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Wednesday, 26 August 2015 12:18

Pass the Pannekoeken: now the mystery is solved

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Some time ago, the blog hosting site Wordpress, launched Foodpress, and finally solved a recipe mystery that has eluded me for 10 years.

What, I’d been trying to discover for a decade, with nothing but disappointment, are the secret proportions of flour, eggs and milk, for the making of Pannekoeken.
Cookbooks gave no answers.
Web searches revealed no hint of how to whisk up a batch of these crépe-y Dutch pancakes.
My own Dutch grandmother’s “German Pancakes” were too thin match the somewhat dense, very eggy, characteristics of a Pannekoeken.
Dutch Babies, which we tried for brunch one day, were schmeken gut. Puffy and light, almost like a sweet Yorkshire Pudding. Alas, definitely not Pannekoeken.
French crepes, while also good for rolling up, were too thin. A close cousin, yes, but not an interchangeable word for Pannekoeken.
Clafoutis, also French, and our new favourite recipe for brunch, or any time of the day that the fancy strikes,also bears only passing similarities to the Pannekoeken we’ve salivated after ever since a certain Pannekoeken restaurant opened its doors a rather long time ago. They weren’t ready to part with their secrets.
Then, like a parting of the heavens, came Foodpress, which has taken up the mantle of trawling all the food-inspired Wordpress blogs in existence, to find the very best.
Voila! There it was. The “food on fifth blog” by Teresa Blackburn, where a post about a very New York-y man named “Wouters” demonstrated in photo captions just how to execute Pannekoeken.
Immediately, my pen was a-scribble, while I shouted for my Chefhusband to “Check the fridge for eggs!”
Wouters (the Dutch form of Walter) made plain, then Pannekoeken with rings of apples cooked into the batter.
We, however, have a fondness and hankering for something a little different. Pannekoeken with apples, raisins, brown sugar and cinnamon. Our favourite whenever we get up early enough on a day off to sally out to the Pannekoeken place for breakfast.
 To start, we’re doubling the recipe. Then minimizing the butter bath the pancakes sizzle in. It still looks like a lot, but this isn’t a breakfast of Fibre One and fat-free yogurt.
Now, after years of waiting, we’re about to fork up our first mouthfuls of home-made Dutch Pancakes. All thanks to Foodpress, “food on fifth”, Teresa and Wouters!
2 cups all purpose-flour
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
4 tbs butter for the skillet
maple syrup for serving
Add flour to a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla. Add to flour and combine well. Let batter stand about 10 minutes to completely moisten the flour.
Place a 10 inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Melt a generous pat of butter. Swirl the butter around to coat the inside of the pan, then ladle a thin layer of batter, tipping the pan from side to side to evenly distribute the batter. Return pan to heat.
As the batter begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and the edges begin to set, tilt the pan around so the uncooked batter runs underneath.
If you’re feeling theatrical like Wouters, flip the Pannekoeken with a sleight of wrist. Otherwise, use a spatula. Cook second side for a few moments, then serve.
For Pannekoeken with apples, raisins, brown sugar and cinnamon:
3 apples, cored and peeled
1/2 cup plump raisins
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbs butter
Cut apples into wedges, then slices. Place a large pan over medium-high heat. Melt butter. Add brown sugar and stir together with a wooden spoon. Add apples and raisins. Sauté, stirring frequently, until apples are fork tender.
Make Pannekoeken as above. Dust with cinnamon and serve with apple mixture and maple syrup.
Where to find it: For Clafoutis, Crepe and Dutch Baby recipes, visit

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