One of my first food memories as a child was my Grandpa Phil’s Swedish Pancakes. He would make them for my Gram and me for brunch whenever I stayed over with them, and they were the most decadent breakfast item I could conjure. Light, buttery, and they came in the best shapes! Sometimes we would work together to make monsters, forest animals, or big hearts with the batter. He would tell me stories based on the final pancake shape. Stories, that he would need to keep short as the pancake would be gobbled up before its own theatrical climax. Dark pancakes, light ones, I knew no preference.
I was 11 when I lost my Grandpa Phil, and with him seemed to go his recipe for what I have to guess were originally his mother’s recipe for Swedish pancakes (since she was Swedish). I always found it funny that we called them skinny pancakes since they were comprised mostly of high fat ingredients (whole milk/butter), but the name’s always stuck.
After college, I embarked on my own adventures to match the pancakes of my fond childhood memories. After about 10 years of recipe testing, I have finally come to what I believe is my Grandpa’s recipe. While I normally just enjoy these pancakes without filling–just with some maple syrup and powdered sugar–I jazzed up this batch a bit with some caramelized pears because it seemed like the adult thing to do. I love them just as much in their classic, plain form though. Other options for fillings/toppings include cinnamon apples, whipped cream, fresh berries, and beyond.
Swedish Pancakes with Caramelized Pears
- 1 c Milk
- 3 Eggs
- 3 T Salted butter, melted
- 1 t Vanilla extract
- 3/4 c All purpose flour
- 3 T sugar
- 1/2 t Salt
- 1 large, ripe pear, thinly sliced
- 1 T Brown Sugar
- 1 T Butter
First combine the milk, vanilla and eggs in a medium bowl, and beat well. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and blend. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the bowl of the wet ingredients and thoroughly whisk–then let the bowl sit out at room temperature for 10 minutes. The batter should thicken up. Set a crepe pan (~8-9 inches) on the stove over medium heat and have a silicon spatula available. Lightly butter the pan the first time–depending on your pan, you may need to re-butter between pancakes; I do not need to with my crepe pan. It’s worth a preliminary test! Be sure to eat your findings.
I work with a 1/4 c measuring cup for transferring batter to the pan, which may vary for you depending on your pan’s size. Once you’ve added the batter to the pan, you’ll need to work quickly to spread the batter in the pan evenly. I remove the pan from the heat momentarilly for this process, then place it back on the stove. You’ll average about 3-4 minutes per side. Serve immediately!
For the pears: In a saucepan over low heat, melt butter and pears for 5 minutes. Add sugar to the pan, stirring continuously until the sugar dissolves. Continue cooking on low heat until you have achieved a caramel color and a good texture in the pear. Spoon over the pancakes, and serve immediately.
This recipe serves two hungry adults.