Home cooking: Finnish pancakes

June 19, 2013

Betsy Payette of Mont Alto, Pa., is a member of the Waynesboro (Pa.) Historical Society. She contributed this recipe for Finnish pancake to the society’s 2001 cookbook, “Culinary Traditions: A Taste of Waynesboro, Pennsylvania.”

Payette said her family ate this pancake every Christmas morning with sliced peaches and honey drizzled over the top.

“It was the three of us — my husband, my daughter and myself,” Payette said. “My husband, George, made it. We lived in Europe, and probably it was served to us.”
Betsy and George lived in Germany when he worked with the U.S. military newspaper, Stars and Stripes. The Payettes never visited Finland, but someone served them Finnish pancake somewhere, and George got the recipe.

“My husband was a very good cook and did a lot of cooking for us,” Betsy said. “We took turns.”

The Payettes originally were from Washington County — he was from Hagerstown and she grew up in Williamsport. They returned to the United States and moved to Franklin County, Pa., when George landed a job at Penn State Mont Alto.

This recipe comes from Finland. It is not like traditional pancakes made in the United States. This recipe makes one large cake in a pan which is crispy on the edges and soft and chewy on the inside. It also rises quite a bit while baking — to two or three times its original volume.

— Chris Copley, Lifestyle assistant editor

Finnish pancake (Suomalainen pannukakku)

4 eggs
1/4 cup honey
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups milk
1 cup flour, unsifted
4 tablespoons butter

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Put a heavy frying pan or glass baking dish at least 10-1/2 inches wide and 3 inches deep in the oven for about 10 minutes.
Beat together eggs, honey, salt and milk. Add flour and beat until smooth.
Remove pan from oven. Put butter in pan. As soon as it melts, pour batter into hot pan.
Return pan to oven, and bake for 25 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.
Serve immediately.
Serves 4 to 6.
— Courtesy of Betsy Payette of  Mont Alto, Pa. This recipe is included in the Waynesboro (Pa.) Historical Society’s cookbook, “Culinary Traditions: A Taste of Waynesboro, Pennsylvania.” Copies are available by calling 717-762-1747.

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