Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Week One of 52 Weeks of Cooking! Theme? Eggs! Dish? Pannukakku!

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Happy new years again everyone!

 We're well into the middle of the first week of a Reddit challenge, 52 Weeks of Cooking, so I thought I'd buckle down and bang out this post. This week's theme is eggs, a fantastic ingredient in its uses, taste and texture. I just love eggs, and the first thing I ever cooked was the scrambled egg at the age of 14. Or maybe it was 13.

The versatility of the egg lends itself to many different preparations. If I were to list the things that it is essential for but not a major player in, it would take an enormous amount of time, so I won't even try. To list the dishes that focus primarily on eggs alone takes a bit of time, with the immediate things being boiled eggs of varying degrees, fried eggs of many styles, omelets of many fashions, poached eggs and preserved eggs for starters.

It was probably a bit of serendipity that led me to this recipe in time for this week's challenge. One morning when I found myself with a bit of free time to devote to breakfast, my dear friend Virginia suggested that I make pannukakku, also known as a Finnish pancake, or perhaps a Finnish Oven Pancake. Immediately intrigued, I set upon making use of her great grandmother's recipe.

Observe the mise en place: salt, water/milk or some combination of the two (milk preferred, I ran out) butter, flour and of course eggs. Virginia admits to making a slight error in relaying the recipe to me, advising me later that two tablespoons of sugar were optional but recommended. According to her sister, the sugar is mandatory, and I can see how it would lead to a different end product. That said, I still greatly enjoyed the end result!

The butter, in a baking dish, is placed into a preheating oven to melt while the other ingredients are assembled.

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First the eggs are beaten.

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Then the water (or milk) is added.

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Some sifted flour follows.

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Then the salt. I assume the sugar follows here.

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This lot is all mixed together.

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And then half of the melted butter is added into the batter, and whisked in thoroughly.

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Now into the butter greased baking pan...

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We pour in the batter.

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Take a good look so you can marvel at what it will transform into later.

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This goes into the oven, and towards the middle of the cooking something shocking happens. Huge puffy peaks!

Apparently when you use at least some milk, this pannukakku really starts a movin'-and-a-groovin'. Next time (with sugar too)!

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Sadly, the huge poofiness does not endure upon removal and cooling, but what remains is still a striking yellow eggy layer. Apparently I didn't cook it quite as long enough, one wants a bit more browning of the dish for optimal tastes. I had very little to complain about however.

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This is typically served with granulated sugar or jam (or other preserves). According to Virginia, those of Scandinavian ancestry typically go for the sugar.

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I on the other hand, absolutely loved using jam. Strawberry jam in this case since it was all I had on hand. Lingonberry or cloudberry is ideal however.

Ah of course, a description of the taste. It is all at once definitely an egg dish yet far less "eggier" than its appearance lets on. Something like a thick egg flavored crepe, savory and lending itself well as a breakfasty platform for sugar and jam, it is something that definitely warrants trying once.

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Still, absolutely nothing to complain about here, it was delicious, once again thanks to Virginia for sharing her great grandmother's recipe and letting me share it!

Grandma Clara's Pannukakku Recipe (not my grandmother):

  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 3/4 cup lukewarm water or milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar (optional?)
  • 1 cup sifted flour
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Put butter in glass 9 x 13 pan and place in oven to melt.
  3. Mix rest of the ingredients in order, and dump about half of the melted butter into batter. Mix very well so there is no separation.
  4. Swish the rest of the butter around the pan to coat bottom.
  5. Pour batter into pan, and bake about 20-30 minutes
  6. The Pannukakku will bubble and move in pan.  This is normal. It should be pale but solid, with raised sections and a tiny bit of brown on the edges when done.  
  7. Serve with butter and sugar, or any kind of jam/preserves. 


  1. This looks delicious! I'm totally intrigued (especially love the idea of topping off with butter and sugar!)

  2. Thanks Alejandra, it was definitely a worthwhile recipe! I'm glad you read my post!