 pancakes with 3 eggs used but I divided it by two-thirds for just the two of us. 

We'll be making these again when Sundays roll around, or maybe I could be really ground breaking and eat them for pudding after a normal main meal? No, that would be WEIRD!!! 


No comments:

Post a Comment