This recipe is adapted from the Ålandspannkaka recipe in Magnus Nilsson's The Nordic Cookbook. The foundation of this baked porridge-custard hybrid is made from staple ingredients like milk, wheat, and eggs. What makes it special is the addition of cardamom, cinnamon, and vanilla. This dish can be served warm, but I like it best when it's cold and has a texture reminiscent of cheesecake (swoon), so making it on a weekend to have for breakfast all week is how I roll. While the traditional version, made with semolina, is typically served with whipped cream and prune compote, I like to dollop mine with yogurt and cinnamon or a touch of berry jam.
Note: Regular sugar will work fine in this recipe. I keep two vanilla beans whose seeds I've long since used in a container with organic cane sugar to make the vanilla sugar I use in this recipe. When the container gets low, I top it off with more sugar leaving the same vanilla pods in. It's great in baked goods and doubles as aromatherapy if you're feeling stressed. Seriously. —cookyourfeelings
1 hour 5 minutes
4 1/4 cups
plus 2 tablespoons creamy wheat hot cereal/wheat farina (I used Bob's Red Mill)
Bring the milk and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-medium high heat. It will seem like nothing is happening for a while (about ten minutes) but will go from simmering to boiling over in no time, so keep a close eye on it!
Stream the farina in while whisking to combine. Reduce the heat to medium-medium low to maintain a simmer and continue to whisk until the mixture has thickened, about five minutes. Be sure to whisk the mixture off the sides of the pan as well, so it doesn't stick and overcook there.
Once thickened, take the pan off the heat and allow the porridge to cool, stirring it occasionally with a rubber spatula to keep a skin from forming. The mixture is cool enough when steam no longer escapes when you stir it.
Preheat the oven to 350℉. Meanwhile, combine the eggs, sugar, and vanilla in a mixing bowl and whisk until the mixture changes in color from a bright orange-yellow to a pale yellow. It will thicken and increase in volume, as well. It will be a noticeable change and will take a few minutes. Be patient if whisking by hand and don't be afraid to give your arm a break.
Combine the whole wheat pastry flour, cardamom, and cinnamon in a bowl with a fork. Fold the dry ingredients into the cooled porridge with a rubber spatula.
Fold the egg/sugar mixture in until all the ingredients are well combined. Transfer to a baking dish (I use a 9"x13" Pyrex) and bake for about an hour, or until the pancake has puffed and the top is speckled with brown spots.