Saturday, March 3, 2012

In the kitchen: Pannukakku

I am married to a good Finnish boy from a good Finnish family (note last name). Almost 19 years ago, when I met Steve, I was quickly introduced to this...
Pannukakku, aka. Baked Finnish Oven Pancake.  Best description of the taste?  A  warm sugared donut.

Steve's great grandparents were Finnish immigrants, who brought along this popular recipe.   It is truly a Nenonen Family tradition.  No extended family AM gathering is without Pannukakku.  Period.

As far as our little family of 4 goes, Pannukakku typically makes an appearance on Sunday AMs and almost always trumps french toast or traditional American pancakes.  The kids love it and their friends beg for it.  Hence, I thought it would be fun to share our rendition. 

NOTE:  there are a million variations of Pannukakku.  Some prefer a more custard version... others prefer a very light and fluffy version.  Ours lies somewhere in the middle.  The traditional Finnish pancake is split into small rounds.  We bake ours in a large glass baking dish instead because we are lazy ;).  Enjoy!

3 large eggs
1 cup of unbleached flour
(we often times substitute whole wheat, though it makes for a much more dense cake)
1 cup milk
(OK to use skim- we do)
4 tablespoons of sugar + additional sprinkle
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs. Beat in sugar and then add milk and salt.  Whisk flour in slowly until blended.  Add melted butter last.

Spray glass baking dish with non-stick spray and add batter. 

Bake until the pancake is lightly browned and puffed, about 20 minutes.

Remove from oven.  Give it an additional light sprinkle of sugar and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Watch carefully so it doesn't burn!

Serve immediately.  Some families top with butter, syrup, curd, fresh fruit puree, or preserves.  We usually enjoy ours plain with a side of berries.