Cast Iron

Norwegian pancakes

December  4, 2010
Author Notes

Every family in Norway has their own method of making panekakker. They're all very similar, but vary slightly in flavorings, thickness, etc. Norwegian pancakes are a little like crepes, but slightly eggier, and like crepes can be served with sweet or savory accompaniments. They're actually served most often for supper, but in the United States my mother discovered that pancakes were "breakfast food," so she started serving them to all the neighborhood kids who would flock over if the alarm went around that Norwegian pancakes were on the menu on lucky weekend mornings. Traditionally they're accompanied by jam, or berries, or sugar and lemon juice. But, my favorite toppings are either honeyed ricotta or sour cream and jam. I've listed both. - fiveandspice —fiveandspice

Test Kitchen Notes

If you’re a beginner at making crepes (and flipping them!) this is a great recipe to try. The batter is thicker and heavier than a traditional crepe, so even though the pancake takes up the entire pan they’re much easier to flip. The pancakes are lightly sweet with a smooth texture, and you can keep them warm for holiday guests so everyone can eat at the same time. The ricotta, honey and lemon zest filling was a great compliment, but feel free to add honey to taste instead of the full ¼ cup at first. – Natalie —The Editors

  • Serves 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom, or lemon zest, whichever you prefer
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 1-4 tablespoons honey (to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest (orange is also good)
  • sour cream
  • good strawberry jam
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, eggs, salt, sugar and cardamom or lemon zest until it makes kind of a thick yellow mixture.
  2. Bit by bit, whisk in the milk to make a smooth batter. Allow to rest at room temperature for half an hour. (I don't actually know what this does to the batter, but it is simply something you "must do.")
  3. Right before frying the pancakes, whisk the melted butter into the batter.
  4. Heat a 9 or 12 inch skillet (I like cast iron best) over medium-high heat. Melt a bit of butter in it, then pour in a ladle full of batter and swirl it around to coat the bottom of the pan. It should be about the thickness of a crepe or just slightly thicker.
  5. Cook for about 2 minutes, until the under side has turned golden brown and the top is beginning to set. Then flip it (this can be tricky and the first one almost always gets ruined), and cook the other side for just a minute. Transfer to a serving plate.
  6. Grease the pan with a little more butter and continue frying up the batter until it is all used. You should use pretty high heat the whole time, but if the pancakes start burning and the pan starts smoking, you should adjust the heat down a bit.
  7. Before serving, mix the ricotta, 2 tsp. lemon zest, and as much honey as you want together in a small bowl. Serve the pancakes accompanied by the ricotta as one topping option and sour cream and jam as another. (Or you can mix and match at will). Spread a pancake lightly with your topping of choice, roll it up, and eat. And don't forget strong black coffee!

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Review
I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (www.vikredistillery.com), where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.